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Derby County fell 2-0 to Girona at Pride Park Stadium despite an impressive display by young Rams.

Phillip Cocu made ten changes to the starting line-up that faced Burton Albion in the 5-2 victory on the weekend with Kieran Dowell the only on to remain as the Derby County third kit was revealed under the lights.

Four youngsters - Max Bird, Joe Bateman, Lee Buchanan and Morgan Whittaker – were among the starters getting more match minutes under their belts while Jason Knight and Louie Sibley came on mid-way through the second-half.

The Rams looked to take the lead early as Graeme Shinnie made a run in the box and took a shot at goal from a tight angle, drawing a save by Juan Carlos after just five minutes.

It was the visitors who took the lead, however when their captain, Granell struck from the edge of the area and his effort took a deflection and into the corner.

Just before the half-hour mark the Rams carved out two chances. First youngster Whittaker in the right side of the area switched to his left foot to shoot but his chance was just wide. A moment later, a cross from the right was knocked down by Ikechi Anya to Dowell whose half-volley flew past the top right corner.

Chris Martin came close to levelling the score minutes after the restart after the Rams were awarded a free-kick from 25-yards out. The striker whipped his effort towards the far corner but Carlos did well to dive and meet it to palm it away.

Girona were able to capitalise on a mistake from the back to double their lead just after the hour mark. A pacey run by Soni saw him run onto the ball and lash his effort past Jonathan Mitchell.

With just less than 20 minutes to go as Girona’s Valery Fernandez was stretched off the pitch with an injury, the remaining eight substitutes came on for the Rams.

From here, Derby dominated possession and quickly saw their first chance. A beautiful ball from Tom Huddlestone was pinged over to Jason Knight in the six-yard box but the youngster’s first-time effort went straight into the hands of Carlos.

The Rams piled the pressure on Girona’s defence as the time ran down, but the Spanish side held strong and Derby were unable to get off the mark.

Cocu’s side will be in action again on Sunday for their final pre-season fixture when they travel north of the border to take on Rangers.

Derby County: Mitchell (Ravas, 62), Shinnie (Knight, 62), Dowell (Sibley, 45), Martin (Waghorn, 76), Lowe (Malone 76), Anya (Lawrence, 76), Davies (C) (Keogh, 76), Bird (Huddlestone, 76) , Bateman (Bogle, 76), Buchanan (Evans, 76), Whittaker (Jozefzoon, 76)

Unused Subs:

Girona: Carlos, Alcala, Granell (C), Villa, Lopez, Lozano, Muniesa, Manuel Boselli, Andzouana, Soni, Cherta

Subs: Aurelio Suarez, Morilla Bolance, Mojica, Garcia, Aday, Juanpe, Porro, Izquierdo, Maffeo, Saiz, Fernandez, Paik, Resta, Pachon