The second string were undone in the first half by two bizarre goals for the visitors - whose own goal also led a charmed life when it came to protecting their lead.
A string of chances to get back into the game were squandered or saved until John Jackson offered hope of a comeback with a stunning free-kick on 75 minutes. It was not to be and a five-match unbeaten run came to an end.
"When you concede two poor goals as we did it is often a tall order to go on and win the game - but we did have the chances," reflected Chris afterwards.
"I jotted down that we had six very good chances in the first half. Credit to them, two of them were knocked off the line but, what was more disappointing is that we didn't put any of them away.
"If we had come in at 2-1 we could have gone on and won the game, but three goals in one half is difficult.
"There were lots of elements I was pleased with. Take out the two goals from the first half and it was a very good performance. The football was good and Derby couldn't have had any complaints if it was us winning at half-time."
The conceding of two poor goals and a succession of missed chances left Chris Hughton a frustrated figure following the reserves' 2-1 defeat to Derby on Monday evening.