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Derby U21s 2 Blues U21s 0

Posted: Tue 15 Apr 2014
Author: James Jeavons

Akwasi Asante

Image by: PA Photos

Blues U21s finished their Professional Development League Two North campaign on a disappointing note, as they were beaten 2-0 by Derby County at the iPro Stadium.

It was a brace from the Rams academy scholar Callum Guy that did the damage for the hosts.

Blues went into the fixture unbeaten in their last eight outings, and looking to make it seven victories in eight games following their 2-2 draw against Coventry City last week.

Both teams included players with first team experience with Scott Allan, Demarai Gray and Akwasi Asante (pictured) all involved in the Blues starting XI.

It was inside the first minute of the game that brought about the first chance of the game, as Blues keeper Connal Trueman saved well at the feet of England youth international Mason Bennett, who looked bright in the early stages.

The home side who continued to dominate in the opening minutes, as Blues full-back Nathan Kelly made a superb block from an effort from Rams winger Callum Guy, to then see the ball strike the bottom of the post in just the fifth minute.

Just two minutes later and it was Guy who was threatening the Blues goal again, with the winger cutting in from the right and striking a left-footed effort just wide of Trueman’s left hand post.

The pressure finally paid off for the Rams in the 15th minute. Following some good build up play by the home side down the left, Bennett whipped a teasing ball in and it found the head of Guy at the far post who then guided his header past the onrushing Trueman.

Just eight minutes later the home side double their lead. In a similar fashion to the opener, Rams full-back Luke Hendrie whipped a dangerous ball in from the left to only see it flicked on by Bennett in the middle of the six-yard box and then tapped home at the back post by Guy.

With Blues struggling to gain any real momentum in the game, it was the East Midlands side that threatened again. In the 43rd minute and following some good build up play in midfield, Rams winger Andrew Dales fed through Bennett to then only see him drag his effort from eighteen yards wide of Trueman’s right hand post.

Things certainly didn’t improve for Blues with the game edging towards half time, as Blues midfielder Reece Hales limped off injured just five minutes before the break.

Half-time: Derby County 21s 2 Blues 21s 0

With Blues looking to gain a foothold in the game, midfielder Liam Truslove was replaced at break by forward Kyle McFarlane.

However it was the Rams who continued to dominate and in the 52nd minute some good trickery from Dales allowed him to set Bennett free, but it was Trueman who came out on top, making a good save down low to his right hand post.

As the hour mark approached it was the men in black and white who threatened again, after some good build up in midfield allowed Guy to feed Dales down the right hand channel, only to see his shot fly high and wide over the bar.

As the Rams looked for more it was up to Trueman to keep the score the deficit at two, with the Blues keeper making an excellent save from a Mark O’Brien header as a result of a corner in the 75th minute.

As the Rams pressure continued it was again up to Trueman to keep the Derby front line out. In the 79th minute the Blues keeper again pulled off a superb save from a corner, this time from a Josh Lelan glancing header.

With the game beginning to peter out, Blues continued their search for a consolation goal with McFarlane firing a low ferocious effort from 20 yards, wide of former Blues academy keeper Adam Legzdins’ right hand post in the 84th minute.

With the remainder of the game being played in midfield, Blues had to settle for a 2-0 defeat.

Derby U21s: Legzdins (GK), Hayes, Hendrie, N. Dawkins (Moulton 89’) O’Brien, Lelan, Guy (Revan 84’) Wassall, Bennett, Vernam (Zanzala 74’) Dales
Subs not used: Barnes, Rawson.

Blues U21s: Trueman (GK), Dacres-Cogley, Kelly, Webb (Higgins 87’) Fry, Swan, Gray, Truslove (McFarlane 45’) Asante, Allan, Hales (McDonald 40’)
Subs not used: Preston, Moseley.
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