Derby County’s Under-23s got their first victory of the season with a superb 1-0 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in Premier League 2 - Division 1.
Chris Martin scored the only goal of the game in the first half, as Darren Wassall’s side produced an excellent defensive display that was interlaced with moments of great play on the ball.
Josh Barnes was tested twice early on, first by Luke McCormick and then Tammy Abraham, who captained Joe Edwards’ side.
The home side had the best of the opening exchanges but it was Derby that took the lead midway through the first half.
Alex Babos led the counter attack before feeding Timi Max Elsnik, who beat his play and slipped a lovely ball through to Martin, who finished expertly.
Babos found a yard of space minutes later but he could only fire straight at Marcin Bulka after exchanging passes with Martin.
Chelsea continued to press after that but the visitors continued to stand firm until the break.
Ikechi Anya had the ball in the net shortly after half-time, but the flag was raised for offside.
The Rams were comfortably on top now and Elsnik should have doubled the lead moments later when he connected first time with Kellan Gordon’s cross, but the effort flew just wide.
The visitors continued to keep their hosts at bay and in terms of possession, the second half was a more even contest as Derby enjoyed spells in control of the game.
Chelsea’s task became harder 16 minutes from the end, when Charly Musonda was dismissed after picking up two yellow cards, and Derby saw out time to earn a memorable three points.
Chelsea: Bulka; Lamptey, Colley, Guehi, Castillo; Gilmour, McEachran, Musonda; McCormick (Uwakwe HT), Abraham, Hudson-Odoi.
Unused Substitutes: Cumming, Mola, Redan, Brown.
Derby County: Barnes; Bateman, Wassall, Macdonald; Gordon, Guy (Eyoma 75’), Thorne, Elsnik, Anya; Babos (Cresswell 90'); Martin.
Unused Substitutes: Ravas, Karic, McAllister.