Derby beaten by two Aaron McLean goals in the U21 Premier League Cup.
Derby County’s Under 21 side bowed out of the Premier League Under 21 Cup at the Second Qualifying Round stage on Wednesday evening with a 2-1 home defeat to Hull City.
The Tigers set up a clash away to Blackburn Rovers in the Third Qualifying Round thanks to a brace of goals from striker Aaron McLean at Belper Town’s Christchurch Meadow.
Callum Ball pulled a goal back late on with a fine shot from the edge of the box, but it proved to be too little too late.
Derby’s line-up contained trialist Kaliffa Cisse, who has been training with the Rams for the last two weeks as the Mali international midfielder seeks to earn a contract with the club.
He was joined by first-team squad members Kieron Freeman, Michael Hoganson and Michael Jacobs, who were also aiming to impress the watching eyes of Head Coach Steve McClaren.
Hull’s line-up included Slovakian goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, Republic of Ireland international Paul McShane, Egyptian forward Gedo and former Peterborough United striker McClean.
The Rams started brightly with striker Ball twice going close with efforts from the edge of the box, but Hull forced their way ahead with their first meaningful attack as Max Clark’s inviting cross from the left was powerfully headed home by McLean at the near post on 13 minutes.
Derby pushed for an equaliser as the half progressed and only a fine stop from Jakupovic to push away Jacobs’ thunderous shot, after a mazy run denied them an equaliser during a spell of pressure.
However, against the run of play, McLean grabbed his second ten minutes before the break when he rose highest to head home a corner from close range through a crowd of players.
Freeman forced another save from Jakupovic just before the international before the half was out as Derby ended the half strongly, but they ultimately were two goals down at the turnaround.
The second half saw Derby out of the traps quickly and Cisse rattled the crossbar with a header from Niall Dawkins’ cross, while he also had two shots from distance either side of the hour that failed to seriously harm the Hull goal.
The Rams enjoyed lengthy spells of possession but they were unable to make it count until five minutes from time when Ball fired home from inside the area, after Kwame Thomas had been initially denied by Jakupovic.
Despite piling on the pressure late on, Derby weren't able to draw level and it was Hull who progressed to the next stage.
Derby County U21: Morch, Freeman, Hoganson, Cisse, Lelan, Rawson, Ball, N Dawkins (Hendrie 80), Thomas, Dales, Jacobs.
Subs: Spiriak, Revan, Wixted, Zanzala.
Hull City U21: Jakupovic, Topliss, Clarke, Wilson, Aimson, McShane, Dixon, Armstrong, Gedo (Barlow 70), McLean (Jahraldo-Martin 62), Fletcher (Chambers 85).
Subs: Watson, Clappison.
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