Cruz Allen’s goal and assist helped Derby County’s Under-18s to a 2-2 draw with Manchester United in the Under-18 Premier League North Division at Moor Farm Training Ground.

The Rams’ impressive display saw them become the first side to take any points from the Red Devils in their 15 league games of this campaign.

An ever-important point saw Danny Maye’s side remain fourth in the league table, as they narrowly increased the gap to Newcastle United directly behind them.

Allen opened the scoring early on with an excellent low driven strike into the bottom right-hand corner that left Tom Myles helpless in the United net.

The Rams were dominant in possession in the first 20 minutes of the afternoon as they created numerous chances but couldn’t stretch the advantage to an early two-goal lead.

United equalised midway through the first half as the ball fell to Jack Kingdon after scramble in the Derby penalty area for a thumping volley that left Harley Price with no chance.

The away side looked as if they would take the lead as Victor Musa had a free run at goal, but the attack was halted by some outstanding defensive work by Billy Gough.

The early stages of the second half saw increased dominance from the league leaders, but they had nothing to show from their possession as they created few opportunities.

Johnson Osong had a great chance to put back Derby into the lead, but his effort was driven into the hands of Myles.

Captain Luke Banks did take his chance to put the Rams back ahead, as Allen’s floated corner found him at the back post for a placed header that found itself in the back of the net.

Allen nearly saw himself pickup his second assist in just a matter of minutes as Justin Oguntolu latched on to his lobbed through ball but couldn’t beat the United goalkeeper.

United almost drew level as Musa’s looping header landed on the crossbar, but they eventually did find an equaliser in the 92nd minute through substitute Jimmy Thwaites, whose curling effort soared into the top left corner.

Derby will look to close the gap to Liverpool in their in their next fixture, as they travel away to Newcastle United on Saturday 17th February (1pm kick-off).

Derby County Under-18s: Price (GK), Perry, Gough, Tola, Banks (C), Osayande, Osong, McAndrew (Mintus 62), Oguntolu (Green 73) Allen, Agustien (Eames 53).

Unused Substitutes: Hardy, Canoville.

Words: Joe Bird.