Derby County rounded off their pre-season tour of Holland with a 3-2 victory over FC Utrecht.

Derby County rounded off their pre-season tour of Holland with a 3-2 victory over FC Utrecht.

Ryan Shotton, Johnny Russell and Will Hughes were all on target for the Rams, who fought back superbly after falling behind early on to Nacer Barazite’s tap in at Sportpark Zoudenbalch, Utrecht’s training complex.

However, Shotton and Russell scored headers from Tom Ince corner’s either side of half time before Hughes got on the scoresheet midway through the second half with a stunning long-range effort.

Barazite pulled a goal back with ten minutes to play after a foul by Shotton.

Head Coach Paul Clement made six changes to his starting line-up from the game against German side SV Meppen on Tuesday evening in their first game of the tour.

Scott Carson, Cyrus Christie, Craig Forsyth, Will Hughes, Johnny Russell and Darren Bent all returned to the starting line-up as Clement once again started with the 4-4-2 formation – with a midfield diamond - which served Derby so well in the 1-0 win over Meppen.

New signing Jason Shackell wasn’t involved in the squad after signing from Burnley yesterday as he has remained in Derby and will meet his new team mates next week when the side return to the UK.

Utrecht, who finished 11th in the Dutch top flight last season, included former Ram Barazite, who had a loan spell from Arsenal in the 2008/09 campaign, in their starting line-up.

The hosts retained the ball well in the opening stages, although there was little pace to the game, and they opened the scoring after 14 minutes with the first opportunity created by either side.

A flowing move saw Utrecht burst into the Derby box at speed and after good play by Ludwig, Barazite had the simple task of rolling the ball into the empty net from a few yards out.

However, Derby responded well by enjoying more possession as they began to take the game to their hosts.

Russell had a free-kick deflected over from the edge of the box while Ince’s 20-yard pile driver was superbly pushed over By Ruiter in the final minute of the half.

However, from the resultant corner, Derby were back on level terms as Ince’s delivery into the box was powered into the net by the head of Shotton with, more or less, the last touch of the half.

Derby started the second half as strongly as they ended the first, on the front foot, and another Ince corner saw the Rams take the lead for the first time in the game on 55 minutes.

His curling delivery from the right was met with a powerful header by Russell at the near post, registering his third goal in four pre-season appearances.

The Rams continued to enjoy the better of the game as the second half unfolded and on 68 minutes, Hughes produced a moment of magic.

The ball fell perfectly to the midfielder some 25 yards out to let fly with a dipping volley – and he executed it perfectly as the ball flew over Ruiter and into the roof of the net.

Make no mistake about it; it was a goal of the highest quality.

The goalscoring wasn’t concluded as Barazite got his second of the game from the penalty spot. Shotton fouled Louis Nganioni in the box and the forward kept his cool to slot the ball low past Carson, diving to his right.

In the end though, Derby held on to end their week-long stay in Holland on a high note.

A week ago Clement asked his players to up their levels – and he will no doubt be pleased with the reaction he has seen as the preparations for the new season continue to gather pace.

Derby County:Carson (C), Christie (Ssewankambo 61), Forsyth (Warnock 77), Keogh (Pearce 77), Shotton, Thorne (Baird 77), Hughes (Bryson 77), Hendrick (Hanson 61), Ince (Weimann 61), Bent (Martin 61), Russell

Substitutes not used:Grant, Mitchell

Utrecht: Ruiter, van der Maarel, Kum, Ayoub, Janssen, Barazite, Ludwig, Letschert, Klaiber, Nganioni, Haller

Substitutes:Bednarek, Strieder, Markiet, Diemers, Rubin, Peterson, Ramselaar, Cortie

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