First-team midfielder George Thorne led the way as Derby County Under-23s edged a 2-0 victory against Sunderland in Premier League 2 tonight.
Jack Rodwell made his return to action for the Black Cats and got through the full 90 minutes, but he could not prevent a second successive defeat for Elliott Dickman’s Under-23s.
Derby made the breakthrough in the 31st minute when Thorne drove home a low shot into the bottom corner of Mika’s net from the edge of the Sunderland box.
Sub Rees Greenwood hit the post in the 90th minute as Sunderland pressed hard for a leveller, but they were killed off two minutes into stoppage time when sub Offrande Zanzale fired in a right-footed effort from 16 yards.
It sealed a first win of the season for Darren Wassall’s Rams, leaving Sunderland on three points from three matches.
Derby: Barnes, Stabana, Forsyth, Thorne, Wassall, Cover, Gordon, Elsnik, Bennett, Jakobsen, Babos. Subs: Ravas, Bateman, Zanzala, Thomas, Karic
Sunderland: Mika, J Robson (Gamble 88), Hume, Rodwell, Taylor, Beadling, Molyneux, E Robson (Greenwood 80), Nelson, Embleton, Diamond (Bale 63). Subs: Talbot, Gamble, Allan