Late drama at the Raygar Stadium with two goals in the final seven minutes as Mickleover and Derby share the spoils.

A Derby County XI drew 1-1 with Mickleover Sports at the Raygar Stadium in the pre-season friendly on Thursday evening.

The Rams thought they had done enough to win an evenly-contested game after Spanish trialist Ivan Calero gave them the lead with seven minutes to play.

However, hosts levelled with just two minutes left on the clock through Anthony Griffiths-Junior.

The Derby side was largely made up of players from the Club’s Under 21 set-up, alongside Alefe Santos, a recent signing from Bristol Rovers, and three trialists.

Arinse Uade, Shaquil McDonald and goalscorer Calero were all looking to make an impact in front of the watching Derby Head Coach Steve McClaren and First Team Coach Paul Simpson.

Former Peterborough United forward McDonald and fellow frontman Kwame Thomas both had early opportunities to open the scoring saved by Mickelover goalkeeper Sam Hornby as Derby started strongly, but the hosts found their feet and grew into the game.

Jonathan Mitchell in the Derby goal had to pull off a fine save from Karl Ashton’s long-range strike in the fifteenth minute, and the former Newcastle United shot-stopper made another reaction save from the striker soon afterwards.

Both sides could only manage half-chances for the majority of the first half, until Derby had a glorious chance to take the lead a few minutes before the break.

Thomas charged into the Mickleover box after a quick break and squared for Calero six yards out, but he hit the post when he should really have scored and the ball rebounded away to safety.

Clear-cut chances came and went for the majority of what proved to be a tight second half.

Santos fired wide for Derby despite finding himself in space on the edge of the box on the hour and he, along with the Spaniard Calero, looked a threat going forwards.

With 70 minutes played, and as he continued to have a strong impact on the game, Calero drew a good save from Hornby as his curling effort looked destined to sneak inside the near post.

Former Derby trainee Chris Palmer drew a routine save from Mitchell ten minutes from time with a curling free-kick, but with seven minutes remaining it was the Rams who took the lead.

Substitute Sam Dryden picked out Calero in the box with a neat pass and, with a moment of quality, the attacker brought the ball under control and fired it, on the turn, into the bottom corner.

However, Mickleover dug deep and launched a late rally. Anthony-Griffiths hit the post with a long-range shot, before he headed home from close range with just two minutes to play following a cross from the left.

The final 90 seconds proved to be frantic as both sides tried to muster a final attack, but in the end the game finished all-square.

Mickleover Sports: Hornby, Bryant, Palmer, Walshe, Wiley, De Girolamo, Lloyd, Grayson, Ashton, Demidh, Holmes.

Derby County XI: Mitchell, Hendrie (Dryden 68), Uade, Adams, Rawson, Lelan, Santos, Lowe (Sharpe 59), Thomas (Zanzala 75), McDonald (Vernam 46), Calero.

Substitutes Not Used: Rigby, Behrens.

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