Derby County’s Under 18s will be looking for a return to winning ways on the big and unique stage on Saturday as they prepare to take on Stoke City at Pride Park Stadium (kick-off: 1pm).For the first time this season, Justin Walker’s and Rory Delap’s side will have the opportunity to play at the club’s main ground and supporters will be able to come along and show their support FREE OF CHARGE.
They will be looking to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough last weekend – a result that ended their three-game unbeaten streak.
In a game where all the action came in the last 10 minutes, Boro claimed a two-goal advantage in quick succession courtesy of strikes from Marcus Tavernier and Brandon Holdsworth.
Derby did hit back with an instant reply through an emphatic strike from Jahvan Davidson-Miller, but although the Rams had momentum on their side, time ran out in the end.
Looking ahead to this afternoon’s fixture, the Rams are set to take on fourth placed Stoke City in Merit Group 2, who they are unbeaten in their last four league encounters.
The Rams have already faced the Potters on two occasions in the league so far this season, claiming a total of four points off the Staffordshire-based side.
In their first game, which was staged at Stoke’s Clayton Wood Training Complex in November, a second-half fight back with goals courtesy of Davidson-Miller and Cameron Cresswell saw the Rams secure a share of points with a 2-2 draw. The Rams then hosted the Potters in January and defeated them 1-0, again, courtesy of Davidson-Miller.
Reflecting on their previous game and speaking to preview their upcoming one, dcfc.co.uk spoke exclusively to Under 18s ‘keeper Matt Yates.
He said: “It was disappointing to come back from Middlesbrough with the loss.
“We’d played them twice already this season and had taken six points from them, so we had confidence going into the game – unfortunately, though, we were unable to make the most of that.
“It’s hard to put our finger on what quite went wrong, I just felt that we never really got going unlike in previous weeks where we had shown what we are capable of.
“In the game, it was a very good goal from Jahvan (Davidson-Miller), it was just disappointing to have got a goal back so late in the game.
“Before that, we conceded two goals in quick succession and I feel that, in a way, it kind of killed us off.”
On Stoke and the opportunity to play at Pride Park, Yates added: “We’re looking forward to the game.
“It will be a great test against Stoke, they are a very good side and as everyone knows, there is no better place to play then Pride Park for us.
“Playing at the stadium is where we all aspire to be as footballers – we want to be at that level.
“To get a taste of things in the stadium will be an incentive of where we can get too.
“I think the key is to treat it like another game. It’s the same pitch that we’re used to – the only difference is that we are in a stadium situation and we’re all looking forward to the challenge.”
Derby supporters will be able to keep up with how the Rams’ Under 18s get on by following our Twitter and Facebook channels, whilst a full match report as well as video highlights will be available across dcfc.co.uk and RamsTV following the full-time whistle.
Tweets by @ dcfcofficial