Derby County ran out 2-0 winners in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Notts County at Moor Farm Training Ground on Tuesday afternoon.
The friendly was called in order to give a number of players match action, including Kieron Freeman, Mark O’Brien and Conor Doyle, with just one U21 PDL 2 North fixture pencilled in during December for players on the periphery of Derby’s starting XI.
The trio started against the Magpies, while Saul Deeney, Ben Davies and Michael Hoganson also got important match minutes under their belt against a County side that included ex-Ram Alex Witham, Manny Smith and Enoch Showunmi.
Also in the starting XI for Derby were four players from MLS side Colorado Rapids, who are currently training with the Rams this week in order to gain experience of life in England during the close-season in the States.
Andre Akpan, Tony Cascio, Chris Klute and Martín Rivero all played just over an hour, and it was Cascio who opened the scoring midway through the first half with a composed finish from close range after being played in on goal.
The scoring was rounded off in first-half stoppage time when O’Brien rose highest to meet a corner from former Notts midfielder Davies, and he powerfully headed home.
Both sides made plenty of changes in what was a scoreless second half, as neither team managed to carve out any serious clear-cut chances in a much tighter second 45.
Derby County Team: Deeney, Klute, Freeman, Davies, Adams, O’Brien, Cascio, Doyle, Akpan, Rivero, Hoganson.
Subs Not Used: Morch, Lelan, Thomas, Bennett, Wixted, Dawkins, Dales, Richards.