Derby County Under-23s progressed through to the Quarter Finals of the Derbyshire Senior Cup following a penalty shoot-out victory over Clay Cross Town after the game ended 1-1 in normal time.
Alex Babos, Jordan Brown, Josh Shonibare and Bartosz Cybulski all converted from the spot whilst goalkeeper Josh Barnes was the hero, saving a spot kick to ensure the Rams won 4-2 on penalties and set up a Quarter Final tie against New Mills FC.
But the Rams were made to work for their victory as they were held for large parts of the game by a resolute Clay Cross side.
The hosts took an early lead after a pinpoint cross found the head of the onrushing forward and it looped over Barnes’ head to give Clay Cross a dream start.
Derby controlled possession, however, found it tough to break down a stubborn Clay Cross side.
They did finally equalise on the stroke of half time as Cameron Cresswell’s shot was saved, and it fell into the path of Babos who rounded the goalkeeper and placed the ball into an empty goal.
Derby had chances to go ahead in the second half. Firstly, Shonibare headed wide in the first minute of the half, whilst after the hour mark Cresswell was denied on the line as his goalbound effort was cleared away.
Clay Cross managed to hold on despite heavy pressure from the Rams and forced penalties.
After four clinical spot kicks, Clay Cross’ third smashed against the crossbar before Shonibare gave the Rams the advantage.
Barnes was then the hero as he made a fine save to allow Cybulski the chance to win the tie for the Rams, which he dually delivered, sending the Clay Cross goalkeeper the wrong way to set up the tie against New Mills FC.
Derby County Under-23s: Barnes, Bardell, Wassall (c), Minkley, J.Brown, Bateman, Babos, Greco (Grewal-Pollard 60’), Shonibare, Cresswell (Thompson 76’), Splatt (Cybulski 69’).