Four second half goals saw Derby County’s Under 18s suffer a disappointing 6-1 defeat at the hands of Everton on Saturday afternoon.
Despite an impressive goal from Henry Wise midway through first half, a goal each from Manasse Mampala and Antony Evans and two braces from Shayne Lavery and Callum Lees for the inspired hosts was what ultimately sunk the Rams.
After an impressive performance last time out against Middlesbrough, Derby began this game well and possession between the two sides was equal as both looked to start on the front foot, displaying attractive attacking football.
Chances in the opening ten minutes proved to be hard to come by but on 11 minutes it was the hosts who claimed the lead after Lavery capitalised on a short back pass from Michee Mbuti to Matt Yates.
As the first half progressed on, Lavery continued to be a nuisance and almost scored a second after he broke through into the box.
Joe Bateman, though, did well to read the play and a late tackle from the captain ensured the Rams remained in the game.
It proved crucial at that time as on 24 minutes, Wise made the scores level after a cross from Jordan Mills was played into the box and headed out by the Everton defence. The ball fell to the feet of Wise on the edge of the box and a sensational strike from the midfield maestro saw Derby make it back on equal terms.
With newly found confidence, the Rams bombarded Everton’s half of the pitch in search of a goal which would give them the lead.
However, in the 41st minute and against the run of play, Everton regained their lead after Lavery teed up the ball for Mampala to comfortably convert from close range.
Upon the game’s restart, Derby began as the livelier of the two sides and Cameron Cresswell almost gave his side an early equaliser after a stroke of individual genius which saw him take on three players to break into the box – a late tackle though prevented his efforts from being rewarded.
Just two minutes later, though, Everton continued to be clinical in front of goal and a strong, powerful run allowed Evans to break down the middle of Derby’s defence and slot the ball in the net.
In the 58th minute, the hosts made it 4-1 after continuing to dominate possession. This time it was a headed conversion by the captain Lees from a corner-kick situation.
The hosts almost made it five just after the hour when Morgan Feeney was on the end of impressive cross inside the box. It was a headed effort from the centre-half but a good reaction save from Yates ensured the scores remained the same.
Moments later, though, misfortune struck for the Rams after another difficult corner saw the ball, initially, fall to Morgan Feeney again and he forced Yates to put the ball onto the cross bar. The ball bounced back into the danger area and the grateful Lees was there to direct the ball into the back of the net.
With the score at 5-1, Derby looked to reduce the deficit and an attacking phase of play saw Luke Thomas presented with chance, the ball could only be sent wide.
Unfortunately for Justin Walker and Rory Delap’s side, luck was not on their side and Lavery netted his second for the hosts to round off what was a difficult result for the Rams to take.
Everton U18s: Renshaw, Morris, Harrington, Baningime, Lees (C), Feeney, Bramall, Kiersey, Lavery, Evans, Mampala
Substitutes: Pierce, Moore, Denny, Duke-McKenna, Hornby
Derby County U18s: Yates, Bogle, Mills, Wise, Bateman (C), Mbuti, Jibodu, Bird, Davie, Thomas, Cresswell
Substitutes: Rashid, Fryatt, Hitchman, Magno, GoodeTweets by @ dcfcofficial