Derby County’s Under-23s began their 2021/22 Premier League Cup campaign with a thrilling 3-3 draw at Norwich City on Monday afternoon.
The Rams are in Group C of the competition alongside Norwich, Charlton Athletic and Reading and Pat Lyons’ side were forced to settle for a point in East Anglia despite leading 3-1 going into the latter stages of the game.
Lyons named three trialists in the matchday squad in the form of Brad Burton, Reece Hutchinson and Ali Al Hamadi, while recent signing from Rangers Malcolm Ebiowei was named on the bench.
Derby took the lead after just 15 minutes at the Canaries’ Lotus Training Centre as Osazee Aghatise charged into the penalty area before keeping his cool to slot the ball beyond the reach of Dylan Berry in the home goal.
The hosts equalised two minutes before half-time through Tom Dickson-Peters, who found the back of the net from close range after Jon Rowe picked him out.
Derby responded straight away though as Bartosz Cybulski scored his first goal of the campaign to restore their advantage in added time at the end of the half. The Polish youth international striker headed home from a few yards out after his initial effort had hit the crossbar.
Substitute Al Hamadi scored Derby’s third from the penalty spot midway through the second half after he was brought down in the box by Saxon Earley.
That looked to have the Rams on track for their first win of the season, but Norwich hit back in the latter stages.
Dickson-Peters pulled a goal back with just under ten minutes remaining for the home side after going clear on goal, before he completed his hat-trick in added time as Norwich applied plenty of late pressure.
Derby’s Under-23s return to Premier League 2 - Division 1 action next Monday when they welcome West Ham United to Loughborough University Stadium (7pm kick-off).
Their next Premier League Cup fixture is on Monday 11th October against Charlton Athletic, also at Loughborough (7pm kick-off).
Norwich City Under-23s: Berry, Earley, Tomkinson (C), Warner, Giurgi, Gibbs, Kamara, Clarke (Khumbeni 46), Springett, Rowe, Dickson-Peters.
Substitutes: Rose, Brooke, Shipley, Hutchinson.
Derby County Under-23s: Foulkes, Burton, R Hutchinson, L Thompson, Bardell, Cashin (C), S Thompson (Al Hamadi 65), Clarke, Cybulski, Dixon, Aghatise.
Substitutes: Solomon, Randle, Grewal-Pollard, Ebiowei.