Derby County Under-23s fought back to earn a 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur in Premier League 2 Division 1 to move to six games unbeaten.
Jordan Brown headed in in the second half to cut Spurs’ lead to one goal, before assisting Morgan Whittaker for Derby’s second to cancel out goals from Elliot Thorpe and
It was a tough start to the Rams with early injuries quickly being backed up by goals from the visitors. Kornell McDonald was first to be forced off with an injury after just five minutes and the full-back was replaced by Festy Ebosele.
On the ten-minute mark, Spurs were ahead when Dilan Markanday squared into the area to find Thorpe to turn in from close range.
Another injury blow came for Derby after 15 minutes. First-team player Krystian Bielik was named in the squad returning to action having served a three-match suspension for a red card he received against Charlton Athletic. However, as he went to make a tackle when Tottenham broke forward, he came down badly was subsequently stretchered off.
From the corner immediately after the substitution that saw Archie Brown come in, Spurs’ lead was doubled when Binks headed in from Harvey Whites’ set piece.
With ten minutes left to play in the half, Rams’ top scorer, Jahmal Hector-Ingram was played through by J. Brown to go one-on-one with Brandon Austin, but his effort just clipped the crossbar as it went over.
Derby pulled one back in the sixth minute of injury time before the break and it proved to be a catalyst for a superb second-half performance. Alex delivered an in swinging free-kick into the box and J. Brown rose the highest in front of goal to nod in the home sides opening goal.
The Rams came out firing in the second half and had a great chance to level the score just after the hour mark when their pressure caught Tottenham out as they tried to play out from the back.
Whittaker swooped in to intercept the ball on the edge of the box and poked it forward to Hector-Ingram in front of goal but his effort from yards out was sent over the cross bar.
Just minutes later, substitute Josh Shonibare found himself in a similar position in front of goal to his fellow forward, Hector-Ingram, who delivered the cross, but Shonibare’s shot also went high over the bar.
The pressure finally paid off in the 73rd minute when Derby found their leveller. J. Brown drove from deep in Derby’s half, made a lovely turn to beat his marker on the halfway line and went all the way to the edge of the box. The ball was poked out from his feet and landed to Whittaker who took his shot excellently. He took a touch before rifling a left footed shot goal bound which took a slight deflection before rattling off the crossbar and into the back of the net.
For the final 20 minutes, Derby were relentless while Tottenham struggled to go toe-to-toe with their energy. Despite the chances that kept coming, however, they just couldn’t find the goal to complete the comeback.
In the final minutes, young full-back Festy Ebosele did well to beat his at the by line to find J. Brown. His cross was half cleared to Louie Sibley on the edge of the box and his shot was deflected up and onto the crossbar. Babos was there to receive the ball for a second chance, but his effort from range went over and the Rams had to settle for a point.
Derby County: Ravas, Minkley, McDonald (Ebosele, 5), J. Brown, Bielik (A. Brown, 18), Wassall, Whittaker, Babos, Hector-Ingram, Sibley, Cresswell (Shonibare, 60)
Unused Subs: Barnes, Thompson
Tottenham Hotspur: Austin, Eyoma, Lyons-Foster, Hind, Fagan-Walcott, Binks, Tracey, White, Richards, Thorpe, Markanday
Unused Subs: De Bie, Patterson, Clarke, Dinzeyi, Statham