Derby County’s Under 18s snatched a late winner on Saturday afternoon to overcome unbeaten and table-topping Newcastle United by recording a 2-1 victory.
Despite a misfortunate back pass from Jayden Thorne, which resulted in an own goal during the opening minutes of the game, an inspired second-half performance saw the Rams fight back to claim all three points with Jayden Bogle and Cameron Cresswell both making it onto the score sheet.
The victory saw Justin Walker and Rory Delap’s maintain their 100 per cent record at the Training Centre in partnership with the University of Derby.
Despite the joy at the end, the opening stages of this contest was anything but as Thorne, making his first start of the season, sent a pass out of the reach of Matt Yates and into the back of the hosts’ goal.
After a swift restart, the Rams began more determined than ever, but strong pressing play from the visitors saw Newcastle dominate most of the first half as they looked to add to their gifted lead.
Within the first 20 minutes of the game, Newcastle played to their strengths and came close to netting on a number of occasions.
Their best chance came on 16 minutes when Callum Smith chanced his arm from range but an excellent and agile save from Yates saw the ball tipped over the crossbar.
Just before the half-an-hour mark, Derby almost hit back on level terms. Brandon Hitchman, who was also handed his first start of the season, took a shot from range which forced Nathan Harker to palm it away.
Adam Davie was quick to follow up the loose ball but Harker recovered quickly and jumped on top of the ball.
As the game approached half-time, it was the Rams who looked mostly likely to score.
On 43 minutes, a whipping 30-yard pass was played by Thorne from the left side and it was very nearly directed into the net by Luke Thomas.
With the action back underway, Derby showed an instant response following their half time get together and put in an impressive display.
Putting the visitors under pressure early on, opportunities fell to both Joe Bateman and Cresswell in the 47th minute before the ball bounced outside the box to Giann Magno who took a chance, which was sent narrowly over the bar.
It took just five minutes before the Rams were on level terms. Bogle was the man to step up for Derby after what looked to be a dangerous cross from the right side looped over the ‘keeper and into the top corner.
From then on, the game was very much one-sided with the Rams creating chance after chance in search of what would be a crucial winner.
On 71 minutes, Cresswell continued to cause Newcastle problems and broke down the left side of the pitch to cross in the ball for Davie, who was waiting at the far post. The lively forward rose high to head the ball but an alert reaction from Harker ensured the scores remained level.
As time began to run thin, Derby upped their attacking pressure with Cresswell, Hitchman, Davie and Thomas all playing integral roles.
Just a minute from time, though, luck was on the side of the hosts as Cresswell latched on to a perfect through ball from Jayden Mitchell-Lawson, the substitute, and converted coolly from close range to seal what was deserved victory to ultimately sink unbeaten Newcastle United.
Derby County U18s: Yates, Bogle (Mbuti 84), Thorne, Magno, Rashid, Bateman, Thomas (Jibodu, 73), Wise, Davie (Mitchell-Lawson, 84), Hitchman, Cresswell
Substitutes not used: Haywood, Fryatt
Newcastle United U18s: Harker, Spooner, Cass, Longstaff, Bailey, Kitchen, Sorensen, Lowther (Goodbridge, 73), Gallacher, Heaney (Marrs, 73), Smith
Substitutes not used: Allen, Wilson, RobsonTweets by @ dcfcofficial