Tom Barkhuizen’s third goal in two games helped send Derby County into the FA Cup fourth round after overcoming fellow League One side Barnsley.
Lewis Dobbin grazed the bar for Derby with a first-half header before James Collins eventually opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Matthew Wolfe handled the ball in the area.
Barkhuizen doubled Derby’s advantage with a thumping second-half finish.
A defensive mix-up allowed Jason Knight to complete the win with a late third.
It was a comprehensive win for Paul Warne’s Rams against a side that is just one point and two places adrift of Derby in the League One play-off places at the midway point of the season.
Barnsley, who had a seven-game unbeaten league run – which included six wins – brought to an end by Bolton last time out, started strongly against a Derby side whose only defeat in 15 games in all competitions was a penalty shootout loss to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup in early November.
First-half chances were limited for the two evenly-matched outfits.
Jake Rooney – cousin of Wayne Rooney, England and Manchester United’s all-time top goal scorer, who was Rams boss when the club was relegated amid a period of financial turmoil at Pride Park last season – was one of just two Derby changes for the game .
Korey Smith dropped out because of injury, as did David McGoldrick, who was replaced by fellow former Republic of Ireland international James Collins.
Meanwhile, Barnsley goalkeeper Jack Walton was recalled for the Tykes, with his last appearance coming against Crewe in the previous round, while defender Tom Edwards started on his return from a knee injury.
And the defender was quick to threaten for the fast-starting visitors, forcing Joe Wildsmith to make an excellent early save with a glancing near-post header from a corner.
Dobbin clipped the bar with Derby’s first effort of the game in the 24th minute after meeting a neatly clipped Barkhuizen cross.
From that moment on, the Rams dominated what remained of the half.
Still, it was not until after the Tykes lost Edwards to a serious looking leg injury that the hosts took the lead from the spot, with Collins sending Walton the wrong way from the spot after Wolfe handled a corner from Barkhuizen.
Barnsley’s inability to clear danger at the top of the box on the hour mark allowed the ball to break kindly for Barkhuizen, who turned on the edge of the area before beating the keeper with a powerfully-struck shot.
A day of disappointment for Barnsley ended with a defensive error that led to Derby’s third.
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing was first gifted the ball, and while Walton did well to keep him out, the rebound found the forward again before he rolled a pass for Knight to slot home.
- 3ForsythSubstituted forDaviesat 85′minutes
- 6CashinSubstituted forStearmanat 85′minutes
- 17SibleyBooked at 69mins
- 8birdBooked at 49mins
- 4HourihaneSubstituted forThompsonat 78′minutes
- 18DobbinSubstituted forrobertsat 78′minutes
- 7BarkhuizenSubstituted forMendez-Laingat 73′minutes
- 3EdwardsSubstituted forBensonat 45′minutes
- 5KitchingBooked at 68mins
- 48ConnelBooked at 27minsSubstituted forMartinat 62′minutes
- 33WolfeSubstituted forPhillipsat 62′minutes
- 9NorwoodSubstituted forAitchisonat 76′minutes
- Sunny Sukhvir Gill
Match ends, Derby County 3, Barnsley 0.
Second Half ends, Derby County 3, Barnsley 0.
Corner, Barnsley. Granted by Jake Rooney.
Foul by Max Bird (Derby County).
Liam Kitching (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Derby County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Josh Martin (Barnsley) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Foul by Liam Thompson (Derby County).
Herbie Kane (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Derby County. Granted by Robbie Cundy.
Substitution, Derby County. Curtis Davies replaces Craig Forsyth.
Substitution, Derby County. Richard Stearman replaces Eiran Cashin.
Foul by James Collins (Derby County).
Jordan Williams (Barnsley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Liam Thompson (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Craig Forsyth (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Devante Cole (Barnsley).
Goal! Derby County 3, Barnsley 0. Jason Knight (Derby County) right footed shot from the center of the box to the center of the goal.
Attempt saved. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Derby County) left footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the center of the goal.
Substitution, Derby County. Haydon Roberts replaces Lewis Dobbin.