Just the one change from the Premier League 2 Division 1 victory over Manchester United Under-23s saw Ronny Nelson replace Sammy Braybrooke, who was part of the travelling squad that created history in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday.
The Foxes were dealt an early blow when Connor Dixon skipped past Ben Nelson before setting up Jack Stretton for a close-range finish inside five minutes.
It was an almost immediate response from City, however, who equalised just four minutes later when Khanya Leshabela sent Joe Wormleighton down the right and his first-time cross was met by Shane Flynn, who volleyed home at the front post.
The hosts seized the momentum from that moment on and went close via Will Alves who dribbled his way into the box and forced a low save from Evans on 25 minutes. The youngster soon turned provider for Chris Popov, making his second consecutive start, who again found the Derby ‘keeper in the way.
As the half drew towards a close, Wormleighton charged into the box before managing to flick the ball towards goal, despite being off balance, but Evans was up to the task once more, parrying the ball away. Nelson’s powerful half-volley was then stopped in its tracks from Thanawat Suengchitthawon’s resulting corner.
The pressure continued in the second period when Popov cut inside onto his left and fired a fierce shot that took a slight deflection off Will Pollard to shift it past the far post. Wanya Marcal-Madiavdua got in a similar position minutes later, but this time Evans was able to hold on.
At the other end, two Derby substitutes combined to create a rare sighting of goal for the away side. Josh Shonibare’s cross was met by Tyree Wilson at the back post but he was unable to find the target.
Substitute Tawanda Maswanhise almost netted a stunning solo goal as he danced through two challenges before directing his shot straight into the arms of Evans. Alves also tried to create an opening in the closing stages, firstly striking wide before seeing an attempt blocked.
Maswanhise came even closer to a goal when his strike was blocked on the line after great work from fellow substitute Iestyn Hughes to beat his man and find a low cross.
The hosts finally found a way through on 83 minutes when Maswanhise robbed Derby defender Courtney Clarke of possession before taking the ball in his stride and slotting it beyond Evans to claim the three points.
Tawanda Maswanhise celebrates his late winner on Filbert Way.
With the scores locked at 1-1 in the final stages, it was going to take something special to secure a second successive league victory and substitute Tawanda Maswanhise kept his cool to deliver just that.
Chris Popov was making his second successive Premier League 2 start for the young Foxes.
Speaking on LCFC TV’s live coverage, former City defender Sean St Ledger said: “His (Chris Popov’s) work ethic was fantastic and in the second half he favoured that right-hand side where he was coming inside to shoot with his left. He was a threat all game - that directness, that robustness and he looks like he’ll have a bright future. He was strong in his running and maybe a little unfortunate not to score.”
Where do we stand?
Republic of Ireland youngster Shane Flynn netted his first league goal of the season.
City rise up to fifth in the Premier League 2 Division 1 table, moving onto 34 points from 23 matches.
City's Development Squad return to Filbert Way in three days' time.
The Foxes are back at King Power Stadium once more on Easter Monday, taking on Blackburn Rovers Under-23s in PL2 (7pm kick-off).
City: Young, B. Nelson, Brunt (c), R. Nelson (Cartwright 56’); Wormleighton, Alves Leshabela, Flynn; Suengchitthawon, Marcal-Madivadua (Hughes 70’); Popov (Maswanhise 64’).
Subs not used: Chibueze, T. Pennant.
Goals: Flynn 9’, Maswanhise 83’.
All times BST.
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