Hourihane's winner gets Rams off to a flyer
Sky Bet League One
Derby County 1 (Hourihane 80)
Oxford United 0
Conor Hourihane's debut winner gave Derby County a winning start to life in League One at a packed Pride Park on Saturday.
Hourihane's perfectly-placed strike into the corner of the net secured all three points with ten minutes to go as life under new ownership and new management got off to a flyer.
United had the better first-half openings with Billy Bodin, Matty Taylor and James Henry all posed big threats, the latter denied by Rams keeper Joe Wildsmith at close range.
The second-half saw the Rams move into gear and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing's cross on the hour found Tom Barkhuizen at the far post and when his header down was only cleared to James Collins on the edge of the penalty area, his strike was cleared off the line by Cameron Brannigan.
The winning moment then came with ten minutes to go, as Louie Sibley found Hourihane on the edge of the box and he placed his shot into the bottom corner of the net to ultimately seal the points.
Derby: Wildsmith, Hourihane, Cashin, Barkhuizen, Bird, Collins, Mendez-Laing (Thompson 86), Smith (Sibley 60), Roberts, Davies (C), Knight.
Substitutes: Loach, Forsyth, Stearman, Stretton, Oduroh.
Oxford: Eastwood, Long, Findlay, Moore, Bodin (Murphy 73), Brannagan, Taylor, Browne, Henry (Rodriguez 73), McGuane, Seddon (Brown 90).
Substitutes: Stevens, Golding, Goodrham, O’Donkor.
Attendance: 31,053 (3,147 visitors)