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Derby County's second pre-season fixture ahead of the 2023/24 season ended honours even as they played out a 1-1 draw with Sky Bet League Two side Salford City at the Pinatar Arena in Spain.

Odin Bailey put the Ammies ahead with a fine strike five minutes into the second half before the returning Nathaniel Mendez-Laing turned home a lovely cross from Conor Hourihane a few minutes later to ensure things ended level in the sweltering Spanish heat.

It brings to a close the week-long training camp for the Rams in Alicante and they will return home on Sunday to continue their preparations ahead of the upcoming Sky Bet League One campaign with only three weeks to go until the season-opener against Wigan Athletic at Pride Park Stadium.

First Half...

With new signings Curtis Nelson and Sonny Bradley starting in the heart of defence, the Rams began the game controlling possession without creating too much in the blistering Spanish heat.

Midfielder Max Bird had the first shot in anger when his effort was deflected over for a corner on the 10 minute mark before striker James Collins saw an acrobatic go just over the bar from the proceeding set-piece.

Kelly Nmai should have put the visitors in front with their first attempt when he fired over from 18-yards following a good break from one of Salford's trialists.

Both sides took a water break at the midway point with the sun continuing to bear down on a tightly contested pre-season encounter.

Derby's high press saw them nick the ball in the final third late in the half and young Darren Robinson was denied an opener, after being set up by Craig Forsyth, only due to an outstanding last ditch block from an Ammies defender.

Second Half...

A host of changes were made at the break as was expected including a first appearance in a Rams shirt for latest signing Kane Wilson after arriving from Bristol City earlier in the week.

Salford took the lead five minutes into the second-half through a fantastic strike from Bailey. The winger picked up the ball on the right, cut inside and bent a superb effort into the top left corner, leaving Joe Wildsmith in the Derby goal with no chance.

The Rams had their equaliser before the hour mark and it was Mendez-Laing, who only joined up with the squad on Thursday after his international commitments with Guatemala in the Gold Cup who got it. Hourihane, who had the armband on the day, whipped a teasing ball into the six-yard box and Mendez-Laing was there to prod home at the back post.

Midfielder Liam Thompson nearly put Derby in front minutes later when his mazy run saw him weave into the box before firing an effort towards goal that was well saved by the Salford goalkeeper.

Defender Eiran Cashin got up well to head Wilson's delivery towards goal late on but it was pushed around the post for a corner by the Ammies stopper as the game ended all-square.

Derby County Line-Up...

Starting XI: Wildsmith (GK) (72' Vickers), Forsyth (45' Mendez-Laing), Hourihane (C), Bradley (45' Cashin), Bird, Collins (45' Brown), Thompson, Robinson (45' Radcliffe), Rooney, Nelson, Bardell (45' Wilson).

Substitutes Not Used: Loach (GK).

Coming Up...

Derby's pre-season schedule continues with a trip to National League side Chesterfield on Wednesday evening (7pm kick-off) before we then make our return to Pride Park Stadium a week today for Craig Forsyth's testimonial against Sky Bet Championship side Stoke City (3pm kick-off).