Youngster Max Lowe was Derby County’s bright spark in an otherwise forgettable Tuesday evening for the Rams.
Derby hosted Bristol City at Pride Park and it was a nightmare. The Robins ran out 2-1 winners after being gifted two first-half goals from some pretty woeful Rams defending.
Former Ram Andreas Weimann opened the scoring. The Austrian collected a bobbling Kasey Palmer effort right in-front of goal, turning Kelle Roos before slotting into an empty net.
Phillip Cocu’s side came close to equalising through Tom Lawrence and Kieran Dowell. But, on the stroke of half-time, Scott Malone’s moment of madness in possession led to Josh Brownhill firing in from a low cross.
Derby improved after the break and managed to get a goal back through substitute Jack Marriott’s stunning strike. However, it was too little, too late for the Rams and City held on to claim all three points.
How Max Lowe is starting to look at home in Derby County’s first team XI:
It was a laboured performance full of individual errors for Derby. Few came out with any credit, but one major positive was another excellent display from academy graduate Max Lowe.
Lowe has filled in for the injured Jayden Bogle at right-back and doesn’t look fazed. In the second period, he moved over to left wingback in a different system and continued to impress in and out of possession.
The 22-year-old posted four tackles and four effective clearances, more than any other Derby player (Whoscored). Going forward, Lowe provided two key passes and seven crosses – one of which Kieran Dowell should have scored from.
Lowe spent last season out on loan at Aberdeen after initially struggling in the Championship. It seems his stint in Scotland has worked wonders for his confidence, while there is a notable improvement in his game.
Many supporters will be hoping the fullback can nail down a regular spot at left-back in the future. Lowe has the ingredients to succeed at this level, and manager Phillip Cocu will certainly hand him the opportunity.