Derby County Under-23s ended their Premier League 2 Division 1 campaign in style, beating 10-man Manchester United 3-1 at Leigh Sports Village.
The Rams ran riot in the second half as Cameron Cresswell bagged a brace, whilst Louie Watson also added his name to the scoresheet on a convincing night for Derby.
Manchester United did lead at the break courtesy of Hannibal’s strike midway through the first half, whilst he turned villain in the second half, earning a second booking for his vigourous protests.
But, the night belonged to the Rams as they finished the season strongly, earning a respectable sixth-placed finish in the division.
Pat Lyons had a number of players who had featured in the first team recently available for the final game against the Red Devils.
And it was evident in the early stages as Derby settled into the game nicely, despite suffering defeat against United only a week previous.
Kornell McDonald showed some neat touches on the right-hand side, whilst Jordan Brown and Liam Watson looked to get on the ball in the middle of the park.
Another player around the first team, Connor Dixon, provided Derby with their first opportunity of the game as he crossed in the opening 10 minutes for Festy Ebosele, who was playing as a central striker, but his header was saved by United goalkeeper Ondrej Mastny.
Against the run of play, Manchester United took the lead. Hannibal was allowed space to shoot from 20 yards and found the top corner, however, the goal would not phase the Rams as they immediately searched for an equaliser.
Brown was denied from a corner on the half hour mark, on the stroke of half time, Dylan Williams found Cameron Cresswell at the back post but his header went wide.
But the striker would get his name on the scoresheet seven minutes into the second half as he headed home the equaliser.
The Rams played some neat passing on the edge of the box before the ball found Connor Dixon on the right. He crossed to Cresswell in the centre and his header powered past the goalkeeper to equalise.
Shortly after, the home side were reduced to 10-men as Hannibal picked up a second yellow card for dissent. And Derby capitalised on their man advantage almost immediately as they took the lead.
Again, it was good build up from Derby. The ball found its way to McDonald on the right hand side, he pulled it back to Ebosele who touched the ball into the path of Watson to fire Derby into the lead.
Two soon became three as Derby’s dominance shone through as Cresswell netted his second of the evening, curling into the corner to finish the season off in style.
The Rams could have had more before the evening was out as Brown and Liam Thompson were denied by the goalkeeper, but the Rams saw the game out professionally and secured the valuable three points to take them above United in the league standings and finish sixth.
Manchester United: Mastny, Wellens, Devine, Taylor (Fernandez 63’), Fish ©, McCann, Shoretire, Hansen (Forson 63’), McNeill, Hannibal, Helm (Savage 33’).
Derby County: Yates, McDonald (Bardell 70’), Williams, Brown, Bateman, Cashin ©, Dixon, Thompson, Cresswell, Ebosele, Watson (Plange 90’).
Substitutes: Sykes-Kenworthy, Grewal-Pollard, Clarke.