Derby County’s Under-21s fell to a 2-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur Under-21s in Premier League 2 on Friday night.
Substitute Will Lankshear came off the bench to score two second half goals for the visitors.
Jake Buxton’s side displayed plenty of heart and endeavour over the 90 minutes as they chased their first league win of the season, but the North London outfit saw the game out well to claim all three points.
Tottenham’s line-up included midfielder Harvey White who spent the second half of the 2022/23 season on loan with the Rams and made 15 appearances for Paul Warne’s side in Sky Bet League One.
Spurs striker Jamie Donley dragged a low shot wide with the first real attempt of any note after 15 minutes as the visitors pushed for an early goal.
Derby, who lost defender Max Bardell to injury midway through the opening period, came close to taking the lead ten minutes before the break when midfielder Adebayo Fapetu drove forward from midfield and blasted a 20-yard strike wide.
Spurs had the last chance late in the half as Nile John blasted a strike goalwards from the edge of the area, but Rams goalkeeper Harry Evans made a good reaction save to push the ball behind for a corner.
Evans made another fine save early in the second half from Yago Alonso’s low shot from inside the box after a diagonal ball from the right saw him get in behind the Rams’ backline.
Spurs were rewarded for their strong start to the half just before the hour mark as they took the lead. Donley delivered an inviting ball across the six-yard box from the left and substitute Lankshear timed his run to perfection to score at the far post with a first-time finish.
Fapetu, who had earlier received treatment, was the second Rams player forced off in the second period and he was replaced by Jack Bates as a like-for-like replacement in midfield.
As the clock ticked down Derby pushed for a way back into the game but it was Spurs who had the best chances to net the second goal of the game as Donley headed over from White’s left-wing cross and Lankshear forced another save from Evans in the final moments.
Lankshear added Spurs' second in injury time as he beat Evans to a deep cross to the far post to head into the back of the net from a few yards out.
Derby’s Under-21s return to Premier League 2 action next Friday when they travel across the Midlands to face Aston Villa at Bodymoor Heath (6pm kick-off).
Derby County Under-21s: Evans (GK) (C), Moore, Hawkins, Johnson, Bardell (Weston 25), Cox, Richards, Robinson, Brown, Fapetu (Bates 64), Gibson-Hammond (Oseni 70).
Substitutes Not Used: Ridd (GK), Lindsay.
Tottenham Hotspur Under-21s: Keeley (GK), Ashcroft, White, Paskotsi (Robson 84), Dorrington, Lyons-Foster (C), John (Cassanova 90), Kyerematen (Craig 58), Soonsup-Bell (Lankshear 58), Donley, Alonso.
Substitutes Not Used: Gunter (GK).