Derby County Under-23s earned their second-straight victory with a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Loughborough University Stadium.
The Rams successfully backed up their impressive 4-1 victory over Liverpool last week as Cameron Cresswell struck in back-to-back games.
Spurs were reduced to ten men after just 20 minutes when Marges Muir hauled Josh Shonibare down on the edge of the box. The resulting free-kick was initially blocked, before Cresswell rifled in the only goal of the game from close range
The opening stages set the stage for a physical match-up between the two sides, but no early chances fell.
Shonibare came the closest when he latched on to a throw-in by Festy Ebosele into the area and his half-volley whistled past the post.
On the 21-minute mark, Shonibare was in the thick of the action again when he ran clear through on goal, only to be hauled down by Muir.
The referee quickly blew the whistle and the Tottenham defender was shown a straight red card and the Rams won a free-kick on the edge of the box. Jordan Brown managed to sneak the delivery under the wall, but it was blocked in the crowded area. Cresswell was there however, to lash the ball in the back of the net from close range.
Five minutes later, Tottenham looked to quickly recover when Nile John won the ball back on the edge of the box. He drove into the area and curled an effort just wide of the mark.
In the closing stages of the half, it was Derby who looked likely to extend their lead. Jayden Mitchell-Lawson sprinted onto a brilliant throughball from Connor Dixon.
The forward went one-on-one with Joshua Oluwayemi and the Spurs ‘keeper met his shot. But as the ball ricocheted high in the area, it dropped behind the visiting stopper and Tyree Wilson spotted the opportunity, but Oluwayemi regained his bearings and recovered enough to punch the ball away first.
Spurs had one final effort just ahead of the break when a free-kick was delivered into the box. Eiran Cashin got a strong head on it to make the clearance, but only as far as John on the edge of the box who struck on the half-volley. His effort was deflected just wide of the mark.
Just minutes into the second half, Derby came close again. Cashin intercepted a Totthenham throw-in and headed forward. Shonibare pinged the ball over for Wilson to drive into the left of the area. The winger crossed in and George Marsh got ahead of Cresswell, but in doing so, almost converted into the top corner of his own net, but Oluwayemi made the save.
George Sykes-Kenworthy was called in midway through the half to deny Alfie Devine after the forward raced on to a ball over the top from his keeper. The Rams’ stopper made the important block and the resulting corner was safely cleared.
Derby had one final chance in the game when Wilson’s outswinging free-kick found J. Brown at the back of the area. The defender sent the ball back into the crowded area and A. Brown stuck on target, but saw his effort palmed away before Dixon drilled the second chance over.
Derby County: Sykes-Kenwothy, Ebosele, A. Brown, Thompson, J. Brown, Cashin, Mitchell-Lawson, Dixon, Cresswell, Shonibare (Williams, 66), Wilson
Unused Substitutes: Foster, Bateman, Aghatise, Cybulski
Tottenham Hotspur: Oluwayemi, Marsh, Cirkin, Bowden (Lavinier, 72), Muir, Omole, Bennett (Craig, 45), John, Etete (Thorpe, 52), Devine, Markanday
Unused Substitutes: Lo-Tulala, Pedder