Derby County Under-18s were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup after a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at Pride Park on Thursday evening.
The Rams went ahead through Tyree Wilson’s penalty shortly before half-time but City struck back with goals from Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Jeremie Frimpong to win the tie.
It was City who would have the first shot in anger of the contest as Jayden Braaf cut inside and forced comfortable save from Sam French with a powerful effort from just outside the area.
However, Derby soon built a period of pressure of their own and Jack Stretton had a shot that was charged down well by the City defence as they looked to open the scoring.
Justin Walker’s side were looking up for the occasion at Pride Park and they soon went within inches of breaking the deadlock.
Louie Sibley broke into the box down the right and lofted a cross towards the back post, but the ball clipped off the crossbar and bounced away from danger; much to the relief of the visitors who were able to clear.
A corner then almost saw City take the lead through substitute Taylor Richards. The forward won his header well but could only direct straight into the hands of French.
The Rams were still looking dangerous going forward though and they were handed a huge opportunity to go ahead in the tie shortly before half-time.
Louie Sibley was taken down in the penalty area after a clever run and Tyree Wilson stepped up to roll the resulting spot-kick in coolly.
Minutes into the second period, City would have an ideal opportunity to draw level Ben Knight missed the target with just French to beat.
They were dealt a blow when Felix Nmecha was sent off, but two quickfire goals then turned the tie in their favour.
First, Taylor Harwood-Bellis headed home from a corner and then Jeremie Frimpong broke beyond the Rams defence to fire his side into a 2-1 lead after 60 minutes.
Eiran Cashin and Jason Knight were sent off late on as Derby ended the night with nine men but the City held on to their slender lead to advance to the next round.
Derby’s next fixture sees them travel north to face Middlesbrough in the Under-18s Premier League Cup on the 16th February.