Derby County’s Under-23s suffered a third successive defeat at the start of the 2021/22 season in Premier League 2 - Division 1 on Friday night.

Pat Lyons’ youthful side were beaten 1-0 by Everton at Southport FC’s The Pure Stadium in a tightly contested encounter.

The home side scored the only goal of the game after just four minutes as Charlie Whitaker drove a low shot beyond the reach of Harrison Foulkes in the Derby goal.

The Rams pushed hard to force their way back into the encounter but were unable to break down the Toffees’ stubborn backline.

Lyons’ side applied plenty of pressure of six minutes of additional time, but were unable to make their pressure count.

The Rams’ Under-23s are back on the road on Monday 13th September when they make the long journey to Norwich City in the Premier League Cup (12:30pm), before returning to Premier League 2 - Division 1 action at home to West Ham United at Loughborough University Stadium on Monday 20th September (7pm kick-off).

Everton Under-23s: Leban, Mills, Campbell, Astley, Welch, Anderson, Butterfield, Warrington (Hughes 64), Dobbin (Cannon 73), Price, Whitaker (McAllister 82).

Substitutes Not Used: Barrett, Hunt.

Derby County Under-23s: Foulkes, Bardell, Grewal-Pollard, L Thompson, Solomon, S Thompson (Plange 60), Dixon, Cybulski, Hutchinson, Aghatise (Richards 82).

Substitutes Not Used: Brailsford, Roberts, Clarke.