Derby County Under-18s were humbled on Saturday afternoon as they fell to a 5-1 loss against Liverpool at Moor Farm Training Centre.
The Young Rams went into half-time a goal to the good but a period of six minutes just after the interval saw their opponents turn the game on its head and go 3-1 up. As Derby pressed to get back into the contest, they were undone by two textbook counter attack goals late on.
Neither side were able to take complete control of the game in the opening stages which made for an entertaining, end-to-end start and Bradley Foster-Theniger had to make a brilliant save to keep out Leighton Clarkson’s curling free kick.
He then went on to deny both Jake Cain and Fidel O’Rourke from point-blank range to ensure the scoreline remained goalless.
As the first half reached its climax, Derby began to control possession and their pressure created a couple of very good chances. The first of those saw substitute Jack Rogers’ shot well blocked on the line and the second provided the first goal of the match.
Dylan Williams unleashed a powerful strike from 25 yards and even though Harvey Daniels was able to get a strong hand behind it, the ball fell to Jack Stretton who was on hand to stab in the rebound to send his side into half time with a one-goal lead.
However, all the hard work they had invested into the first half was undone within seven minutes of the restart. O’Rourke headed in the equaliser in the 48th minute before a quickfire Jake Cain double swung the game in favour of Liverpool.
The home side tried to get back into the game but as they committed more players forward, they were an easy target for the Reds’ effective counter attack and following a great goal-line clearance from Charles, they extended their lead even further.
Clarkson led a fast-paced passing move and ultimately laid on a pinpoint low cross for Layton Stewart, who had been introduced from the bench, to poke into the empty net.
As Derby still pressed for, what would have been, a consolation goal, they came undone for the final time and it was Charles who turned a teasing cross into his own net.
It means it is now consecutive defeats for Justin Walker’s side who will look to make the most of a lengthy layoff as their next Premier League – North fixture is not until January 11th.
Derby County: Foster-Theniger, Bardell, Grewal-Pollard, Thompson (c), Rutt, Charles, Wilson (Gordon 82’), Matthews, Stretton, Cybulski (Rogers 29’), Williams (Aghatise 55’)
Unused subs: Halwax, Christie
As mentioned, the Young Rams will have to wait over a month until they are next in action when they face West Bromwich Albion away from home on Saturday 11th January (11am kick-off).
The Baggies have enjoyed a decent campaign so far and currently sit 4th in the Premier League – North table with four more points than Derby.
When the two sides met at Moor Farm back in August, Walker’s men were beaten 3-1 as a result of another second-half showing where they were unable to score.
West Bromwich Albion (A) – Saturday 11th January (kick-off: 11am)
Middlesbrough (A) – Saturday 18th January (kick-off: 1pm)
Newcastle United (H) – Saturday 1st February (kick-off: 1pm)
Everton (H) – Saturday 8th February (kick-off: 11:30am)
Manchester United (A) Saturday 22nd February (kick-off: 12pm)
Words by Ed Mackey.