MASON Bennett made Derby County history on Saturday by becoming the club’s youngest ever goalscorer as Tranmere Rovers were brushed aside in the FA Cup.
The Rams swept into the fourth round — where they will host Blackburn Rovers — with a crushing 5-0 victory over the League One leaders at Pride Park.
And Bennett broke Lee Holmes’ record by netting late on at the tender age of 16 years and 176 days, beating the mark Holmes set by Holmes in 2003 by 32 days.
It was a fitting end to the match as substitute Bennett rounded off the win following goals from Ben Davies, Conor Sammon, John Brayford and Jeff Hendrick.
Tranmere, who look like taking the League One title and earning promotion to the Championship, had matched Derby until goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams’ shocking error gifted Davies the opener just before half-time.
The goal came at just the wrong time for the Merseysiders and veteran boss Ronnie Moore.
If they had got to half-time at 0-0, it would have been job done for the boys from Prenton Park.
As it was, they were forced the chase the game and came out after half-time in determined mood.
But once Sammon had made it 2-0 — with Fon Williams again looking suspect — the wind was knocked out of the visitors.
Brayford, Hendrick and then Bennett netted as Rovers were caught trying to get back into the game.
The scoreline was harsh on Tranmere but reflected a thoroughly professional display from Nigel Clough’s Rams.
Too often have they been undone by lower league opposition in recent years, with the defeat to Scunthorpe United in the League Cup this season the latest in a series of embarrassing results.
There was a more determined look to Derby this time around and they were rewarded for their endeavour with a home tie against Championship rivals Blackburn.
It is a game they will fancy winning, with a cup run identified as a priority by Clough — both for the prestige and extra income it brings to the club.
The only slight disappointment was that a meagre crowd short of 12,000 was there to see the game. Long gone are capacity crowds on third round day — and the fans staying away missed five goals and a club record.See tomorrow's Burton Mail for a full report.