Derby County Under-21s win at Barnsley to stay in touch with leaders Leicester City U21s
DERBY County under-21s beat Barnsley 2-0 yesterday to record a fifth win in six matches.
The victory keeps them second behind leaders Leicester City in Division Two North of the Professional Development League.
Both goals came in the second half of the game at Barnsley's Oakwell Academy Complex.
The first was an own goal from midfielder John Rooney, the 21-year-old brother of Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney.
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Defender Jamie Hanson curled in a free kick for the Rams' second.
Hanson is becoming something of a set-piece specialist having struck one in each of the FA Youth Cup victories over Ipswich Town and Chelsea.
Ross Atkins, Michael Jacobs, Conor Doyle and Michael Hoganson lined up for Derby. Jacobs and Doyle, both 21, were the oldest of the outfield players.
Barnsley carried more of a threat in the first half, mainly through striker Danny Rose.
He sent a shot narrowly wide after getting the better of Josh Lelan and then hit a volley straight at Atkins, who also saved well from Toni Silva shortly before the break.
Derby's play in the first period was very one-sided, down the right, despite them having Jacobs and Hoganson on the left.
The Rams went close from a couple of corners and crosses but they improved in the second half when they held their shape better.
Andy Dales impressed, driving the team on from central midfield where he played alongside triallist Sam Smith, a second-year scholar at Tottenham Hotspur.
Two shots from Doyle and one from Dales fizzed wide early in the second half before the Rams took the lead after 58 minutes.
Kwame Thomas flicked on Hoganson's corner at the near post and Ben Alnwick saved with his feet only for the ball to rebound back off Rooney and trickle over the line for an own goal.
The Rams doubled their lead after 73 minutes when Hanson's fine free kick from 22 yards found the top corner, leaving Alnwick rooted to the spot.
Atkins made three excellent saves to preserve a clean sheet as Derby's battling qualities kept Barnsley at bay in the difficult wet and muddy conditions.
BARNSLEY: Alnwick; Stead, Scott, Kilburn, Jones, Patterson, Rooney, Silva, Rose, Noble-Lazarus, Knight.
DERBY COUNTY: Atkins; Hayes, Lelan, Hanson, Hoganson; Wixted (Sharpe, 65), Smith, Dales, Jacobs; Doyle, Thomas. Other subs: Morch (gk), Rawson, Wassall.
DERBY County's under-21 fixture away at Wigan Athletic has been rearranged for Wednesday, April 24, kick off 2pm.
The match was due to be played earlier this month but was called off due to a frozen pitch.