Under-21s seal narrow friendly win at Moor Farm.Two goals from the impressive Mason Bennett helped Derby County Under-21s to a 2-1 victory over East Midlands rivals Leicester City at Moor Farm this morning.
The two teams endured three periods of 30 minutes in the sweltering heat, with both sides opting to implement 'roll-on-roll' off substitutes.
Academy graduate Bennett, who celebrated his 17th birthday yesterday, netted his first of the morning in the opening five minutes when he escaped down the left before curling the ball beyond Liam Sharpe from a tight angle.
However, the Rams’ celebrations lasted just 60 seconds as Harry Panayiotou stooped to head home Joe Dodoo’s left-wing cross to level the game.
Despite the young striker’s equaliser, Derby remained on top with Bennett going close to a second when he turned Andy Dales’ low pull-back over the crossbar from close-range.
The duo soon linked up again, with Bennett this time heading Dales’ superbly arched cross straight into the arms of a grateful Sharpe.
Bennett’s strike partner, 20-year-old striker Callum Ball, then came closest to restoring the Rams’ lead, as his clever turn was met with an instinctive snap shot that flew narrowly over.
But it was the 17-year-old that continued to cause the most destruction to the opposition’s back line, as Bennett weaved his way past four Leicester defenders before seeing his subsequent low strike beaten away by Sharpe.
However, the young forward did not have to wait much longer for his second of the afternoon, as in the 44th minute, Bennett cut inside from the right and planted a left-footed strike into the inside side netting to hand the Rams a goal advantage.
The Foxes pressed hard for an equaliser late on to no avail, with Panayiotou and Jacob Blyth going close with half-chances, whilst Dales almost made the game completely safe in stoppage time, but he could not get the better of Sharpe, who stood up to deny the midfielder.
Derby County Under-21s: Etheridge, Hayes, Sharpe, Dawkins, Lelan, Hanson, Dales, Naylor, Ball, Bennett, Wixted.
Subs: Spiriak, Wassall, Thomas, Vernam, Berry, Cowley, Sinton, Eaton.