Sorry Rams Suffer Forest Nightmare
Former Derby men Robbie Earnshaw and Marcus Tudgay were the chief tormentors for The Rams on a torrid evening at the City Ground as they were crushed 5-2 by Nottingham Forest and fell to their fifth defeat in a row. After conceding early goals in recent visits to the City Ground the run continued when Luke Chambers thumped home a header inside the first two minutes to give his side the lead and despite a neat finish from Luke Moore to level the scores it was Forest who made all the running. Marcus Tudgay headed in from close range to restore the lead and struck again on the stroke of halftime just as Derby appeared to have escaped with only a one goal deficit at the break. Earnshaw converted a Nathan Tyson cross from close range to further extend the lead not long into the second half but Kris Commons struck back at the other end almost immediately as Derby enjoyed a short spell of possession. They failed to test Lee Camp in the Forest goal during this period and Earnshaw struck again in injury time to rub salt into the wounds and complete the rout.
James Bailey replaced Stephen Pearson in the only change to the starting line-up with Robbie Savage suspended after the postponement of the Doncaster game on Boxing Day and there were returns on the bench for Miles Addison and Steven Davies after long periods out. Forest included all three ex-Rams in their line-up with Lee Camp, Robbie Earnshaw and Marcus Tudgay all starting. Luke Chambers gave the home side the ideal start when he was first to a corner to powerfully head past Stephen Bywater after only 92 seconds. It was all Forest in the opening stages and it was somewhat against the run of the play that Derby found an equaliser on fourteen minutes, Alberto Bueno fed a lovely ball into the path of Luke Moore and the on loan striker coolly lifted the ball over Camp and into the net off of the underside of the crossbar.
Bywater had to be on toes to keep out efforts from Robbie Earnshaw and Radoslaw Majewski as Forest continued to dominate and he was helpless to prevent Marcus Tudgay putting them back in front against his former club, Earnshaw crossed from the right and Tudgay headed in off the woodwork from close range. Earnshaw was then played clear on goal but Bywater made a sharp save to touch his effort over and just as The Rams seemed to have weathered the storm they fell further behind on the stroke of halftime. Nathan Tyson escaped and crossed for Tudgay to stoop and head in his second and Forest`s third to wrap up a fine half for Billy Davies` men.
Forest came out of the blocks quickly at the start of the second period and Bywater denied Earnshaw again in the early stages before Tyson then dragged a shot wide of the mark when he perhaps could have done better. The home side weren`t to be denied however and Earnshaw was first to a low Tyson cross to finish from close range to further extend their lead with things beginning to leak increasingly bleak for The Rams. Derby struck back nearly immediately when Kris Commons fired in a low free kick from the edge of the area moments later to give his side some hope and they began to find a foothold in the match playing some neat football but failing to test Camp in the home goal.
Chris Porter replaced Bueno with eighteen minutes to go as Nigel Clough looked to give his side some fresh momentum and he fired a low cross-shot across the six yard area that Luke Moore was close to getting on the end of and Steve Davies then made his long awaited return replacing Tomasz Cywka and was quickly into the action with an effort deflected wide of the far post. Derby could not find a way back into the match to reduce the two goal deficit and to make matters worse Earnshaw fired home his second of the evening in injury to complete the scoring and end a miserable night for The Rams.
Nottingham Forest: Camp, Gunter, Morgan, Chambers, Bertrand (Cohen 38), Moussi, Ramsey (Wilson 60), Tyson (Anderson 79), Majewski, Earnshaw, Tudgay
Subs: McGugan, Adebola, McLeary, Smith
Derby County: Bywater, Leacock, Brayford, Barker, Moxey, Bailey, Green, Cywka (Davies 82), Commons, Bueno (Porter 72), Moore
Subs: Deeney, Addison, Pringle, Pearson, Doyle