Nottingham Forest 0 Derby County 1 – As it happened

Forest starting XI (4-1-3-2): Camp; Halford, Collins, Ayala, Harding; Gillett; Cohen, McGugan, Reid; Blackstock, Cox

Derby starting XI (4-4-2): Fielding; Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, Roberts; Coutts, Bryson, Hendrick, Hughes; Ward, Sammon

2 mins – Keogh puts in the first sliding tackle, then Ward wins a header… Rams pressing Forest high up the pitch.

5 – Hulking Halford shows Hughes he’s there, following through with a shove after he wins a header.   Forest’s defence looks very physically strong, all of the back four are big guys.

6 – Just about the start Clough would have wanted.  We still have eleven men and Forest haven’t scored…

7 Ridiculous penalty shout from Forest.

8 Forest letting our defenders have the ball, but we can’t get any passing going through the midfield.

10 Bryson goes in with a high boot on Blackstock.  No booking.

11 Cox goes down so easily, looking for a penalty.  Grins as he gets to his feet.

12 Sammon does well to win the ball, then Hughes plays ball through for him but his cross-shot from the left side of the box ends up as neither.

13 Good, experienced defending by Roberts to stop Cohen charging away down the right wing.

14 Cohen with Forest’s first shot from just outside the box, straight down Fielding’s throat.

15 Possession statistic is exactly 50/50 at this stage.

16 Brayford hurt by an evil tackle from Cox.  Studs straight into the ankle with the ball gone.  Nasty, but goes unpunished.

17 Ref could lose control here.  Buxton goes up for an aerial challenge with Blackstock and thunders straight through him.  Buxton had been riled by an unnoticed off-the-ball clash with Blackstock.

19 Halford goes down as if shot when Ward barely caught him.

21 Reid booked for a late tackle, after Buxton made a good interception on the edge of the box.

23 Buxton makes a bad mistake and gets himself booked.  Lost the ball with a heavy touch and then brought down Blackstock.  No complaints.

23 Forest threatening with some passing moves, but can’t break Derby down.  Rams have offered little going forward, but are holding Forest off at arm’s length.

25 Derby struggling to get hold of the ball.

26 Flashpoint as Blackstock wrestles Roberts to the ground, following a tackle from Bryson.  Ref gives free kick to Forest and lectures Roberts.

30 So far, the only attempts on goal have been Cohen’s shot and Sammon’s cross-shot.

31 Hughes v Halford is a real physical mismatch.  Hughes looks to have won a tackle, but is then simply brushed aside by the big defender.

33 Foul by Buxton, free kick to Forest on the edge of the box.  Cohen thinks that the ref has forgotten that Buxton has already been booked, so kindly reminds him.  McGugan smashes free kick into the wall as they jump.  First corner for Forest.

35 Buxton thrashes the ball into the River Trent.  Defenders come up for a long throw from Halford, who nearly throws the ball straight into the net.  It pitches beyond the back post and goes out for a goal kick.  Monstrous.

39 Roberts wins a standing tackle against Cohen.  Cohen goes down as if it was a two-footed, jumping scissor lunge and his leg is broken.  Forest players run straight to the ref.  Succeed in getting Roberts booked.  The linesman didn’t even flag for a foul.  Free kick into the box is eventually palmed away to safety by Fielding.

40 Hendrick vaguely catches another Forest player, again the player goes down in ‘agony’.  No booking.

43 Terrible free kick from Coutts, when given a rare chance to get the ball into the Forest box.

44 Forest still trying to thread the ball through our defence, without success.

44 Forest corner.  Fielding punches it away after a header loops back across goal.

45 Huge Halford throw into the box, but the ref blows for a free kick to Derby.

45 (+1) Sammon very nearly toasts one in from 25 yards.  Great effort.

45 (+2) Cox with a nice spin away from Keogh, then smashes one just wide from outside the box.  Nice try.


At this point, my feeling was that Derby needed to get a grip of the game in midfield, as Forest were having more of the play, without creating any chances.  With the howitzer throws of Halford and the big defenders, you knew that they would be a threat from set pieces, even if we continued to repel their attacks from open play.  And there was a certain Billy Sharp sitting on the bench.

Tommo wondered if Hughes should be replaced by Tyson, as no football was being played and certainly, he was dwarfed by Halford.

46 No substitutions for either side at half-time.  Derby give the ball away straight from the kick-off.

46 Blackstock given a straight red card for an elbow on Keogh.  Clearly caught Keogh in the face with his elbow – referee adjudges it to have been intentional.

50 Ward, now playing on the left, sprints away from Halford and is pushed to the ground.  No free kick given.

51 Ward causing problems on the left, as Derby try to exploit their man advantage by getting the ball down and passing it.

54 1-0 Bryson scores, from Coutts’ low cross.  Great work down the right between Hughes and Brayford to set Coutts on his way.  Coutts drilled it across the six-yard box, Sammon couldn’t get a touch at the near post, but Bryson had made the run from midfield to turn the ball home from no more than a yard.

56 Halford forced off the pitch with an injury, leaving Forest temporarily down to nine men.

58 Cox nearly gets onto a ball driven low to the near post, but is just about crowded out.

60 Good spell of possession for Derby.  Hughes playing centrally now and getting on the ball.

61 Free kick to Forest, but it’s wasted.  Set pieces look the most likely way back into the game for them now, but in these derby games, anything can happen.

62 Derby passing it really well.  Hendrick wins a corner.  O’Driscoll will surely have to change it somehow, to try to get Forest back into the game.

64 Ward pings a hamstring.  Forest fans jubilant.  DERBY SUB – Jacobs comes on to play wide left.  Rams playing with three in midfield and Sammon as the lone striker.

67 Jacobs wins another corner.  Again, nice fluid forward play.

68 Bryson stings Camp’s palms, after Hughes’ pass gives him a yard of space just outside the box.  Nice try.

69 Gillett booked for tripping Bryson just outside the box, after Forest gave the ball away in a dangerous area.  Jacobs curls the free kick wastefully high and well over the bar.

73 Hughes wins a good tackle, taking a knock in doing so.   Derby keep the ball well and eventually force another corner – but the delivery is poor, as has been case with most of Derby’s set pieces all game.

74 Unsurprisingly, Reid makes way.  FOREST DOUBLE SUB – Sharp on for Reid, Lansbury on for McGugan.  Forest leave Cox on, sacrifice a midfielder and switch to two up-front, as they have to now.

75 Lansbury cynically leaves a foot in to trip Buxton after losing a foot race, but ref had already awarded a free kick to Forest for a foul by Bryson.  Buxton has defended well in the second half, making good, positive interventions, winning his headers and making solid challenges.

75 Disaster very nearly strikes as Fielding drops the free kick swung into the box, but he just grabs it at the second chance ahead of the red shirts.  Close.

77 FOREST SUB – Halford comes off for Moloney, as a result of the previous injury.  DERBY SUB – Roberts is replaced by O’Connor.  Hughes gets treatment for a cut to his face.

79 Forest fans applaud their team for pressing Derby high up the pitch and preventing them from passing out from the back.  Buxton ultimately forced to concede possession by thumping the ball high, long and out.

81 Cox and Sharp almost combine to give Sharp a shooting chance in the box, but there are enough Derby defenders back to snuff out the opportunity.

81 DERBY SUB – Sammon off, Robinson on.  The pace of Robinson to give Forest’s defence a problem in the closing stages.

83 First concerted spell of possession for Forest in the entire half, but in the end, Cohen dives, looking for a free kick on the edge of the box.  Not given.

84 Forest seeing plenty of the ball in their own half, as Derby sit off a bit.

85 Hendrick plays it through, but Robinson is flagged offside when he looked OK – would have had a clear run on goal, as Derby countered against Forest’s high defensive line.

86 Forest again appeal for a penalty, then a shot from outside the area is blocked at source.  Penalty shout was a dive.

87 Robinson plays a little keep-ball in the corner after Jacobs set him away on the counter.

88 Fielding makes a brilliant save from a 20-yard Gillett piledriver, Gillett arriving after a long ball into the box was headed away.  Forest win a free kick near the corner flag.  Ball into the box is thumped clear.  Camp returns it into the Derby box, but Fielding comes to claim.

89 Another long ball is pulled down by Fielding.  Desperation now for Forest.  Cox is booked for impeding Fielding as he went to kick the ball away.

90 Five minutes of injury time signalled.

90 (+2) Forest again hoist the ball into the box and Buxton is pushed by Sharp.  Free kick.  Game is totally formless now, as Forest just try to put it into the box as much as possible.

90 (+3) Robinson absolutely clobbered on the edge of the box by Collins, but no free kick given.  Then Camp runs almost to halfway before lifting it into the box.  Sharp gives away another free kick for a push.

90 (+4) Another Hail Mary into the box, but Cox gets lost under it and back-heads it straight through to Fielding.  Lansbury is booked for impeding Fielding as he goes to kick it clear.

90 (+5) Robinson wins a throw in Forest territory.  And that’s it!


My Man of the Match – Jake Buxton


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