Derby County Under-18s earned a dramatic 3-2 victory over Middlesbrough thanks to a late winner from Jason Knight.
The Rams scored twice inside the opening 10 minutes, with striker Jack Stretton getting both, but The Boro levelled the match shortly after half time, with Gabby McGill and substitute Layton Watts netting either side of the interval. Knight got the winner for the hosts at the Training Centre in partnership with the University of Derby with just three minutes remaining.
Stretton got his first goal of the match in the fifth minute; he tapped in from close range after Connor Dixon’s header from Festy Ebosele’s superb cross was parried straight to his feet by visiting goalkeeper, Solomon Brynn.
Five minutes later, Stretton doubled Derby’s advantage in similar circumstances. This time, it was a header by Knight from a Morgan Whittaker corner that was blocked, but Stretton was again there to finish from close range and notched his fifth goal of the season in the process.
Midway through the first half, Middlesbrough reduced the deficit after Isaac Fletcher won the ball in midfield and sent McGill through on goal, who calmly tucked his effort away past Derby ‘keeper, Sam French.
Substitute Watts made an instant impact for the visitors after coming on at half time and within four minutes, had levelled the match. He was gifted with an open goal when French tipped Terry Stephenson’s thunderous strike straight into Watts’ path and he made no mistake in scoring.
After several close efforts for the hosts, Justin Walker’s side secured victory in the final minutes of the match. A cleverly worked move between the midfield duo of Dixon and Knight culminated in the latter stroking the ball home.
What’s To Come…
The win for Derby moves them up into fifth position in the Premier League – North table, climbing above Newcastle United and Middlesbrough.
Derby now face two long away trips; the first sees them take on Newcastle at Darsley Park on Saturday 22nd September.
A week later, they travel to the south coast to begin their Premier League Cup campaign against Brighton and Hove Albion at the AMEX Elite Football Performance Centre.
Newcastle United U18s v Derby County U18s- Saturday 22nd September 2018 (kick-off: 1pm)
Brighton and Hove Albion U18s Vs Derby County U18s- Saturday 29th September 2018 (kick-off: 12pm)
Derby County U18s Vs Stoke City U18s- Saturday 6th October 2018 (kick-off: 11am)
West Bromwich Albion U18s Vs Derby County U18s- Saturday 20th October 2018 (kick-off: 11am)
Everton U18s Vs Derby County U18s- Saturday 27th October 2018 (kick-off: 12pm)