Derby County Under-18s finished their pre-season campaign unbeaten as they ended a run of four straight victories with a 2-2 draw in their final match against Norwich City at the Training Centre in partnership with University of Derby.
Eiran Cashin and Osazee Aghatise got Derby off to a flyer before Justin Walker’s side were pinned back by two Norwich goals either end of the half-time whistle.
Derby went into the game full of confidence from their last four matches and it showed.
They couldn’t have started the game more brightly and were ahead after just three minutes. Cashin has returned to the under-18 side with great effect and converted a Jaden Charles corner with a brilliant sliding finish.
Not even a minute later, Derby doubled their lead. Continuing his impressive showing in pre-season, Archie Brown capitalised on a loose back pass before unselfishly cutting the ball back to Aghatise who finished well on the half-volley.
Charles’ set pieces continued to trouble the visitors as he looked to have put the Rams out of sight after just 15 minutes; his 20-yard freekick, though, rattled the top of the crossbar.
Derby were made to pay for their missed chances when, not long before half-time, Norwich pulled a goal back after Derby failed to clear their lines. The ball was rather untidily bundled over Harry Halwax’s line.
Then, on the hour mark, Norwich levelled the score as a through ball evaded the approaching Halwax leaving the goal vacant for the Norwich attacker to comfortably convert.
The match ended that way in a game Derby could have has sealed inside 15 minutes. Nevertheless, Walker’s team still ends the season preparations unbeaten, scoring 16 goals in just five matches.
WHAT’S TO COME
After a tough and demanding run of pre-season games, Derby now have to prepare for the start of the Premier League- North campaign.
First, though, they will enjoy a trip to the home of English football to compete in a tournament at St George’s Park. This will be the sides last chance to prepare their match fitness before the beginning of the season.
After that, it’s crunch time as Walker’s side have just six days to train ahead of their opening match of the season. They will head to Finch Farm to face Everton on the opening day.
Everton Under-18s vs Derby County Under-18s- Saturday 10th August (Kick-off 11:30am)
Derby County Under-18s vs West Bromwich Albion Under-18s- Saturday 17th August (Kick-off 11am)
Newcastle United vs Derby County Under-18s- Saturday 24th August (Kick-off 1pm)
Derby County Under-18s vs Middlesbrough- Saturday 31st August (Kick-off 1pm)
Derby County Under-18s vs Manchester United- Saturday 14th September (Kick-off 12pm)