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Derby County’s Under-21s dismantled Everton Under-21s 3-0 in their final Premier League 2 game of the 2023/24 campaign at Pride Park Stadium on Monday night.

An early goal from Niall McAndrew fired Derby into the lead after a dominant opening 20 minutes.

Two goals in two minutes from Riley Moloney and Eno Nto in the second half gave Jake Buxton’s side a comfortable lead and helped them secure all three points to end their league season on a high.

Derby dominated the early proceedings as they created numerous chances, with the best falling to Nto who forced an impressive outstretched save from George Pickford in the Everton goal.

The deadlock was broken inside 20 minutes when Morgan Spencer’s through ball found McAndrew’s darting run in behind the Everton back-line, and the Republic of Ireland youth international slotted the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs.

As the game went on, the Toffees grew into the game as they tested the Rams defence. However, they struggled to beat the effective Derby offside trap.

The start of the second half saw both teams enjoy plenty of the possession, although neither side managed to create any clear-cut chances.

The visitors came close to equalising through midfielder Jenson Metcalfe, whose attempt from range was deflected but Harry Evans was able to adjust his feet and make an outstanding save to maintain Derby’s lead.

Moments later Evans was called into action again, this time tipping Luke Butterfield’s point-blank effort past the far post.

Buxton’s side doubled their lead midway through the second half through Moloney’s first time finish off the woodwork, after some determined offensive play from Trialist 2.

Just minutes later, it was three for the Rams. Nto was found in plenty of space at the back post and his volleyed finish flew into the roof of the net.

Unfortunately, a fifth win of the season would not lift the Rams from the bottom of the Premier League 2 table due to results elsewhere, but it was still an excellent way to round off their league campaign.

Derby will look to take this winning momentum into their penultimate game of the season as they face Sunderland in the Central League at the Academy of Light on Wednesday 1st May (2pm kick-off).

Derby County Under-21s: Evans (GK), Bartley, Moloney, Stepien-Iwumene, Radcliffe (Trialist 3 87), Cox, Allen, Robinson (C), Nto (Gough 77), Trialist 1 (Trialist 2 68), McAndrew (Hawkins 87).

Substitutes Not Used: Thompson (GK).

Words: Joe Bird.