Mar 31, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Pride Park
Attendance: 27,690
DerbyDerby County
1-0
QPRQueens Park Rangers
Vydra (70')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Freeman (78')

Result: Matej Vydra keeps Derby County's faint playoff hopes alive

Derby County beat Queens Park Rangers 1-0 at Pride Park to move within six points of the Championship playoff places, courtesy of a goal from Matej Vydra.

Matej Vydra scored his third goal in four appearances for Derby County to earn a 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers and keep alive his side's outside hopes of promotion.

The Czech Republic international made the most of an error from opposition keeper Alex Smithies to blast home the only goal of the game 20 minutes from time, moving the Rams to within six points of the playoffs.

It also marks a first victory for Gary Rowett in his maiden home game in charge, while QPR's recent resurgence following five wins in their previous seven appears to have come to a halt.

The first chance of a tight first half fell the way of Johnny Russell, who could only drag the ball wide when played through by Tom Ince 15 minutes in.

Scott Carson was tested for the first time a quarter of the way through by Grant Hall's long-range attempt, before Russell again came close at the other end when this time denied by Smithies.

Derby striker David Nugent sent one shot wide and another on target for Smithies to keep out as half time approached, with nothing to separate the sides at the midway point.

Neither side could truly get going after the restart, but it was County - with one win in 10 prior to today - who made the key breakthrough 70 minutes in thanks to Vydra's quick reactions.

Ince saw his shot parried by Smithies and his teammate was there to lash home into the roof of the net from close range - his first attempt of the evening and ultimately enough to settle the contest.

QPR rallied late on and perhaps should have taken a point back to the capital, with Matt Smith failing to beat Carson and Idrissa Sylla's free header hitting the wrong side of the post before going out of play.

There was to be no late drama at Pride Park in the end, however, as Derby held on to ensure that they are just about in the mix for a top-six finish under new boss Rowett.

Ben Davies of Portsmouth is tackled by Andreas Weimann of Derby County during the Capital One Cup First Round match between Portsmouth v Derby County at Fratton Park on August 12, 2015
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