Rams chop down Forest
Derby continued their fine run of form with a 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
Last Updated: 21/02/09 3:14pm
Derby County continued their fine run of form with a 3-1 win over arch-rivals Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
Lewin Nyatanga, Rob Hulse and Steven Davies were all on target for the visitors as Forest failed to exact revenge for their FA Cup defeat earlier this month.
The Rams started confidently and broke the deadlock within minutes of kick-off with Nyatanga stabbing home from close range after his initial header was blocked.
Robert Earnshaw missed the chance to reduce the arrears and Derby made the hosts pay as Hulse doubled Derby's advantage with his 14th of the season.
Davies wrapped up the success with a third from the penalty spot, although it was Forest who had the final say of the match late on when Earnshaw planted a near-post header past Stephen Bywater.
The visitors took an early lead through Nyatanga's first goal for the club since April 2007.
Former Forest winger Kris Commons' free-kick was met by both Chambers and Nyatanga on the penalty spot, causing the ball to loop up into the air. Nyatanga reacted quickest to the loose ball and hit a left-foot volley into the bottom corner from 10 yards.
Derby's good start was overshadowed by an injury to Nacer Barazite. The on-loan Arsenal winger appeared to hurt his arm in a sliding challenge and had to be replaced by Mile Sterjovski after 16 minutes.
The change knocked the Rams out of their stride somewhat and Bywater had to rush from his goal to save at the feet of the speedy Nathan Tyson.
Earnshaw spurned a glorious chance to equalise just before the half-hour when he was put clean through on goal by Tyson.
Faced one-on-one with Bywater, the striker looked to have done everything right when he lifted the ball over the goalkeeper but his effort landed on the roof of the net.
Earnshaw was presented with another good chance to bring Forest level five minutes before the break following good play by Lewis McGugan, but the diminutive Welshman snatched at his shot and missed the target.
Derby made their hosts pay for their profligacy in front of goal at the end of the first half when Hulse scored a second goal soon after the restart.
Another silly foul on the left, this time by Wes Morgan on Sterjovski, gave Robbie Savage the chance to whip in a superb cross and Hulse glanced his header past Paul Smith from six yards.
Only a good save from Smith prevented Hulse from immediately adding a third goal after he was slipped in by Commons.
Derby did extend their lead midway through the second half when Hulse was pushed in the back by James Perch as he threatened to convert Paul Connolly's cross.
Davies stepped up to roll the spot-kick into the bottom corner and that was the cue for some Forest fans to head for the exits.
The Rams finished the game with 10 men after James McEveley suffered an arm injury and could not continue. Clough had already used his three substitutes.
Forest were able to capitalise on their numerical advantage and pulled a goal back when Earnshaw headed home Garath McCleary's right-wing cross.