Half-time: Jeff Hendrick on target as Derby County lead Sheffield Wednesday 1-0
A FINE goal from Jeff Hendrick has given Derby County a 1-0 half-time lead over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
The midfielder finished off an excellent team move in the 23rd minute to open the scoring.
Jake Buxton was handed a return to the Rams starting line-up after two months out with a knee injury.
Buxton was initially named among the substitutes but Mark O'Brien's withdrawal during the warm-up - due to a knee problem - forced manager Nigel Clough to make a ate change, with Michael Hoganson added to the bench.
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Derby's starting line-up was otherwise unchanged from the 3-0 win ovetr Huddersfield Town.
The visitors started brightly and Jamie Ward tested Chris Kirkland with little over 30 seconds on the clock.
Ward's dipping effort from 20 yards was on target but Kirkland did well to push the ball away from danger with a diving one-handed save.
At the other end, Kieran Lee sent a glancing header straight at Adam Legzdins from a right-wing cross in the fourth minute.
The pace of the game was frenetic, making for an often scrappy opening.
However, Derby took a 23rd-minute lead with a well-worked goal.
Will Hughes found Craig Bryson on the left and he passed inside to Hendrick.
The newly-capped Republic of Ireland international latched on to the ball, exchanged passes with Ward on the edge of the box and slid a low shot wide of the advancing Kirkland.
Wednesday's new loan signing Connor Wickham had started on the bench but the England Under-21 striker was brought on for his debut shortly after the half-hour, replacing Kieran Lee.
Michail Antonio's curling effort from 20 yards was comfortably held by Legzdins, who was largely untroubled before the half-time whistle blew.