Our under-23s secured a vital Premier League 2 victory on Tuesday night as they ran out 3-2 winners against Derby County.
Miguel Azeez and Joel Lopez both started just two days on from being named in our first-team matchday squad against Sheffield United, while 17-year-old Zane Monlouis stepped in at right back.
Heading into this fixture off the back of victories against Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, Derby started the game full of confidence and after a lengthy spell of possession, deservedly opened the scoring through Cameron Cresswell.
Joel Lopez committed a clumsy foul inside the penalty area and Cresswell duly converted from 12 yards.
Following the restart, we upped our intensity in the final third and went on to equalise against the run of play. A loose ball dropped to Kido Taylor-Hart inside the area following a set piece, and the 18-year-old swivelled with a silky first touch, before firing into the bottom corner.
We would spend just two minutes back on level terms, though, as Derby raced forward on the counter and exposed our backline, leaving Josh Shonibare to coolly finish past Karl Hein.
But our youngsters kept their cool and despite Derby’s dominance in possession, we continued to look a threat on the break.
Trae Coyle was outstanding all evening on the right wing, and after breaking free inside the penalty area to reach the byline, picked out Folarin Balogun who made no mistake in finding the bottom corner.
Both sides continued to push forward in search of a winner in the closing stages, but with an inviting delivery from Trae Coyle and some good fortune, Joe Bateman inadvertently bundled the ball into his own net and handed us all three points.
WHAT IT MEANS
Up next, we will face Leicester City on Monday, April 26.
The game will take place at Leicester City's Training Ground with kick-off at 7pm (UK time).
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