Teenager Jason Knight scored twice to end 10-man Derby County's seven-game winless run with a 2-1 victory over Charlton Athletic in the final match before the start of Wayne Rooney's Rams playing career.
Player-coach Rooney is in line to debut against Barnsley this week, formally completing a January transfer from DC United, but his new side had largely struggled in the Championship in his absence until Monday's improved display at Pride Park.
It was a player 16 years Rooney's junior who made the difference with his first senior goals, the opener a brave, stooping header after just 10 minutes.
The hosts were dealt a blow when ex-Charlton loanee Krystian Bielik was shown a straight red card for an awful, late lunge on Conor Gallagher, but the 10 men remained in control and Knight steered in a clinical left-footed finish with 13 minutes remaining.
Although Lyle Taylor coolly dispatched a penalty for Charlton to set up a nervy finish, Derby held on through eight minutes of stoppage time for a precious win.