Derby County U21 2 Barnsley U21 0
STRIKERS Nathan Tyson and Theo Robinson hit the goals as Derby County's under-21 team returned to winning ways.
Both struck in the first half of the 2-0 victory over Barnsley at Moor Farm yesterday afternoon.
The win followed back-to-back defeats for the Rams in the Division Two North of the Professional Development League.
A strong Derby side also included goalkeeper Frank Fielding, defenders James O'Connor and Mark O'Brien, and Conor Doyle ,who started a game for the first time since an operation to remove his appendix.
Fielding played another 90 minutes as he recovers from a groin injury and he made three or four sharp saves to deny Barnsley.
O'Connor was handed some match time after being replaced by Jake Buxton in Saturday's defeat by Crystal Palace. He played right-back, O'Brien and Valentin Gjokaj formed the centre-back pairing and Josh Lelan was at left-back.
That meant Michael Hoganson filled the role on the left side of midfield and Kieron Freeman, who has been used at right-back or right midfield, lined up in central midfield.
Derby needed only four minutes to take the lead.
Hoganson swung in a corner with his left foot and Tyson rose in front of his marker to glance a header in off the far post.
Conceding so early did not deter Barnsley, who played some neat football throughout the contest but they could not find an end product.
Fielding did well to keep out a low drive from Sam Patterson and another from John Rooney, the 21-year-old brother of Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney.
Rooney recently returned from playing stints with New York Red Bulls and Orlando City in America having previously played for Macclesfield Town. He had a trial with Derby in 2010 and signed a contract at Barnsley last month.
Rooney tested Fielding again midway through the first half. The keeper showed strong hands to turn the shot round a post and the save was made more difficult because the ball zipped off the wet turf.
Derby's second goal arrived on the half-hour mark.
Hoganson's centre was cleared only to the edge of the box from where Robinson guided the ball low and wide of an unsighted Lukas Lidakevicius.
Fielding continued to impress and he kept Derby's two-goal lead intact when he saved Rooney's free kick shortly before half-time.
Barnsley had plenty of possession and plugged away but the next chance fell to Derby 10 minutes into the second half. Tyson burst into the area and held off a defender only to see his effort blocked by Lidakevicius.
The visitors deserved a goal and they almost got one after 71 minutes through Danny Rose, whose rising drive brushed the fingertips of Fielding and the ball crashed back off the bar.
Doyle, building his fitness, played 72 minutes for the Rams before he was replaced by Luke Adams and Robinson was substituted seven minutes later, probably with Saturday's first-team game against Birmingham City in mind.
DERBY COUNTY U21: Fielding; O'Connor, Lelan (Sharpe, 89), O'Brien, Hoganson; Freeman, Gjokaj, Doyle (Adams, 72), Tyson; Bennett, Robinson (Thomas, 79). Other sub: Morch (gk).
BARNSLEY U21: Lidakevicius; Alderson (Shillito, 83), Smith (Williams, 81), Kilburn, Scott, Patterson, Rooney, Clark, Rose, Silva, Steade. Other subs: Alexander-Salmon, Chaderton.
REFEREE: D Benton (South Yorkshire).