Derby County’s Under 18s were unable to make their efforts count on Saturday afternoon as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of high-flying Everton.A goal in the first-half from Shayne Lavery was followed up by a goal from Daniel Bramall in the second-half and that proved enough for the Toffees to claim all three points and extend their unbeaten run to eleven.
The defeat against Everton marks as a third successive one for Justin Walker and Rory Delap’s side, however it was a performance which will give Derby great confidence going forward as they look to recapture their impressive early season form.
Looking back on the contest, a fast start from the Rams saw them dominate the early stages of the game and this allowed them to register the first shot on goal through Jack Haywood – who volleyed the ball just wide from outside the area.
Derby’s chance, though, acted as something of a wake-up call for Everton and before long, the ball was at other end of the pitch after the visitors almost immediately launched a threatening counter attack.
The ball was hoofed forward down the right side of the field and impressive work from Bramall saw him create space to deliver a perfect cross to Fraser Horby. It appeared that the towering forward had only the ‘keeper to beat but a superbly-timed tackle from Joe Bateman ensured the score remained level.
It wasn’t until the game approached the interval that any further chances were created at either end of the pitch.
The remaining five minutes of the first-half, though, proved to be intense as Everton very quickly upped their tempo in an attempt to steal a goal before the break and they came close to doing so through Lavery after he was allowed to line-up a shot in the area, which he sent narrowly wide.
It was just a minute later, however, on 42 minutes that Lavery did find the back of the net - running on to an intelligent through ball and blasting it to the right-side of Matt Yates.
After the half-time break, a quick start from both sides saw the game open up once again, but it was Everton who were able to create the best chances and they very nearly made it 2-0 on 53 minutes after an audacious curled effort from Lavery was narrowly put round the post.
On 67 minutes, though, the visitors made their pressure count and this time it was wideman Bramall who stepped up to top off an impressive individual run with a ruthless finish from the outside of the box.
After doubling their lead, it was Derby who took the next ten minutes of the game by storm, imposing themselves on Everton in the hope that they could reduce the deficit.
However, in the end, a strong and stubborn defensive display from Everton prevented the Rams from having meaningful opportunity in front of goal.
With the game in its dying stages, the visitors looked to punish the Rams even more but a succession of exceptional saves from Yates ensured that the deficit was not extended as the referee called time on a narrow defeat for the Rams.
Derby County U18s: Yates, Bogle, Mills, Wise, Bateman (C), Thomas, Mitchell-Lawson, Haywood, Davidson-Miller, Bird, Cresswell
Substitutes: Jibodu, Fryatt, Magno, Edwards, Rashid
Everton U18s: Renshaw, Morris, Harrington, Baningime, Lees, Feeney, Kiersey (C), Hornby, Evans, Lavery
Substitutes: Pierce, Denny, Moore, Ball, Scully
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