Earnshaw Haunts Rams
Attendance: 33, 010
Rob Earnshaw produced the one moment of quality in a scrappy encounter at Pride Park to give Nottingham Forest all three points and help them to complete their first double over Derby County in twenty-one years. It was a typically frantic match with neither side providing much in the way of flowing football, Lewis McGugan came close with a free kick and Chris Porter should have scored with the goal at his mercy in the first half. After the break the chances were still few and far between with Lee Camp denying new-boy Ben Davies before substitute Earnshaw swept home a low effort from the edge of the area after Paul Anderson`s cushioned header. Dean Moxey was shown a red card after picking up a second booking for a foul on Earnshaw and Camp reacted well to deny Shaun Barker but The Rams never looked like getting back into the match and fell to a seventh defeat in nine in the league.
Ben Davies was given an immediate start after joining from Notts County and there were recalls for Dean Leacock and Dean Moxey as Nigel Clough made three changes to the side who tasted defeat at Watford last week. The visitors started quickly and after a lucky break in midfield had a five on three break only for Marcus Tudgay`s poor touch to kill the move on the edge of the area with the ball running through to Stephen Bywater. The game was being played at a frantic pace with neither side able to string together a series of passes and the first effort on target wasn`t until the seventeenth minute when Lewis McGugan fired in a low free kick that Bywater went full length to push to safety. The Forest midfielder had another two efforts from dead balls but he couldn`t get anywhere near the target with them.
Miles Addison created The Rams` first opportunity when he chased down a long ball and robbed Wes Morgan on the edge of the area, a poor touch took the ball away from him but he slid in and knocked it back to Chris Porter who managed to hit Luke Chambers with the goal at his mercy when he really should have scored. The game continued at breakneck speed until the interval with no further chances for either side in a frantic half.
Derby opened the second period quickly and a neat interchange between Alberto Bueno and Porter saw the later whip in a cross that narrowly avoided the onrushing Ben Davies who had a half-hearted appeal for a penalty waived away. Forest came straight back at the other end and Tudgay played in McGugan but his curling effort was easily held by Bywater. Neither side were pausing for breath as the tempo was maintained and Davies had a free kick from the edge of the area deflected. Robbie Savage was replaced by James Bailey just before the hour mark, presumably before being dismissed after picking up a first half booking, and the Derby captain was not happy as he trudged off the pitch.
Davies had a free kick from thirty yards deflected wide of the mark as The Rams looked to get their noses in front and he came even closer with twenty minutes to go when Porter helped the ball into his path and his volley was turned away at full stretch by Lee Camp. The game went through a stop-start period with the referee`s whistle breaking the flow of play with a number of fouls and Dean Moxey picked up a booking after tripping Nathan Tyson wide on the right.
Rob Earnshaw had been introduced just before Moxey`s indiscretion and he made a telling contribution with ten minutes to go sweeping a low effort beyond Bywater from the edge of the area after being setup by Paul Anderson. The former Derby striker milked the moment in front of the travelling Forest fans and picked up a booking for his troubles. The Rams tried to rally in the closing minutes with Camp keeping out a Shaun Barker header and Moxey then picked up a second booking and a red card after sliding in on Earnshaw with the ball bouncing harmlessly into touch. Despite five minutes of injury time and the introduction of Steve Davies in place of Kris Commons The Rams couldn`t produce the equaliser their fans desired and Forest claimed their first ever victory at Pride Park.
Derby County: Bywater, Brayford, Leacock, Barker, Moxey, Savage (Bailey 55), Addison, B Davies, Commons (S Davies 88), Bueno, Porter
Subs: Deeney, Roberts, Pearson, Cywka, Green
Nottingham Forest: Camp, Chambers, Morgan, Anderson, McGugan (Adebola 75), Tyson, Cohen, Gunter, Moussi, Tudgay (Earnshaw 66), Lynch
Subs: McGoldrick, McKenna, Smith, Moloney, Majewski
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