Under-21s taste defeat in local derby.

Under-21s taste defeat in local derby.

Derby County’s Under 21s were beaten for the second game in a row after going down 2-1 to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday afternoon, despite taking the lead in a lively East Midlands derby in the Under 21 PDL 2 North.


The Rams, watched by manager Nigel Clough from the sidelines, deservedly led at the interval through winger Michael Jacobs’s penalty, after he was fouled in the area by Jonathan Greening.


Greening redeemed himself by scoring Forest’s equaliser shortly after the interval, before ex-Ram Marcus Tudgay grabbed the winner midway through the second half from close range.


Derby battled to try and claw their way back into the game, but they were unable to draw level again and Forest held out for the win.


Despite the defeat, Jacobs’ lively display and the fact that goalkeeper Frank Fielding played 90 minutes on his comeback from a six-week layoff with a groin injury provided enough positives for Derby to take from the game – as well as Conor Doyle’s return from appendicitis as a late substitute.


It was all Derby in the first half with both Jacobs and ex-Red Nathan Tyson hitting the woodwork with venomous strikes, while in a rare foray into the Rams’ penalty area USA striker Robbie Findley hit the crossbar with a rasping drive from 20 yards for Forest.


Youth team striker Kwame Thomas was denied by home goalkeeper Karl Darlow just after the half hour before Jacobs drew first blood from the spot soon afterwards. The winger won the ball in midfield and advanced into the Forest area, only for Greening to halt his run with a cynical foul. The 21-year-old quickly dusted himself down to put the resultant penalty away from 12 yards.


After the break, in what were blustery conditions to say the least, Forest drew level within four minutes as former Manchester United midfielder Greening beat a couple of challenges before slotting calmly past Fielding into the far corner.


Jake Buxton made a fine block from Findley and Fielding denied Kieran Wallace as the home side upped the pressure, before Tudgay swept home the winner with a low strike which youngster Andy Dales was unable to clear off the line.


Derby’s best efforts came from distance in the second half with Tyson flashing an effort wide, and despite a late spell of pressure they were unable to haul themselves back onto level terms again.


Fielding played the entire game and looked sharp, pulling off a number of good saves, while Jacobs’s impressive first half performance was particularly eye-catching - both of which will have given Clough plenty to think about.


DerbyCountyU21: Fielding, Naylor (Adams 60), Hoganson, Dales (Richards 87), O’Brien, Buxton (Doyle 68), Freeman, Thomas, Tyson, Gjokaj, Jacobs.


Not Used: Morch


Forest U21: Darlow, Papworth, Andrews, Blake, Fenton, Regan, Greening, Wallace, Tudgay, Findley, Osborn.


Subs: Otim, Smith, Ferrier, Gregory, Gnahore.

Next up for Derby’s U21s is a home game against Barnsley next Monday (19th November) at Moor Farm Training Ground, kick-off 1pm.