Derby County Under-18s started their pre-season campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win against Wigan Athletic at the Training Centre.
Eno Nto and Jack Stretton’s early conversions ensured that Justin Walker’s side got their pre-season campaign underway with an impressive victory.
They started the game well too, as Max Bardwell went close with a long-range effort that had the Wigan goalkeeper scrambling in the net.
Derby got their deserved goal just 10 minutes later. Failing to deal with the high press, Wigan gifted Nto with a golden opportunity that was not to be wasted, and the winger finished well with his first-time effort.
The relentless Derby pressure continued, and so did the goals. The Rams doubled their lead after just 20 minutes with the most intricate move of the entire match.
Archie Brown, Andres Perez de Garcia and Dylan Williams were all involved as Derby quickly turned defence into the deadliest of attacks. The quick succession of tricks and flicks were rewarded as Williams set free Stretton who finished at the second time of asking.
The visiting side were becoming increasingly frustrated with the resilience of the Derby defence but got their first real chance not long into the second half. It took a wonderful save from substitute goalkeeper Bradley Foster-Theniger who stood up well to retain the attempted chip.
Derby really began to enjoy themselves as the match drew to a close. First, Brown watched his powerful header glance just wide of the target. Then, the trialist striker had his well-struck shot saved by a trailing hand from the opposition shot stopper.
Ultimately though, Derby prevailed with a comfortable victory that seemed all but wrapped up after the first 20 minutes of the match. The first pre-season match was a good first test for Walker’s side who will be hoping to continue the success of their 2018/19 season.
After kick-starting their pre-season campaign with an impressive win, Walker’s side head into a busy run of fixtures as they look to regain all fitness ahead of the new season.
The side have another game in just three days’ time against Sheffield Wednesday. Derby will again play in the comfort of their own back yard, kicking off at the Training Centre.
After that comes Barnsley in a run of home games for Derby. The match will be their third in seven days as Walker looks to prepare his side for the start of the new season.