Frank Lampard made a winning start to life as Derby County manager in dramatic fashion as Tom Lawrence sealed a 2-1 win at Reading in stoppage-time.
The visitors performed fitfully for the first hour at the Madejski Stadium and fell behind to Jon Dadi Bodvarsson’s goal seven minutes into the second half.
On-loan Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount – a goalscoring midfielder in Lampard’s image – levelled matters with the help of an error from Vito Mannone in the 60th minute before Lawrence had the final word in the Championship opener.
Bodvarsson broke free of a nervy Derby defence in the sixth minute but shot too close to goalkeeper Scott Carson.
That set the tone for a half where County hogged possession without purpose in between their regular errors, while Reading’s lack of cutting edge in attack meant they went unpunished.
David Nugent thought he had given the visitors the lead early in the second period but the veteran striker’s header was chalked off for offside.
Bodvarsson found the target shortly afterwards, powering Modou Barrow’s excellent left-wing cross home at the back post after Reading sliced through their opponents far too easily.
A deserved advantage lasted little more than seven minutes when Mannone botched his attempt to push Mount’s speculative strike to safety.
Mannone did much to atone for his error in the 83rd minute when he made up ground to brilliantly prevent Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson clattering home from close range, but Lawrence produced a wonderfully deft headed finish from Mason Bennett’s searching 94th-minute centre.