Under-21s secure second successive League victory.A glut of second-half goals from Kwame Thomas, Niall Dawkins and Charles Vernam helped the Derby County Under-21s to a 3-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
The result is the Under-21s’ second win in the space of seven days, following last Wednesday’s 4-2 victory over Coventry City at the Training Centre.
With the score level at half-time, two goals in three minutes propelled the side into a comfortable position, with Thomas poking in from almost the goal-line two minutes after the restart.
The striker’s effort arrived following a teasing cross from Luke Hendrie, which was diverted onto his own post by right-back Adam Harvey, leaving Thomas with the simplest of finishes.
Midfielder Dawkins doubled the side’s advantage in the 50th minute when neat interplay between Vernam and Andy Dales resulted in the latter sending the ball across the face of goal. Dawkins, like Thomas moments before him, was left unmarked to tap in from close-range.
13 minutes later Vernam set his sights on the Rams’ third when his fierce drive was tipped past the post by Wednesday goalkeeper Arron Jameson.
However, the striker was handed a carbon copy opportunity in the 68th minute, and this time he took full advantage. The Academy striker planted the ball into the bottom corner from 25-yards out, beyond the despairing dive of Jameson.
Three minutes later the Owls pulled a goal back when midfielder Adam Hinchcliffe ghosted his way past three Derby players prior to firing past goalkeeper Mats Morch from just inside the Rams’ penalty area.
Hinchcliffe’s strike was only Wednesday’s second effort goal in what was a lacklustre opening 70 minutes from the visitors.
The Rams fielded a side containing no overage players, with all of the starting XI under the age of 20.
And the youthful exuberance of Jamie Hanson and Valentin Gjokaj almost grabbed the side an early goal in the third minute of the game. The former crossed for the latter, but the Albanian was at full stretch and could not quite meet his fellow central defender’s delivery.
Derby spent the first-half in complete control as Dales flashed a 20-yard drive narrowly over, whilst left-back Michael Hoganson forced Jameson into a fine save with a dipping free-kick inside the opening 15 minutes.
Before the half was up, Thomas turned in Hendrie’s low cross only for the striker to be flagged for offside, but the second period was more fruitful for the Rams; their domination finally paid off when Thomas tapped in on the goal-line, prior to Dawkins following suit just three minutes later.
Vernam wrapped up the win in the 63rd minute, and although Hinchcliffe pulled a goal back and crashed another effort over the crossbar for the visitors, Derby’s two goal advantage proved too big a mountain to climb for the Owls.
Derby County Under-21s: Morch (GK), Hendrie, Gjokaj, Hanson, Hoganson (Giverin 61’), Dales, Wassall, Dawkins, Lowe, Thomas, Vernam (Wixted 82’).
Subs Not Used: Berry, Sharpe, Hayes.
Sheffield Wednesday Under-21s: Jameson (GK), Harvey (Cvetkovic 64’), Fenwick Beatson, Obileye, Hanna, Stobbs, Hinchcliffe, Betra, Dawes, Lambin (Onowigun 57’).
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Dawson, Mullan.
Tweets by @ dcfcofficial