The Ewe Rams returned to league action with a hard fought three points on the road at Brighouse Town thanks to Amy Sims' second half strike.
Sims scored the only goal of the game in the 68th minute to settle this tight contest against a physical Brighouse outfit.
Becky McGrother had a shot on target inside the first minute for Derby straight at keeper Becky Flaherty, but Brighouse responded with a positive first fifteen minutes.
The hosts had two headed efforts loop narrowly wide of a post.
Imogen Maguire had to make two saves in quick succession, first parrying a Lissa Woodhouse shot before smothering the rebound.
Maguire was also forced to push away Annabelle Cass' long range effort, made harder by the ball bobbling up right in front of her.
Derby grew into the contest as Amy Sims' neat footwork made room for a close range shot just over the crossbar, before a Jessica Camwell free kick flew straight into the gloves of the goalkeeper.
The game became a midfield battle as neither side dominated. There was not much trouble for either goalkeeper as the first half drew to a close.
The Ewe Rams created the first big opportunity of the second half. Anita Gaspar played in Sims in the penalty area but under pressure from a defender her right footed effort went straight at Flaherty.
Sims should have made Flaherty work harder when she regained possession in the centre of the penalty area after a Marli Rhodes cross was initially intercepted by a defender. However, she shot into the gloves of the goalkeeper.
Sims though would open the scoring with just over twenty minutes remaining. Kira Rai crossed for Sims to side-foot the ball into the back of the net.
Rai and Sims nearly linked up again a minute later with the formers pace causing problems down the wing. On this occasion Sims was unable to apply the finish with Flaherty making a comfortable save.
Derby dug deep and defended resolutely to see out the three points with Maguire not having a shot on target to save in the second half.
Drew Greene passed wide the hosts best chance from close range with a minute remaining.
The Ewe Rams now look forward to next Sunday's eagerly anticipated East Midlands derby against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
By Ciaran Morrison