A mixture of Derby County's Under-23s and Under-18s racked up more pre-season minutes in a 2-1 victory over Loughborough University at Moor Farm Training Ground on Friday afternoon.
Pat Lyons fielded separate teams for the two halves to give plenty of young Rams more playing time under their belts ahead of the 2021/22 season.
After a steady opening 15 minutes from both sides in the blazing hot afternoon sunshine, Derby got off the mark on 12 minutes. Max Bardell shrugged off two markers down the right flank before playing in Trialist B into the area.
The winger waltzed past the defenders in the area and struck across goal. The visiting keeper got a hand to the effort, but the power saw it fly into the far corner.
Five minutes later, the trialist in goal for the Rams was forced to make back-to-back saves from close range to deny Loughborough a leveller.
Derby’s lead was doubled just ahead of half time when first-year scholar Riley Moloney drilled a ball into the area, which was turned into the net by a Loughborough player from close range.
In the opening stages of the second half, Derby kept held of possession well, but their patient play didn’t create any clear opportunities. That gave the visitors a chance to build into the half and they came close to pulling a goal back midway through when a corner flew towards the back post, but was cleared well by the Derby defence.
However, the visitors did get a goal with just five minutes left to play. A good run by Sackey ended with him squaring the ball for O’Toole to neatly convert at the back post.
There was a final chance for a late equaliser when O’Toole was brought down by Eli Christie just outside of the area. The free-kick was on target, but was dealt with by Rams goalkeeper Harvey Randle.
Derby County First-Half: Trialist A, Moore, Moloney, Clarke, Bardell, Grewal-Pollard, Trialist B, Robinson, Plange, Sebagabo, Dixon
Derby County Second-Half: Trialist A (Randle, 63), Brailsford, Christie, Solomon, de Gracia, Matthews, Aghatise, Fapetu, Nicholas-Davies, Cybulski, Trialist C (Kelly, 66).
Next up for Derby's Under-23s is an away friendly at Alfreton Town on Tuesday 20th July (7:45pm kick-off).