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Forest Green Rovers
3 - 4
Derby County

The New Lawn

03/01/09 15.00

Attendance: 4, 836


A good old fashioned cup-tie in Gloucestershire saw non-league Forest Green Rovers push Derby all the way before finally succumbing to a late penalty to go down 4-3 to their Championship opponents. In a game riddled with as many mistakes as moments of quality The Rams looked dead and buried when they fell two goals behind twenty minutes in but they battled their way back into the match with two quick fire goals from Hulse and Albrechtsen to go in at halftime level. The non-leaguers went ahead again with just over quarter of an hour to go only to be pegged back almost immediately by Paul Green and the game finally swung in Derby`s favour when a Lawless foul on Commons saw the referee point to the spot and show a red card to the Rovers man before Steve Davies stepped up to put his side into the fourth round.

Chris Hutchings made five changes to the Derby side in his first game in charge bringing in Roy Carroll in goal and Luke Varney in for the injured Ellington up front. There were also changes at the back with Jason Beardsley and Mo Camara coming in for rare starts and Gary Teale replacing Nacer Barazite in midfield. Forest Green nearly had the perfect start to their first ever third round clash as Adrian Rigoglioso charged down Albrechtsen`s clearance less than ten seconds into the match but Carroll cams out well to block to his effort.

A Kris Commons long throw caused chaos in the Forest Green area before being scrambled away by Terry Burton in the Rover`s goal and Miles Addison`s follow-up effort was blocked before it reached the goal. The home side took the lead 13 minutes in when a long ball was headed down to Jonathan Smith who struck his effort from 25 yards past Carroll and they then doubled their lead after 20 minutes when Alex Lawless was released down the right and cut in to beat Carroll with plenty of time and space afforded to him.

Derby needed to find their feet and create something going forward and Luke Varney cut in from out wide but only managed to put his shot wide of the near post and Miles Addison couldn`t keep his effort under control minutes as The Rams looked for a way back into the match. Paul Green then had a firm effort gathered by Burton at the second attempt as Addison looked to pounce on the rebound.

Commons was seeing more of the ball and his free kick gave Derby a lifeline on 38 minutes when Hulse met the ball and, after his first effort was kept out by a combination of Burton and the bar, the striker was quickest to react and he nodded home from close range. Commons nearly engineered an equaliser from the kick-off but he couldn`t find the target from just inside the area after being teed up by Teale but he wasn`t to be denied and another superb delivery from a dead ball by the winger gave Martin Albrechtsen the simplest of tasks to head in from point blank range and send Derby in level at halftime.

Darren Powell replaced Albrechtsen at halftime and Derby started the second half at pace with Varney creating space only for Burton to block his effort and another Commons free kick found Hulse but the striker couldn`t keep his header down as Burton slipped on his way to meet the cross. The Scottish international was now playing just behind the front pairing of Hulse and Varney and the later fired over from a narrow angle as The Rams dominated the second half.

Commons released Hulse only for Burton to block as he attempted to get his shot away and the rebound was met by the winger only for his effort to be deflected narrowly wide of goal. Forest Green then took the lead totally against the run of play with Rigoglioso involved in the build-up and Paul Stonehouse beat Carroll from the edge of the box with firmly struck effort.

Derby were back level almost immediately when a free kick into the area was nodded on by Hulse and Green took a touch before firing a left foot effort low past Burton to even the score. Steve Davies took over from Varney with ten minutes to go and lined up through the middle as he had done against Ipswich six days earlier.

Commons was released through the middle with four minutes to go and, just as he was about to shoot, he was chopped down by Jones who received a red card from the referee for a professional foul. Steve Davies stepped up to send Burton the wrong way from the spot to put Derby ahead for the first time and they saw out the final moments without any real danger to put themselves into the fourth round of the cup.

Star Player

Kris Commons

ecame more influential as Derby came into the game after a dreadful start and his prompting from the left and, in the second half, through the middle put Derby back into the match and he had a hand in the majority of The Rams most dangerous moments.

Player Ratings

Roy Carroll 6

Started well but perhaps could have done better with two of the Rovers goals.

Jason Beardsley 6

Tricky circumstances for only his second professional start and looked nervy in the first half.

Mo Camara 6

Spent most of his time in the Forest Green half and was missing at times when needed defensively.

Martin Albrechtsen 6

Seemed strangely hesitant after his early mistake and took time to settle before going off with a knock to his knee at halftime.

Lewin Nyatanga 6

Another who didn`t really settle in the first half under a strong start from the non-leaguers.

Kris Commons 8

More and more influential as the game wore on and had a hand in the goals.

Miles Addison 7

Looked to drive The Rams forward from midfield and at times seemed the only one with the bottle to fight against adversity in the first half.

Paul Green 7

Took his goal well and came into the game more in the second half as Derby took control.

Gary Teale 6

Fairly anonymous as usual, needs to show more if he is to play a part in the coming games.

Rob Hulse 7

Battled away even when not receiving service early on and his aerial power proved a thorn in the side of Rovers.

Luke Varney 7

His running helped to turn the tide and he created a couple of chances for himself after chasing down his opponents.

Darren Powell 6

Did what he had to do and may be in for a recall with Albrechtsen`s injury.

Nacer Barazite 6

Didn`t really get into the game after coming on for Teale.

Steve Davies 7

Only on for ten minutes but looked lively and took his chance from the spot.

Manager Rating

Chris Hutchings will be a relieved man after his side eventually took the cup tie and earned a place in Round Four. It looked bleak after twenty minutes but Derby obviously haven`t lost the stomach for a fight as they slowly dragged themselves back into the match and their superiority in the second half can, at least in part, be put down to the change in shape made at halftime affording Commons a free role as he gradually became more and more influential in the match. His delivery from set pieces handed Derby a lifeline back into the match and his return to form will be a bonus for Hutchings and whoever the new manager will be.

Date:Sunday January 4 2009
Time: 5:05PM

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your game was the most entertaining of the round - no doubt!
04/01/2009 17:20:00
If one forest don't beat you(lucky) the other forest sure will
pete mc
04/01/2009 20:36:00
Who do you support pete mc? All you do is snipe at Derby!
07/01/2009 09:15:00
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