Derby County Under-23s went seven games unbeaten in all competitions as they defeated West Ham United 2-0 at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
The first real effort of the game fell the way of Derby in the early stages, a long punt forward bounced kindly for Jayden Mitchell-Lawson but his effort was screwed over.
Derby continued to mount the pressure and that finally told when Morgan Whittaker made it to the byline and his drilled cross was diverted in via the head of West Ham’s Reece Oxford.
Mitchell-Lawson almost made the Rams’ second breakthrough of the game as his cross evaded the goalkeeper and was inches away from doubling the lead as the ball flew across the face of goal.
It was Louie Sibley who continued the Rams’ hunt for a second but he was only able to sting the palms of Joseph Anang with his effort from distance shortly before the half-time break.
The second-half continued as the first had finished, Derby almost grabbed their second as Sibley set in Whittaker down the left-hand side but a last ditch block prevented a goal.
West Ham were next to trade a blow and the tie should have been levelled when a cross from deep found Jahmal Hector-Ingram, but his tame headed effort rolled into Josh Barnes’ hands.
Just minutes later the Hammers again came knocking and were centimetres from drawing level, Sean Adarkwa’s effort squirmed under Barnes but the Derby stopper was able to make a recovery.
The second breakthrough arrived 17 minutes from time as the electrifying pace of Mitchell-Lawson broke away from the West Ham defence, Sibley was on hand to coolly slot in his through ball.
Neither side saw another chance for the remainder of the game meaning the Rams were able to bring three well-deserved points back to Derbyshire.
The Rams are back in action this Thursday night before the international break as they take on Aston Villa in the Premier League Cup.
The fixture is taking place at The Loughborough University Stadium and kick-off is 7pm.
West Ham United: Anang; Akinola, Pask, Oxford, Johnson (Barrett, 80); Powell, Makasi, Lewis, Kemp (Chesters, 85); Adarkwa (Longelo, 68), Hector-Ingram.
Unused Substitutes: Jinadu, Belic.
Derby County: Barnes; MacDonald, Hunt, Pearce, Karic; Thorne, Butterfield; Whittaker (Eyoma, 65), Sibley (Knight, 76), Mitchell-Lawson; Cresswell (Shonibare, 76).
Unused Substitutes: Halwax, Rashid.
Words: Andrew Haines