Two goals from Luke Thomas and further strikes from Mason Bennett and Tom Huddlestone ensured that Derby County got pre-season off to a winning start with a 4-1 victory over Notts County at Meadow Lane.

19-year-old Thomas - who made two first team appearances last term - opened the scoring for Frank Lampard’s side after just two minutes before adding his second before the break.

Bennett made it three after 10 minutes of the second-half, before Kane Hemmings pulled one back from the spot for the hosts.

Huddlestone then rounded off the scoring with a crisp finish from range.

The Rams settled into their passing rhythm from the off and with Jayden Bogle and Thomas operating down the right-hand side, Notts had to deal with some serious pace.

It took just two minutes for the young duo to combine for the opening goal, with the right-back sliding a superb ball down the line for Thomas, and the forward turned back on his left foot before firing home at the near post.

Lampard’s side were keeping the ball brilliantly with Tom Lawrence was looking particularly lively as he struck the crossbar after half an hour.

Derby doubled their lead seven minutes later, with Thomas finishing clinically on his right-side after another sustained spell of possession.

Nine changes were made at the break with a further two early in the second-half, but before that, Bennett made it three with a simple finish after Nick Blackman’s deflected shot fell into his path.

The game became more disjointed as the Magpies made a series of substitutions, and the hosts began to create chances of their own.

They got a goal back after Curtis Davies brought down his man inside the area, with Hemmings converting from the spot.

Derby restored their three-goal lead with seven minutes to play, as Huddlestone rifled home from just outside the box.

Notts County: Fitzsimons, Tootle, Hewitt, Hall, Alessandra, Vaughan, Thomas, Boldewijn, Brisley, Jones, Stead.

Substitutes: Pindroch, Bird, Duffy, Kennedy-Williams, Hemmings, Husin, Hawkridge, Crawford, Osborne, Howes, He, Campbell.

Derby County (First-Half): Roos, Bogle, Forsyth, Keogh, Pearce, Ledley, Thomas, Bryson, Nugent, Johnson, Lawrence.

Derby County (Second-Half): Mitchell, Bryson (Butterfield, 57’), Johnson (Elsnik, 57’), Wisdom, Hanson, Davies, Lowe, Huddlestone, Jerome, Bennett, Blackman.

Next Up…

The Rams head to Field Mill on Wednesday night to take on Mansfield Town (kick-off: 7:30pm), ahead of facing Southampton at Pride Park Stadium the following Saturday, kick-off: 3pm.