Plymouth Argyle came from behind to beat Derby County for the second time this season to give their League One promotion prospects a huge boost.
The Pilgrims were second best to the Rams in the first half and trailed at the break to a 17th minute goal from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.
However, just as they had done when they played Derby at Pride Park in September and trailed two-nil going into the second half, Argyle battled back to make it 16 home league wins out of 18 games this term.
Read More: Argyle vs Derby RECAP
First, Callum Wright scored with a deflected shot in the 59th minute, not long after he and Jay Matete had been sent on as substitutes to telling effect.
Then, Argyle were awarded a hotly-disputed penalty in the 69th minute when Finn Azaz went down under a challenge from Harvey White and top scorer Ryan Hardie slotted home his 17th goal of the season.
The Pilgrims went joint top of the table with Sheffield Wednesday, although they have now played two more matches than Darren Moore’s Owls.
Argyle also stayed five points clear of third-placed Ipswich Town, who won 3-0 at home to Accrington Stanley, while the gap between the Pilgrims and Derby in sixth is now 13.
There was just the one change to Argyle’s starting line-up from the 2-0 home win against Charlton Athletic on Saturday as Nigel Lonwijk lined up in defence instead of Brendan Galloway alongside James Wilson and Macaulay Gillesphey.
Derby included former Argyle captain Conor Hourihane in the centre of midfield as he returned to Home Park after a three-year spell at the club from 2011 until 2014.
With Derby selling most of their allocation of 1,600 tickets for the Barn Park End, there was a complete sell-out crowd of 16,461 for the key fixture.
It was the visitors who had more of the ball in the early exchanges as Argyle found it difficult to get their passing game going.
Derby looked to put a high press on the Pilgrims who were unable to play their way through it.
Finn Azaz did have a half chance for the hosts when he received the ball on the edge of the County penalty area from left wing-back Bali Mumba.
Azaz was challenged by Hourihane as he tried to get in a shot, though, and the ball ran through to goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith.
There was another opportunity for Azaz in the 13th minute as Hardie controlled the ball well before releasing the on-loan Aston Villa midfielder.
This time Azaz got in a clean strike with his right foot but the ball went narrowly wide of Wildsmith’s right post.
Derby’s Jason Knight then had a shot deflected wide off Gillesphey for a corner before Mendez-Laing dragged the ball off target after cutting inside Lonwijk.
The visitors were rewarded for their purposeful start when they opened the scoring in the 17th minute after Argyle’s attempts to play offside backfired on him.
When David McGoldrick flicked the ball forward, Mendez-Laing timed his run to perfection as Lonwijk stepped up and he raced clear.
Mendez-Laing still had the onrushing Callum Burton to eat but he took the ball around the Argyle ‘keeper before slotting into the empty net.
The Pilgrims were rattled and Wilson was yellow-carded in the 19th minute for grabbing hold of McGoldrick close to the halfway line.
Midfielder Matt Butcher then had to make an important sliding interception inside the Argyle box when Tom Barkhuiizen tried to pick out Mendez-Laing.
Derby continued to force the Pilgrims into uncharacteristic mistakes on the ball, leaving Hardie largely starved of balls from which he could run in behind the visitors’ defence.
Gillesphey and Lonwijk swapped positions in defence for Argyle, with the latter now in the centre of the trio and Gillesphey on the left.
Argyle captain Joe Edwards sent a header from an angled Mumba cross tamely straight at Wildsmith as the hosts struggled to put Derby under any significant pressure.
Defender James Bolton was half-time substitute for Wilson and Azaz had an early shot charged down by Derby captain Craig Forsyth as the home side tried to get a grip on the game.
Forsyth had the next chance when he went forward for a free-kick and when the ball dropped to him in the penalty area his shot was blocked by a sliding Lonwijk.
Barkhuizen sent a free header straight at Burton after a cross from the right before Edwards sent a curling shot wide of Wildsmith’s right post.
Edwards and Jordan Houghton were replaced by Wright and Jay Matete in a further two substitutions in the 56th minute as Schumacher tried to find a way back for Argyle.
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And that double change paid dividends only three minutes later as Matete set up an attack which led to an equaliser from Wright.
Matete made a strong, forceful run through the centre of midfield before finding Azaz and he passed outside to Wright, whose low shot deflected off a sliding Cashin and looped into the net.
Argyle then went ahead in the 69th minute with a penalty from Hardie for his 17th goal of the season after it was controversially awarded by referee Charles Breakspear.
Azaz went down inside the box after a challenge on him by Harvey White and although there was minimal contact at most the spot kick was given.
Hardie sent Wildsmith the wrong way with the penalty as he scored his 17th goal of the season in all competitions, and his 49th overall for the Pilgrims.
Mickel Miller was a 78th minute substitute for Danny Mayor and Hardie then almost made it 3-1 with a curling right foot shot which did not quite have enough bend to get inside the far post.
Niall Ennis replaced Azaz in the closing stages as Schumacher made his final permitted substitution.
Matete was booked for a late tackle on Knight which resulted in a free-kick 25 yards out for Derby, who touched it short to McGoldrick and his shot hit the defensive wall.
There was one late moment of drama when the Rams forced a corner deep inside added time and Wildsmith not only went up for it he sent a header wide, although Burton had it covered anyway.
ARGYLE: Callum Burton; James Wilson (James Bolton h/t), Macaulay Gillesphey, Nigel Lonwijk; Joe Edwards (Callum Wright 58 mins), Jordan Houghton (Jay Matete 56 mins), Matt Butcher, Bali Mumba; Finn Azaz (Niall Ennis 86 mins), Danny Mayor (Mickel Miller 78 mins); Ryan Hardie.
Substitutes: Adam Parkes, Ben Waine.
DERBY: Joe Wildsmith; Korey Smith, Craig Forsyth, Eiran Cashin, Haydon Roberts (Tony Sprinmgett 76 mins); Harvey White (James Collins 76 mins), Conor Hourihane (Louie Sibley 76 mins); Tom Barkhuizen (Lewis Dobbin 59 mins), Jason Knight, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing; David McGoldrick.
Substitutes: Luke McGee, Liam Thompson, Curtis Davies.
REFEREE: Charles Breakspear
ATTENDANCE: 16,461 (1.354)
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