BARNSLEY could not spoil Wayne Rooney’s return to English football as their five-game unbeaten run ended with a 2-1 defeat at Pride Park last night. 

Jack Marriott opened the scoring from a Rooney free-kick just before the break then impressive Barnsley substitute Elliot Simoes netted his first goal for the Reds early in the second half, only for the hosts to score again soon after. 

There was an element of sloppiness about Barnsley’s performance as they gave the ball away several times in their half while the hosts found it easy to pass through their high defensive line. 

They’re now second-from-bottom and three points adrift from safety ahead of their next league game at home to Huddersfield Town on January 11. Barnsley were wearing black armbands in memory of former player Chris Barker whose death was announced earlier in the day. There was an applause for him in the 39th minute and the away fans chanted ‘there’s only one Chrissy Barker’. 

The hosts missed a huge chance in the tenth minute when, after Schmidt lost the ball and Derby advanced down the left, Martyn Waghorn crossed low and Marriott was in yards of space with the goal gaping but shot wide of the left post ten yards out.

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Marriott wasted another golden opportunity midway through the first half when, after a misplaced pass by Bambo Diaby, Duane Holmes’ deflected ball put him clean through on goal but Sami Radlinger rushed off his line to make an excellent one-on-one save. 

Curtis Davies then headed wide from close range at the back post from Max Bird’s right-wing corner. 

Bahre was brought off after 26 minutes for youngster Simoes, 18 days after Struber took him off after 31 minutes in the 5-3 win over QPR at Oakwell. 

Barnsley’s first chance came soon after when a low Chaplin cross from the left led to Alex Mowatt scrambling a close-range effort which was gathered easily by goalkeeper Ben Hamer. 

Marriott had his third excellent chance of the first half on 40 minutes when the impressive Holmes played him through on goal with a pass through the high Barnsley back line and he tried to chip the ball over Radlinger but screwed it well wide. 

Marriott eventually scored just before half-time when he beat Mads Andersen to a Rooney free-kick and volleyed into the bottom left corner from eight yards out. 

County almost extended their lead early in the second half but Radlinger brilliantly sprang to his right to touch Matt Clarke’s header onto the right post. 

Barnsley equalised when Chaplin’s shot from Jordan Williams’ low cross from the right wing was parried by Hamer then turned in by Simoes – who was two when Rooney made his Premier League debut – for his first professional goal. 

Rooney headed a good chance wide but it was 2-1 when Andre Wisdom beat Mowatt on the right wing and fired in a low cross which was met by Waghorn who found the bottom right corner. 

Marriott should have made it 3-1 when a ball down the left wing put him clean through but again Radlinger was out quickly to deny him. Chaplin forced Hamer to beat away an effort from the right of the box in the 86th minute. 

Simoes thought he should have had a penalty when his shot hit Davies’ hand but the hosts held on to win.

  • 19:45pm
    Conor Chaplin gets the Reds underway
  • 19:47pm
    2 Alex Mowatt is dispossessed by Martyn Waghorn, who almost sets the home side off on an early surge but Sami Radlinger comes out to knock the ball out of play
  • 19:48pm
    3 Andre Wisdom's cross from the right is cleared for a corner by Mads Andersen, moments after a chance for Jack Marriott which was blocked. The corner goes over everyone's heads and out for a goal kick.
  • 19:54pm
    8 Mads Andersen gives the ball away lazily and Jack Marriott advances on Sami Radlinger's goal, but thankfully the Reds do just enough to recover.
  • 19:56pm
    10 Inches wide from a great chance for Jack Marriott. Derby pressed high on their left side and Martyn Waghorn was able to rifle the ball across goal, but the striker couldn't find the net and hit it past the left hand post.
  • 19:59pm
    12 The Reds are rolling their luck a little bit. Andre Wisdom is left with acres of space to run into on the right and while Mads Andersen does well to slow the full back down, his cross is not immediately dealt with. Max Lowe then produces a fine piece of skill to knock the ball over his man and again spread the play to the right wing.
  • 20:03pm
    17 The hosts have certainly had the better of the opening exchanges, pressing Barnsley and not allowing them any time on the ball. The Reds have struggled to string more than two or three passes together before losing the ball.
  • 20:05pm
    19 Patrick Schmidt is yet to win a single aerial duel with Max Lowe, who is dominating the Austrian out wide. He loses the ball and Jason Knight does well to advance, winning a throw off Jordan Williams.
  • 20:09pm
    23 Sami Radlinger does really well to deny Jack Marriott, who had found some space on the right of goal and tried to side-foot it past the keeper. He did enough to force it out for a corner inches past the near post, and the Reds cleared the resulting ball into the box.
  • 20:11pm
    25 Another Derby corner. Duane Holmes does well to dispossess Conor Chaplin in the middle of the park and force his way towards goal. As Aapo Halme tries to clear, he can only send it over the bar. Curtis Davies heads wide from Max Bird's delivery.
  • 20:11pm
    26 Mike Bahre
  • 20:11pm
    SUB ON
    26 Elliot Simoes
  • 20:12pm
    26 An early sub for the Reds as Gerhard Struber is seemingly not happy with his side's performance so far.
  • 20:15pm
    29 Elliot Simoes finds Conor Chaplin on the left, who makes his way into the box and drills it inside for Alex Mowatt - but the midfielder can't get a connection on the ball as he stretches for it, and it's gathered by the keeper.
  • 20:19pm
    33 Luke Thomas wins a corner after a neat ball to play him in from Elliot Simoes. The midfielder looked like he could play it first time, but his touch took him too wide. He tries to take the corner quickly, but is caught offside from the return pass.
  • 20:20pm
    34 Wayne Rooney's free kick from deep on the left finds Curtis Davies on the far post, but the defender heads wide again.
  • 20:21pm
    35 Alex Mowatt picks up on a loose ball in midfield and heads for Conor Chaplin, who spins and returns the ball to the skipper. Mowatt then aims for Chaplin on the far post from the left, but Curtis Davies heads clear.
  • 20:22pm
    37 Luke Thomas goes down on the touchline in front of the home supporters. Clarke Oduor whips the free kick in from the right, and it falls for Elliot Simoes on the edge of the box who fires it high over the bar.
  • 20:25pm
    39 Max Lowe's clearance falls to Aapo Halme, who pauses before playing it forward for Conor Chaplin on the edge of the box. The striker fires a right-footed shot at goal, but it hits Matt Clarke in the back.
  • 20:26pm
    40 Jack Marriott misses his third chance of the match, but he should really have made the Reds pay for another error as they let the forward beat the offside trap from a good pass by Duane Holmes. Sami Radlinger advanced on the striker, who hit a weak effort to the left of the goal.
  • 20:28pm
    43 A free kick on the left is taken by Clarke Oduor and falls to Mads Andersen on the far post after a deflected cross by Conor Chaplin, His shot is blocked for a corner, which is cleared after Oduor again takes.
  • 20:31pm
    45 Jack Marriott slots home from Wayne Rooney's free kick from deep on the left.
  • 20:32pm
    45 Wayne Rooney bags an assist on his Derby debut with his in-swinging delivery beating Mads Andersen and allowing the striker to score on Sami Radlinger's right.
  • 20:33pm
    HALF-TIME: Derby County 1, Barnsley 0. Jack Marriott's goal in the last minute of the first half gives the home side the lead.
  • 20:46pm
    The players make their way back out ahead of the second half.
  • 20:47pm
    45 Wayne Rooney gets the Rams back underway and the ball is immediately played forward for Clarke Oduor to clear upfield.
  • 20:49pm
    47 Another Wayne Rooney delivery from deep, this time in the centre circle, isn't dealt with and the home side get a corner on the left.
  • 20:50pm
    48 Sami Radlinger at full stretch tips Matt Clarke's header onto his right-hand post. What a save.
  • 20:53pm
    50 Elliot Simoes nets from a Jordan Williams cross from the right.
  • 20:54pm
    52 Wayne Rooney heads wide from close range after Jason Knight heads the ball across goal from the left.
  • 20:55pm
    52 Luke Thomas did well to break forward for the Reds' equaliser, spreading the ball out wide to Jordan Williams who fired the ball across goal. That sparked a scramble as Ben Hamer couldn't deal with the ball, and Elliot Simoes knocked it under the keeper from a couple of yards out.
  • 20:57pm
    52 Patrick Schmidt
  • 20:57pm
    SUB ON
    52 Jacob Brown
  • 20:59pm
    57 Martyn Waghorn fires low past Sami Radlinger from a cross on the right by Andre Wisdom.
  • 21:01pm
    59 Mads Andersen heads over the bar from a Clarke Oduor corner on the right as the Reds look for an immediate reply.
  • 21:05pm
    64 Elliot Simoes wins a corner on the left which Oduor takes, but the Reds can't do much with it and Derby break.
  • 21:06pm
    64 Martyn Waghorn hits a powerful shot which cannons off of Mads Andersen after a cross from the left by Max Lowe. Duane Holmes tries his luck but it's over the bar from the edge of the box.
  • 21:08pm
    65 Jack Marriott again breaks the offside trap but as he gets one-on-one with Sami Radlinger, he tries to flick the ball over the keeper but it doesn't quite work, and the Austrian collects.
  • 21:09pm
    67 A great ball from left-back Max Lowe finds Jack Marriott on the right wing, but Clarke Oduor does well to stand his ground and take the ball. He plays it back to Sami Radlinger who clears.
  • 21:13pm
    71 Another good delivery from Max Lowe finds Martyn Waghorn on the far post, but the striker drills his effort wide with his left foot.
  • 21:15pm
    74 Martyn Waghorn
  • 21:16pm
    SUB ON
    74 Scott Malone
  • 21:17pm
    75 Aapo Halme and Alex Mowatt knock the ball between them a few times before Mowatt pings a long ball up to Conor Chaplin, but the striker can't control it and Ben Hamer collects. The Reds looked devoid of ideas there.
  • 21:19pm
    77 Duane Holmes is booked for a trip on Luke Thomas as the midfielder did well to win the ball and charge forward from the right.
  • 21:20pm
    78 Mads Andersen takes out Jack Marriott, with the defender the last man guarding the Reds goal from a long clearance - but he gets away without a booking.
  • 21:22pm
    80 A good passing move sees Clarke Oduor, Jacob Brown and Elliot Simoes exchange passes on the edge of the box, but as the ball falls to Conor Chaplin his cross is blocked and it's cleared for a throw-in.
  • 21:24pm
    82 A superb sliding block sees Alex Mowatt stop the advancing Jason Knight, who had broken down the right with pace. The move was started as Jacob Brown had a shot blocked from the edge of the box, but the Reds midfielder did well to sprint back towards goal.
  • 21:24pm
    82 Jack Marriott
  • 21:24pm
    SUB ON
    82 Morgan Whittaker
  • 21:28pm
    85 Bambo Diaby, with no one to pass to, is forced to bring the ball out of defence while waving his arms. He plays it forward for Luke Thomas who finds Conor Chaplin, whose right-footed effort from the right is blocked by Ben Hamer and then caught.
  • 21:29pm
    87 Some good build-up results in little for Barnsley, as Luke Thomas and Jacob Brown combine before Jordan Williams collects it on the right, his cross going straight into the arms of Ben Hamer.
  • 21:32pm
    89 ElliotSimoes forces a corner as he runs into the box and has an effort on goal blocked, but the resulting delivery is easily cleared. Bambo Diaby then heads over from a cross from Jordan Williams on the right.
  • 21:32pm
    4 minutes added time
  • 21:35pm
    90+3 Luke Thomas fires over after cutting inside from the right, as Conor Chaplin laid the ball back for the midfielder.
  • 21:36pm
    90+4 Aapo Halme heads into the keeper's hands from close range after getting on the end of Alex Mowatt's cross from the left.
  • 21:37pm
    FULL-TIME: Derby County 2, Barnsley 1. Elliot Simoes' first league goal wasn't enough as the Reds are beaten by Wayne Rooney's Derby County.