Derby County Under-18s, powered by a stunning Malcolm Ebiowei hat-trick, ran out 5-1 victors over Leeds United to secure their third home league win on the bounce on Saturday.

The win sees the young Rams shoot up to sixth in the Under-18 Premier League - Northflas table in a performance that showcased all of Derby's greatest strengths as a side this season.

The Under-18s started the game slowly, and Harry Evans was forced to make a couple of early saves to keep the game level, the best an acrobatic stop diving to his left to stop a rasping effort from Jay Buchan, who ran through clear on goal.

Despite this, the Rams took the lead thanks to a brilliant individual goal from Ebiowei on 12 minutes. The winger showed his skill and technical ability to weave his way down the right byline and into the box before lobbing the ball over Harry Christy in the Leeds to open the scoring.

Leeds looked more likely to score the first goal, but they did not let the early setback affect them as five minutes later they bounced back. Luca Thomas was the scorer of the equaliser, showing a great striker's instinct to collect a rebounded effort and smash the ball in from close range.

The visitors controlled most of the early possession, with Derby looking to pounce on the counter-attack, which they did to great success later in the first period.

Dajuane Brown went close with two shots from just outside the box before Ola Ibrahim put the Rams back in front on 38 minutes, linking up with the former to find space down the left, charge into the area and finish excellently into the top right corner.

Ebiowei quickly followed the second goal with a brilliantly-taken free-kick just before the break that nestled into the top corner despite Christy getting a hand to the ball, as the Under-18s quickly surged into a two-goal lead ahead of half-time.

Adam Robinson's side had the momentum going into the second half. The hosts showed great composure on the ball throughout the second period, getting the ball quickly out wide when possible, which allowed Ebiowei and Ibrahim to create opportunities.

The two linked up often in the second half, with the former setting up the latter for the first big opportunity of the half; however, Ibrahim could not divert the ball into the net from an in-swinging cross.

Brown did well as the central striker to hold the ball up and bring the wide players into the game, which in the end was the key to success for the young Rams. The forward eventually had an opportunity to score himself but could not quite angle the ball into the net from around 12 yards after a couple of Ebiowei's efforts were blocked.

The home side continued to play positively and on the front foot despite holding a comfortable lead, with the Ebiowei having a handful of opportunities to grab his hat-trick goall before it eventually came in added time.

Before that, substitute Carlos Richards got in on the act, scoring with his first touch of the ball after coming off the bench, set up by the man of the moment Ebiowei as the right-winger ran through on goal and squared the ball for Richards to slot into an empty net.

After playing an instrumental role in the fourth, Ebiowei rounded off the afternoon with his third and Derby's fifth with a trademark finish, cutting onto his left foot off the byline and smashing the ball near-post past a helpless Christy in the Leeds goal.

After a rocky start, Robinson's side managed the game well after the break, controlling possession and dictating the game's pace while continuing to progress the ball quickly and wide areas, not allowing the opposition to settle in what was a near-faultless performance.

Derby County Under-18s: Evans (GK), Brailsford (C), Kelly, Fapetu, Christie, Robinson, Sebagabo, Trialist, Brown, Ibrahim (Richards 85), Ebiowei.

Substitutes Not Used: Nicholas-Davies, Roberts (GK), Dixon, Hawkins.

Words: Sam Allen