Derby County Under-21s recorded their second Premier League 2 win of the season on Monday night, thumping Reading 5-1 at the Loughborough University Stadium.

First-half goals from Harry Hawkins and Ryan Bartley set the young Rams on the road to victory, before a red card for Royals striker Jayden Wareham left the visitors with a mountain to climb in the second period.

After having a hand in the first two, Riley Moloney's turn and cross caused the unfortunate Michael Stickland to put into his own net for Derby's third goal, before his free-kick found Bartley for his second of the evening with 20 to play.

Substitute Lennon Wheeldon then got in on the act with an excellent finish, before Adrian Akande netted a late consolation for the Royals.

There was little to report from the opener quarter of an hour, with the exception of a routine Jack Thompson save from an early looping header by Wareham.

Derby began to grow into the game, though, and after a good spell of pressure came to an end when Moloney couldn't generate any power on a Tony Weston cross, they were back on the offensive and found themselves ahead on 20 minutes.

Moloney was the architect with an inviting, inswinging corner from the right-hand side that central defender Bartley rose brilliantly to meet - only to be thwarted by the crossbar. Hawkins followed in, though, and he was not to be denied, despite the best efforts of Reading keeper Harvey Collins, who got a strong hand to his headed rebound.

Seven minutes later, the lead was doubled. Another Moloney corner, this time from the left, was powered at goal by Keilen Robinson and Collins made a strong stop to keep him out. Bartley, his central defensive partner, was on hand to finish from six yards out on the follow-up, though.

Derby's position would look even stronger moments later as, just after the half-hour, Reading striker Wareham had a kick out at Adebayo Fapetu after seeing his shot from the edge of the area saved. The refereee gave the forward his marching orders.

The Royals reacted well to the red card and a flurry of dangerous deliveries went into the Derby box as half-time loomed, but the young Rams sprung a rapid break that could have had them three up by the interval.

Fapetu won possession as the visitors looked to recycle in the centre of the park and he set Moloney away. His pass freed Niall McAndrew, who slotted a lovely ball through for Dajaune Brown. The striker took it in his stride before striking powerfully from the edge of the box but Collins made an excellent save to keep him out.

Inside four additional first-half minutes, Weston sent an effort high and wide from just outside the box before McAndrew's low shot at the end of a driving run through the middle of the field was well saved by Collins. But there were to be no more goals before the referee called time on the opening period.

Brown, Fapetu and Jack Perry made way for Wheeldon, Cruz Allen and Callum Moore at the break and, shortly after Thompson had saved from Akande, substitute Allen forced Collins into a smart low stop.

Despite their man disadvantage, Reading still posed a threat and Basil Tuma might have done better when he met a whipped right-wing cross from Sam Paul with a stooping header, but he sent it wide of the target.

Any hope the visitors had of an unlikely turnaround was extinguished on 62 minutes, though, as Derby grabbed a third and Moloney was at the heart of it once more.

After a patient spell of possession in the Reading half, Weston played the ball into the 18-year-old's feet inside the area. An excellent piece of skill got him away from his marker and he drove a low cross into the six-yard box, where defender Stickland could do little else but turn the ball into his own net.

The young Rams were in no mood to relent, and three became four on 70 minutes when am inviting Moloney free-kick was sent into the bottom corner by Bartley for his second of the evening.

Akande struck the frame of the goal with a fine curling effort eight minutes from time as the visitors went in search of a consolation.

But it would be Derby who'd find the target again next, with substitute Wheeldon finishing brilliantly after receiving a pass from Hawkins inside the Reading box.

Robinson made an excellent goal-line clearance after Reading substitute Jahmari Clarke got in behind to lift over Thompson, but the visitors did grab a consolation through Akande when he pounced on a loose ball in the box during stoppage time.

But that wouldn't take away from a fantastic night for Jake Buxton's side, who followed up their Derbyshire Senior Cup win at Staveley Miners Welfare with a hugely impressive victory.

Derby County Under-21s: Thompson, Perry (Moore 46'), Bartley, Robinson, Jeffcott, Fapetu (C) (Allen 46'), Hawkins, McAndrew, Weston (Richards 71'), Moloney, Brown (Wheeldon 46').

Subs not used: Ridd.

Reading Under-21s: Collins, Paul, Ryan, Purcell (Okine-Peters 65'), Stickland, Beacroft, Akande, Spencer, Wareham, Wellens, Tuma (Clarke 65').

Subs not used: Rowley, Barough, Coke-Miles-Smith.