A goal in each half saw Derby County’s Under 23s fall to a harsh 2-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur on Friday afternoon.

An early penalty conversion from Shayon Harrison gave the Rams a mountain to climb, but they responded to take charge of the meeting as Charles Vernam notched his third goal in three outings.

The visitors edged back in front shortly after the hour mark against the run of play as Kyle Walker-Peters finished off a counter attack move as Spurs recorded a second straight away win.

For Derby, the wait for a first Premier League 2 Division 1 win goes on following their title winning campaign last term.

Far better than they were in Monday’s 2-0 defeat to Everton, Darren Wassall’s were forced to showcase some early character after they suffered an early setback.

Restored to the side after completing his suspension, Kyron Stabana was adjudged to have hauled down Nathan Oduwa in the area, leaving Joseph Johnson, the referee, to point to the spot.

Harrison stepped up and sent Jonathan Mitchell the wrong way, giving Spurs the lead before the five-minute mark at the Training Centre in partnership with the University of Derby.

Joe Pritchard maintained the strong start made by the visitors, screwing a shot wide after patient build up, whilst Oduwa saw an effort meet a similar fate.

In control, Tottenham gifted Derby a way back in the game as Vernam seized on a loose pass deep into Spurs territory before bending a delightful shot beyond Harry Voss as he extended his strong start to the 2016/17 season.

From there, Derby finished the first half the stronger. Jamie Hanson saw a firm drive bravely blocked and Vernam, after charging down Voss, saw the ball kicked against him agonisingly wide of goal.

Tottenham survived to go into the interval on level terms, but were forced into early defensive action as the Rams picked up where they left at the beginning of the second half.

Alefe Santos had a big opportunity on 54 minutes as Vernam picked him out down the left side, but he shot wide, unchallenged, inside the area.

Alex Babos, audaciously, hit a half volley over the crossbar moments later, whilst only a last-gasp challenge prevented the returning Farrend Rawson from turning in a corner from close range.

Then misfortune struck – Derby feeling hard done by as Callum Guy was seemingly fouled halfway up the pitch – Tottenham raced away towards Mitchell’s goal.

Harrison, from the right, saw a cross turned onto his own post by Babos, but Walker-Peters reacted quickest to turn in the loose ball with a left foot finish into the far corner of the goal.

The Rams pressed for a second response. Rawson turned a deep Calum Macdonald corner wide, whilst Stabana fired over after smartly turning away from danger on the edge of the Tottenham box.

The hosts’ best opportunity for an equaliser came with just eight minutes remaining. Vernam was involved again, this time out on the left, and he cut the ball back Emil Riis Jakobsen, the substitute, but he drove his first time shot straight at Voss.

It proved to be the last of the chances as Tottenham held out to claim a second straight win.


Derby County U23s: Mitchell, Stabana, Macdonald, Hanson (Wassall, 84), Rawson, Cover, Gordon, Guy, Vernam, Babos (Jakobsen, 68), Santos (Trialist, 77)

Substitutes not used: Ravas, Walker

Tottenham Hotspur U23s: Voss, Walker-Peters, Oglive (Georgiou, 62), Owens (Edwards, 68), Maghoma, Walkes, Pritchard (Loft, 84), Amos, Harrison, Goddard, Oduwa

Substitutes not used: McDermott, Tracey

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