Under-23s pegged back by Rams
Derby County 2-2 Spurs (Premier League 2)
Mon 13 January 2020, 21:20|Tottenham Hotspur
Elliot Thorpe scored his first goal in the Premier League 2 as our Under-23s were hauled back by Derby County in a classic 'game of two halves' that ended 2-2 at Loughborough University on Monday evening.
Thorpe, 19, provided a crisp finish from Dilan Markanday's low cross to open the scoring in the 10th minute as we flew out of the traps against the team second in the table at the start of play.
It was soon 2-0 when Luis Binks headed home Harvey White's corner and we could have been out of sight by the time Derby pulled a goal back via Jordan Brown in the final seconds of added time in the first half.
That was a telling blow, as momentum turned in the second half. Derby slowly got on top, equalised through Morgan Whittaker on 73 minutes and pushed on for victory, creating chances in the final minutes. We held on and over the 90 minutes, deserved that point.
Shilow Tracey and Markanday caused problems down both flanks from the off. Tracey set-up Rodel Richards inside two minutes and Markanday provided the opener for Thorpe on 10 minutes, a bit of movement allowed Brooklyn Lyons-Foster to find him with a throw and his low cross was dispatched impressively by Thorpe. Richards was then denied by Henrich Ravas and Markanday placed the follow up just wide.
Derby's cause wasn't helped by a double injury blow to Kornell McDonald and Krystian Bielek inside the first 18 minutes, Bielek's injury required lengthy treatment.
We made it 2-0 on 19 minutes when Binks met White's corner at the near post and glanced into the far corner. We were in charge at that point but failed to capitalise as White headed over, Ravas managed to turn TJ Eyoma's effort over the bar, Richards glanced another White corner across the face of goal and Binks volleyed over from just inside the box.
Derby had threatened and fired a warning on 36 minutes when Jahmal Hector-Ingram hit the post. That should have been that for the first half but we conceded a free-kick in the final minute of seven added for the injuries and Brown was left unchallenged to head home Babos' free-kick to hand the Rams a lift going into half-time.
We struggled to get going after the break as Derby grew in confidence. White actually went close with a dipper from 25 yards just after the hour but Derby started to create chances. Joshua Shonibare was off target twice before the equaliser, Whittaker's snapshot from the edge of the box took a slight deflection and flew home off the underside of the crossbar.
We were hanging on after that. Brown, Shonibare, Babos and Hector-Ingram all had chances in the final 10 minutes and Louie Sibley's effort took a huge deflection, looped over Brandon Austin and struck the crossbar. That was the slice of luck we needed to take a point back down the M1, but going home without reward would have been harsh after that first half display.
You could point to missing chances to take the game out of reach at 3-0 by half-time but the key moment has to be Derby's goal in the final seconds of added time at the end of the first half. Instead of 3-0 or better in our favour, Derby were back in it at 2-1.
Wayne Burnett said: "I thought we played reasonably well in the first half and with the chances we created, I don't think anyone would have argued if we'd have been three or four up at half-time. Instead, we gave a goal away, a crucial goal because the timing gave them a lift and then it's a different game. We didn't really continue to play in the second half as we did in the first half and that's disappointing. The players are disappointed that we haven't come away with the three points. It's a difficult place to come and people will say 'it's a good result' but on our first half performance, we should really have the three points. We haven't, and in the end, we were probably hanging on for a draw. Players have to learn, they have to understand and in a football sense, we have to mature a little quicker as individuals and a group."
Derby County 2-2 Spurs (Premier League 2)
Derby County: Ravas, Minkley, McDonald (Ebosele 5), Brown, Bielek (Brown 18) Wassall, Whittaker, Babos, Hector-Ingram, Sibley, Cresswell (Shonibare 60). Substitutes (not used): Barnes, Thompson.
Spurs: Austin, Eyoma (c), Lyons-Foster, Hinds, Fagan-Walcott, Binks, Tracey, White, Richards (R Clarke 83), Thorpe (Patterson 74), Markanday (Dinzeyi 87). Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Statham.
Goals: Derby - Brown 45+6, Whittaker 73; Spurs - Thorpe 10, Binks 19.
Yellow cards: Derby - Sibley 86; Spurs - Thorpe 27, Eyoma 39.
Referee: Thomas Parsons.
Venue: Loughborough University Stadium.
Weather: Heavy rain, six degrees at kick-off.