Derby County’s Under-23 suffered a harsh 5-2 defeat away from home at Swansea City on Monday night.
In a game full of chances, and despite looking more threatening on a number of occasions, the host side took the spoils convincingly in the end, but this evening, the scoreline did not tell the full story.
Under the beaming floodlights of Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium, a fast-paced start from both sides suggested that it was going to be a night full of action in front of goal.
The hosts stamped their mark on this front pretty quickly.
The Swans took the lead early on after a cross from Oliver McBurnie on the left side was guided in by the new signing and former Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony.
The killer for Darren Wassall’s men came towards the half hour mark.
Another similar counter from Swansea just over 10 minutes later then saw McBurnie turn from provider into goalscorer after he chased a long ball before turning it into the back of the net from close-range.
Narsingh then made it 3-0 to the hosts minutes later after a long ball through to him caught Josh Barnes out of position, leaving the wideman with an empty net in front of him.
Just before the break, Wassall’s side did manage to peg one back after Offrande Zanzala played a ball through to Luke Thomas and the latter man found the back of the net first-time, giving the Rams a fighting chance going into half-time.
Wassall’s side hit the ground running early on in the second-half and neat play between the Rams’ forward line forced Swansea deep into their own half.
And on 73 minutes their pressure told, with Bateman taking full advantage of this opportunity by heading Calum Macdonald’s corner into the top corner – reducing the deficit to just one goal.
Despite Wassall’s side appearing to have Swansea on the ropes as Kristoffer Nordfeldt denied Thomas and then Alex Babos hit the crossbar, a fourth knocked the stuffing out of them.
eorge Byers whipped in the ball to the back post from a free kick situation on 88 minutes to allow McBurnie to grab his second of the night from close range – ending any chance of a comeback from Wassall’s side.
Substitute Kenji Gorre then added further salt into Derby’s wounds during injury, adding a fifth goal to Swansea’s tally as the Rams fell to their third defeat in four Premier League 2 Division 1 matches.
Swansea City U23s: Nordfeldt, Bony (Gorre, 64), Paljk (Lewis, 35), Reid, Harries, Rodon (C), King, Fulton, McBurnie, Byers (Maric, 89), Narsingh
Substitutes not used: Zabret, Baker-Richardson
Derby County U23s: Barnes, Stabana, Karic (Walker, 77), Macdonald, Wassall (C), Cover, Thomas, Bateman, Zanzala (Mitchell-Lawson, 81), Jakobsen, Babos
Substitutions not used: Ravas, Bogle, Knight
With the scores at 3-2, the Rams were turning on the pressure for an equaliser.
Thomas saw a close-range shot saved, whilst the woodwork denied Babos. It could have been so different, but they did not take it and boy did Swansea punish Wassall’s side.
McBurnie’s header from a deep free kick killed off any chances of a comeback and, well, Gorre’s fifth goal in added time added salt to the wound and added gloss to the scoreline for the Swans.
Particularly in the first half, tricky, quick-footed play from Luke Thomas on the right caused the host side a number of problems.
Throughout the night, daring runs and quick one-twos could have very easily seen Thomas add more than just one to his tally. A prime example of this was when the young wideman beat as many as three men in the opening minutes to get a shot on goal, but his final touch was fired straight at the ‘keeper.
What’s To Come…
Premier League 2 Division 1 actions returns to Pride Park in the Under-23s next fixture as Derby host Everton next Monday.
Looking to bounce back from their defeat at Swansea, Wassall’s side will be keen to maintain their 100 per cent record at their home stadium but face a stern test against last year’s champions.
Look out for the full details of how you can attend the match across dcfc.co.uk.