Derby County Academy players continued their preparations for the new season on Tuesday evening in a 3-0 defeat to Alfreton Town.

Pat Lyons’ fielded a mixture of Under-23s and Under-18s against the Vanerama National League North side with 21 players getting more minutes in their legs before the Premier League 2 Division 1 and Under-18s Premier League – North seasons commence.

It was Alfreton who had the earlier chances, with Ethan Stewart coming close after five minutes from a set piece. A free-kick was sent short before being delivered to the far post to be headed just over.

Minutes later, Harrison Foulkes was called into action to deny a low half-volley effort from Michael Williams.

On the 15-minute mark, Alfreton took the lead from the penalty spot. Rio Molyneux was adjudged to have been taken down by Will Grewal-Pollard, and Williams converted from the spot.

The young Rams looked for a way to get back in the game quickly and create chances. One came after 22 minutes by Festy Ebosele. The attacker made a good run before playing a one-two with Luke Plange, but his low effort from the edge of the area was a comfortable save.

Foulkes was forced into another save just ahead of half time from another Alfreton set piece. A corner was sent into the middle of the area from the left and Stewart’s point-blank header was denied by the Rams’ stopper.

Ebosele took aim again just shy of the hour mark when he was set by Alex Matthews outside the area before he turned and drilled a low effort that was deflected wide.

Moments later, the Rams were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area which Ozzie Aghatise curled towards the near corner and palmed around the post.

However, it was Alfreton who doubled their lead just two minutes after Derby’s hard work when Connor Branson floated a shot from range over Foulkes.

With 20 minutes to play, a raft of Rams substitutes came on to get minutes under their belts and the fresh legs saw some more fluidity in the Derby side. However, they were unable to create a chance before Alfreton got a last minute third goal.

Alfie Roberts made an initial save to deny a close-range effort from Matt Rhead, but the rebound fell perfectly for Adam Lund to tap in.

Derby County: Harrison Foulks (Alfie Roberts, 69), Max Bardell (Kain Ryan, 69), Will Grewal-Pollard (Eli Christie, 69), CJ Clarke (Alex Matthews, 45), Harrison Solomon, Eiran Cashin (Riley Moloney, 45), Luke Plange (Zion Dixon, 69), Andres de Gracia (Darren Robinson, 45), Bart Cybulski (Dubem Eze, 45), Ozzie Aghatise (Rhys Brailsford, 69) Festy Ebosele (Reece Nicholas-Davies, 69)