Derby County’s Under 18s fell to a 3-1 defeat on Saturday afternoon after the hosts Manchester City fought from a goal down to secure all three points.
Despite an early goal from Jayden Bogle, three goals from the hosts courtesy of Phil Foden and a brace from Lorenzo Jose Gonzalez was enough for City to at least secure their position in second place of the U18 Premier League North table.
In a game of many chances, the Rams drew first blood after good work from Jayden Mitchell-Lawson down the left led to Bogle tapping the ball in from close range, marking as his second goal in as many games.
The early conceded goal forced the hosts into an immediate reaction, however, a stubborn back line from Derby ensured that City were left with a sense of frustration.
Just under 15 minutes into the game and Derby began to build on their early attacking efforts once again as they sought a second goal with Luke Thomas and Bogle both playing integral roles.
To the despair of the Rams, though, good play from Jadon Sancho saw space to pass from inside the box and it was Jose Gonzalez who was gratefully on the receiving end to tap home the ball and level the honours.
With little happening in front of either goal as the first half progressed, on the half-an-hour mark a mistake from Cain Thomas saw Jose Gonzalez break free once more and he would have only had Josh Barnes to beat had it not have been for Bateman, the captain showing great athleticism to make what was a crucial tackle.
In the 35 minute, after knocking on the door several times with their fast counter-attacks, the hosts managed to find a way through with Jose Gonzalez once again and he needed no second invitation – blasting the ball past Barnes from inside the box.
With a newly found confidence, City looked hungry for more and Iker Pozo fancied his chances from distance only to put the ball past the far wide post.
Eager to make it through to the interval with the scores remaining the same, unfortunately for Walker and Delap’s side, they were unable to prevent City from netting a third.
It was an initial cross from Pozo which caught the defence off-guard and while Cain Thomas managed to get a touch on it, he was not in full control and Foden was on the end of the loose ball to another goal to his side’s tally.
After a brief 15-minute interval, play resumed where it left off with plenty of chances to score for both sides.
It took less than five minutes for the first opportunity of the half to come and this time it fell to the hosts after strong passing play saw Foden receive the ball in an advanced position.
After opting to take the shot on from distance in search of his second goal, the forward approached the shot with good technique but was only able to blast the ball over the bar.
With the contest approaching its end, attacks for both sides appeared to have fizzled out, however, a lapse in concentration from Barnes saw City almost add a fourth to their tally after Matty Smith followed up the ball to block it narrowly over Derby’s crossbar.
On 86 minutes, it was City again who were knocking on the door – this time through Ed Francis after he sent the ball narrowly over the bar from 20 yards out.
Smith followed up Francis’ effort up less than two minutes later after the ball was cut back to him near the penalty. He looked to pick out the bottom left corner but Barnes saw it all the way and made a routine save.
In the end, though, it proved that three goals from the Manchester City in the first half was enough as the hosts recorded their fifth victory of the season.
Manchester City U18s: Muric, Rosler, Latibeaudiere (C), Kigbu, Francis, Pozo, Poveda (Hardy, 76), Smith, Gonzalez, Foden, Sancho (Bolton, 64)
Substitutes not used: Sokol
Derby County U18s: Barnes, Mbuti, Mills, Magno (Jibodu, 68), Bateman (C), C. Thomas, Bogle, Wise, Cresswell, L. Thomas (Hitchman,56), Mitchell-Lawson (Davie, 62)
Substitutes not used: Carter-Thompson, YatesTweets by @ dcfcofficial