Derby County Under-18s fought hard to earn a 2-1 victory over Liverpool in Kirkby, despite finishing the match with only 10 men.
The hosts thought they had opened the scoring early on when Bobby Duncan tucked his shot away, only for the young forward to be adjudged offside.
Justin Walker’s side took the lead midway through the first-half when Morgan Whittaker’s deflected effort off the end of Tyree Wilson’s low cross left home goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros wrong-footed.
Liverpool levelled the match with five minutes remaining of the first-half with Duncan converting, after being teed up by the Reds’ skipper Paul Glatzel’s cross.
Less than a minute later, Whittaker, who last Saturday made his debut for England’s Under-18s during a 3-1 win over the Netherlands, had a glorious chance to double his tally for the evening, but his chance from close-range was superbly saved by Jaros.
Two minutes into the second-half, the Rams were reduced to 10 men when defender Eiran Cashin was dismissed for a second bookable defence.
Derby failed to let the disadvantage affect them and shortly after the hour mark, they got their winner. A sublime menacing run from right-back Kornell McDonald led to a clever exchange between himself and Wilson before he sent Jason Knight clear through on goal, who finished coolly to seal victory.
Liverpool threw everything they could at Derby, but some resolute defending late on from the likes of Jordan Brown, Callum Minkely and Max Bird ended the Reds’ 13-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
What’s To Come…
Victory for Walker’s side has moved them up to third place in the Premier League – North table, above Manchester United and to within two points of league leaders Everton.
Derby will next host Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Training Centre in partnership with the University of Derby, taking place next Saturday.
Three days later, they face a trip to Bloomfield Road to take on Blackpool in the third round of this season’s FA Youth Cup.
Derby County U18s Vs Wolverhampton Wanderers U18s- Saturday 1st December 2018 (kick-off: 11pm)
Blackpool U18s Vs Derby County U18s- Tuesday 4th December 2018 (kick-off: 7pm)
Aston Villa U18s Vs Derby County U18s- Saturday 8th December 2018 (kick-off: 11am)
Derby County U18s Vs Manchester United U18s- Saturday 12th January 2019 (kick-off: 12pm)
Blackburn Rovers U18s Vs Derby County U18s- Saturday 19th January 2019 (kick-off: 12:30pm)
Words: Jonty Colman