Youthful Dev Squad extend run

Despite being a man down for an hour, the Dev Squad extended their unbeaten run to 11 games
Derby County 1-1 Dev Squad
A youthful Development Squad extended their unbeaten run to 11 games following a 1-1 draw away at league leaders Derby County.

Despite blustery conditions at St. George’s Park, the young Hammers put in a near faultless display, one that was made even harder when Marcus Browne was somewhat harshly sent off after just 30 minutes.

Despite going a goal down, the Hammers refused to be cowed and regrouped manfully, keeping the scores level at half-time.

The claret and blues efforts were rewarded on the hour mark after Grady Diangana won back possession and drove forward, before playing an incisive through ball into Luka Belic who finished his chance with aplomb.

However, as the game wore on, the extra man slowly began to aide Derby’s cause and they equalised after a period of pressure on 77th minutes when Ivan Kalero headed home from close range following a corner.

There was still time for plenty of drama as Rams’ defender Tom Koblenz was given a second yellow card after tripping Jahmal Hector-Ingram.

From the resulting free-kick, Leo Chambers, talismanic all evening as captain, saw his header crash off the crossbar and away.

Another stand out Hammer was Djair Parfitt-Williams who was a constant outlet all evening. His pace, trickery and desire to run at people, almost bore fruit but the Derby goal was not to be breached again as he fired viciously into the side-netting..

With just minutes to go Derby went close to stealing an unlikely victory, yet Sam Howes, largely untested pulled off a magnificent fingertip save to earn his side a deserved point.

The victory takes the Hammers to five in the Barclays U21 Premier League division two table with 24 points from 16 games.
Derby County: Mitchell, Ssewankambo, Stabana, Hanson, Buxton, Koblenz, Elsnik, Calero, Vernam, Bennett, Guy

Subs: Santos, Ravas, McDonald, MacDonald, Cover

U21: Howes, Pike, Neufville, Dobson, Chambers ©, Rice, Diangana (Nasha), Makasi, Belic (Hector-Ingram), Browne, Parfitt-Williams

Subs: Brown, Akinola, Kemp

Referee: Sarah Garratt