Derby County Under-18s achieved their first win of the season and did so emphatically. They netted more goals than they had done all season in a 4-1 win against Middlesbrough at the Moor Farm Training Centre.
Astonishingly, to date, the Rams had failed to score more than one goal all season but hit four home with thanks to Bartosz Cybulski, Archie Brown, Festy Ebosele and Tyree Wilson.
After 20 minutes of dominating possession, Derby finally achieved the breakthrough they were looking for. Cybulski latched onto a rebound after Wilson’s shot proved too powerful for goalkeeper Harry Flatters to handle. The striker made no mistake from close range to put Derby in front for the first time this season.
As has often been the case this season, Derby were responsible for their own undoing just before the half-time whistle was sounded. The visitors capitalised on a Rams’ mistake as Harry Halwax gave Liam Thompson the ball deep inside their own half.The captain had the ball robbed from under his feet and was made to pay as the visiting side levelled the score.
Either side of halftime, more chances fell to Brown, Wilson and Jack Stretton before Derby – completely deservedly – regained the lead. First, Brown broke free and won a penalty as he was brought down, just as he burst into the opposition area, by a reckless sliding challenge. He got up, dusted himself off and converted the penalty himself.
No sooner than a minute later, Ebosele stormed forward from defence and claimed his reward. After his first attempted cross was blocked, the full-back decided to go for goal - when given a second chance - and found it. A low driven shot into the far corner doubled his side’s advantage.
With 10 minutes remaining, the torrential rain had stopped but Derby hadn’t. Wilson, after a plethora of chances, finally got his just reward for his outstanding performance. Positioned outside the area, Wilson pulled his shot into the far corner to put the Rams out of sight.
And that is how it ended- with Derby earning their first points of the 19/20 campaign, scoring four goals in their fourth match of the season.
What’s to come…
Perhaps their win has come at precisely the wrong time. The Young Rams head into their first break of the season, with their next game coming in two weeks’ time against Manchester United.
Amid all the brilliance of Walker’s team last season, Man United were the division’s only side unbeaten by Derby County in either of their two League meetings. The Reds took four points away from Derby, so the extra weeks preparation will be needed.
Then, it’s a small away trip to Stoke City in the last of their double-header matches in September. It is the same side that disposed of Sunderland 4-1 earlier in the season.
Derby will have to at least put on a similar performance to what they demonstrated today if they hope to get anything from either of the two tough fixtures.
Derby County Under-18s Vs Manchester United Under-18s- Saturday 14th September 2019 (kick-off: 12pm)
Stoke City Under-18s Vs Derby County Under-18s- Saturday 21st September 2019 (kick-off: 11am)