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Derby County go 2 from 2

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Derby County Under-18s continued their 100% start to pre-season with a routine 3-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

A close range brace from Jack Stretton either side of half-time following on from Jaden Charles’s fine free-kick put Justin Walker’s side into what turned out to be an unassailable lead, despite the visitors’s best efforts.

It was an end-to-end start to proceedings from the off with both goalkeepers forced into action early on.

First to be called upon was Derby’s Bradley Foster-Theniger, who produced a smart save down low to prevent a lightning counter attack from the visitors

Up the other end Archie Brown and Alex Matthews combined well with the latter squaring for Stretton who was denied from point blank range.

Following good spells from open play it was, however, a set piece through which the breakthrough came.

After Eno Nto was upended unceremoniously just outside the area it fell to left back Charles to whip his freekick up and over the wall and into the top corner.

Minutes later, Charles was called into action again but this time in his more familiar half of the pitch as he had to be on hand to produce a goal saving tackle.

With the last kick of the half Derby doubled their lead. This time Wednesday were not able to upend Nto as he glided inside from the right before squaring to Stretton who finished with ease.

It wasn’t long into the second half before Stretton had his second, a fine delivery from Brown on the left this time was just asking to be headed into the net and the forward duly obliged.

Wednesday did pull one back late on as a looping delivery from a corner was turned in at the back post.

To their credit, the visitors continued to apply pressure right up to the final whistle and substitute goalkeeper Harry Halwax had to be on form to limit them to just one.

But Justin Walker’s side did hold out to make it two wins from two this July with the team plundering five goals to just the one conceded so far.

Next Up…

The Under-18s will be looking to make it three wins in the space of a week on Saturday as they welcome Barnsley to the Training Centre.

Matches continue to come thick and fast throughout the rest of the month with a short trip to take on Loughborough University coming five days later.

Finally they conclude their pre-season schedule with the visit of Premier League South outfit Norwich City as they look to fine tune ahead of their title defence which gets underway next month.

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