Derby County Under-23s moved up to third in the Premier League 2 Division 1 table with a 1-0 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
Cameron Cresswell’s goal in the first half was enough to secure victory for Derby.
For Darren Wassall’s side, it was their second win on the road in the space of four days, having beaten Aston Villa 2-1 on Monday in the Premier League Cup.
The Rams have now moved two points clear of Leicester and are just two points behind table-toppers Everton.
Visitors Derby came out of the blocks fast and within two minutes, they had almost found themselves in front. Alex Babos, who scored the Rams’ second goal against Villa on Monday, saw his half-volley fly over the cross bar.
The hosts’ only real chance of the first half came inside the opening 10 minutes when Callum Wright was unable to volley Tyrese Shade’s cross on target.
Josh Shonibare, the man who got the opener at Halesowen Town four days ago, came close to doing the same in Leicester. After being played through on goal by Aaron Eyoma, Shonibare unleashed a powerful strike on goal which was denied by a strong save from Viktor Johansson.
Babos again went close midway through the first-half after receiving Jayden Mitchell-Lawson’s teasing pass into the penalty area and Babos’ attempt looked to put Derby ahead, only to be cleared off the line.
Derby’s strong start paid dividends as they took the lead moments later. Mitchell-Lawson’s header on the end of Shonibare’s cross from the left was parried by Johansson and Cresswell made no mistake in converting the rebound from close range.
Mitchell-Lawson looked to cause problems and did so twice inside the opening exchanges of the second half. Firstly, after being found by Babos’ clearance, his counter-attacking run led to an attempt for the winger, which was blocked for a corner.
Six minutes later, his erratic pace won Derby a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area as his movement left Foxes defender Alex Pascanu with no choice but to foul him, brandishing a yellow card from referee Andrew Miller. Callum MacDonald, however, was unable to steer his set-piece attempt on target.
Leicester almost sourced themselves an equalising goal in the final 20 minutes. Substitute Layton Ndukwu cut in from the left side and drove into the penalty area before back-heeling the ball to Admiral Muskwe, who saw his attempt drift over the frame of the goal.
Derby County: Yates, Gordon, MacDonald, Bird (Wassall, 90), Bateman, Hunt, Mitchell-Lawson, Eyoma (Roache, 83), Cresswell, Babos, Shonibare (Anya, 77)
Unused Subs: French, Karic
Leicester City: Johansson, Ramsay, Thomas, Kaba Sherif, Hughes (Heaven, 64), Pascanu, Shade (Uche Rubio, 70), Dewsbury-Hall, Loft (Ndukwu, 46), Muskwe, Wright
Unused Subs: Bramley, Edwards-John
Words by Jonty Colman