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Derby County booked their place in Round Two of the Carabao Cup with a 2-1 victory over Mansfield Town at the One Call Stadium.

An own goal from Elliott Hewitt gave the Rams the lead on the half hour mark, before a strong opening to the second half from the home side forced their equaliser as Ollie Hawkins fired in from close range.

Derby didn’t let their heads go down, though, and two substitutes combined for what turned out to be the Rams’ winning goal with 20 minutes remaining.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing used his pace and power to good effect and stood up a cross for Tom Barkhuizen to head home from close range to win the tie for Derby County.

The Stags did finish the game with 10-men after Jordan Bowery was dismissed for a last-man challenge on James Collins as Derby secured their place in the Second Round of the competition.

Major Moments

One of the game’s major talking points came early into the game as Lewis Dobbin, through on goal, was clipped by Mansfield’s Elliott Hewitt, but despite being the last man, the referee elected to show the yellow card.

Whilst Hewitt was fortunate to get away with only a booking, he was unfortunate to be the player to give Derby County the lead on the half hour mark. The defender converted into his own goal from six yards following a low teasing cross into the centre as the Rams took the lead going into the half time interval.

Mansfield, with the words of Nigel Clough ringing in their ears, made it a scrap in the second half and got in the faces of Derby County. They thought they had equalised in the first minute of the second half as Will Swan fired home from close range, following a stunning stop from Joe Wildsmith, but the linesman’s flag denied the equaliser.

However, the Stags continued to push forward and were rewarded with the leveller just before the hour mark as Ollie Hawkins scored from close range. The forward had time to chest and shoot in the penalty area and it found its way past Wildsmith.

With the home side gaining momentum, Rosenior turned to his bench an introduced Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Tom Barkhuizen into the Rams’ attack. And that proved to be an inspired change as the pair combined five minutes later to force what turned out to be Derby’s winning goal.

Mendez-Laing got a run on his defender before standing up a cross to the back post for Barkhuizen to head home his first competitive goal for Derby County to put them back ahead on the night.

Mansfield Town did finish the game with 10-men as Jordan Bowery received his marching orders on 80 minutes for a foul on James Collins as the striker bore down on goal.

Collins picked himself up and forced a stunning one-handed stop from Pym, but that wasn’t the end of the match action.

Mansfield thought they had forced an equaliser with less than five minutes remaining but they failed to bundle the ball over the line following a dangerous corner into the box, whilst Collins did eventually have the ball in the back of the net, but the linesman’s flag was up for offside.

But, the hard work was done as Derby’s passage into Round Two of the competition was confirmed.

Who Impressed?

There’s only really one place to start, based on the first half performance. Louie Sibley, handed his first start of the campaign by Liam Rosenior following impressive substitute appearances against Oxford United and Charlton Athletic, was a constant threat for the Rams.

It wasn’t only in his chances created, but in his work-rate and energy which he provided to the team. With his confidence high following recent promising displays, the forward had Derby’s first real chance of the game on 17 minutes.

He showed incredible persistence, chasing down a loose touch by a Mansfield defender, before pouncing on the loose ball. He cut inside and shot by goalkeeper Christy Pym stood up and made a good save to deny the forward his first goal of the season.

Sibley turned provider moments later as his low dangerous cross almost picked out Lewis Dobbin but it just eluded him at the back post.

Speaking of Dobbin, the forward, making his first senior start for the Rams, showed why Liam Rosenior had been keen to secure his signature as he enjoyed a positive start to life at the football club.

He showed neat touches and his electric pace was evident from the first whistle as he led the line well for the Rams. He maybe should have opened his account on the half hour mark as he was played through on goal by Korey Smith but Pym stood up and saved his effort, but 30 seconds later, Derby were ahead.

Dobbin did have a hand in the goal, too. A dangerous low cross caused panic in the Mansfield defence, the striker was involved, as was Jason Knight, but it was eventually put into their own net by Elliott Hewitt on the half hour mark.

Jake Rooney, on his debut, looked assured, whilst fellow debutant Kwaku Oduroh was also a steady presence at the back for Derby.

With backs against the wall prior to the end of the first half and at the start of the second half, Joe Wildsmith made some key stops to thwart Mansfield’s physical presence, but the key moment in the game came on the hour mark as Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Tom Barkhuizen were introduced.

One thing you want from your substitutes is to make an impact, and they did that alright, combining for what turned out to be the winning goal with 20 minutes of the game remaining. And Mendez-Laing continued to dazzle with his skill, pace and power as the game wore on.

But, with the hosts continuing to battle to force a penalty-shootout, Derby’s defence needed to be on top of their game. Eiran Cashin kept his composure and won crucial headers, whilst Wildsmith was a calm presence in the Rams’ goal.

Mansfield Town: Pym, Gordon, McLaughlin (Gale 87’), Hewitt, Hartigan (Clarke 46’), Bowery, Hawkins (Oates 73’), Quinn (Maris 46’), Swan, Lapslie, O’Toole.

Substitutes: Flinders, Harbottle, Boateng.

Derby County: Wildsmith, Forsyth, Cashin, Smith, Thompson, Sibley (Barkhuizen 63’), Dobbin (Collins 73’), Stearman, Oduroh, Knight (Hourihane 87’), Rooney (Mendez-Laing 63’).

Substitutes: Loach, Bird, Roberts, Robinson, Aghatise.

Attendance: 6,861 (1,662 Derby County supporters)

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