Notts County went down 2-0 in their latest pre-season friendly at the hands of a youthful Derby County side at Meadow Lane.
A first-half header from youngster Eiran Cashin was compounded late on through Derby captain Tom Lawrence from the penalty spot.
Ian Burchnall will feel the scoreline didn’t reflect his side’s second-half showing after a number of good chances weren’t capitalised on.
Visiting manager Wayne Rooney named a young side to face the Magpies as a result of an ongoing transfer embargo preventing the club from signing players.
The opening stages of the match were nervy, with neither side willing to show their hand too much.
Full-back Festy Ebosele looked dangerous down the right flank from the first whistle, using his pace to beat two Magpies defenders and break into the box, only for his cross to go behind.
Moments later and Isaac Hutchinson tested Sam Slocombe with a stinging effort that the keeper could only parry away.
Louie Sibley showed his quality on 24 minutes, bursting into the box with a sweeping turn. Yet the midfielder was forced off the ball by his marker and any appeal for a penalty was waved away by referee Garreth Rhodes.
The hosts grew into the contest as the half progressed with Joel Taylor forcing Ebosele into a last-ditch block to deny his strike after some neat build up from Cal Roberts.
Colin Kazim-Richards broke into the box and found a yard of space with five minutes of the half remaining.
His effort was tipped round the post by Slocombe, but the resulting corner did find the net.
Sibley’s lofted corner to the back post found the young defender Eiran Cashin who headed home on his first start for the Rams.
Derby began the second-half as they had finished the first – on the front foot.
Sibley forced Slocombe into a swift save after firing a low effort through a crowded box.
Kazim-Richards lunged for the rebound but his effort was also blocked.
County looked certain to level the scoreline on 53 minutes when Rawlinson broke away down the left wing and squared it to the Kyle Wootton who only had Derby keeper David Marshall to beat.
But Wootton, the Magpies main outlet for goals, somehow side-footed his volley against the bar.
Minutes later and Wootton was denied once more, from even closer range than his previous miss, when Ebosele blocked his shot at point-blank range after Roberts had weaved his way into the box to deliver a cross.
The contest seemed to die out as the second-half went on but Ebosele, who was a handful all afternoon, reignited the match with four minutes left.
The 18-year-old broke into the box from the wing before being scythed down by Rawlinson and earning his side a chance for a second goal from the spot.
Club captain Tom Lawrence, on as a substitute, deceived Slocombe and struck a panenka penalty to double his side’s lead.
Notts County head coach Ian Burchnall was satisfied with his side’s efforts despite the result, stating: “For a lot of the players it was the first 90 minutes they’ve had in their pre-seasons so I’m pleased with how they’ve applied themselves.”
On the challenge of taking on their East Midlands neighbours, Burchnall added: “Derby were a very good team and they’ve got fantastic young talent in there so it gives us a different kind of test to what we’ve had before.
“We got pressed better than we’ve been pressed by the other teams in pre-season so we had to find solutions for that and certainly when we lost the ball, they countered really well and we had to work much harder off the ball than we did in previous games.”
Meanwhile, Derby boss Wayne Rooney was content was his side’s overall performance despite the absence of a number of free agents.
“I thought in the first-half we played really well – in the second-half we were a bit sloppy and that’s including when the more senior players came on the pitch so I wanted a bit more from them.”
He added: “It was a good exercise for us and obviously nice to get the win.”
Notts County: Slocombe; Cameron (C), Rawlinson (McGregor 86′), Brindley, Taylor (Chicksen 45′), O’Brien (Nemane 75′), Palmer, Francis, Kelly-Evans (Hondermarck 75′), Roberts (Sam 61′), Wootton.
Subs not used: Brooks.
Derby County: Marshall; Ebosele , Cashin, Forsyth (C), Williams, Hutchinson (Shinnie 61′), Thompson (Bird 61′), Sibley (Lawrence 61′), Jozwiak (Byrne 73′), Watson (Stretton 61′), Kazim-Richards.
Subs not used: Roos.
By Pete Trifunovic