Nottingham Forest 0-0 Derby: Tom Huddlestone sent off in draw
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 11/03/18 8:02pm
Derby's slim hopes of automatic promotion suffered another blow as they played out a goalless draw against Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Championship.
The encounter at the City Ground on Sunday rarely looked likely to produce a goal as Gary Rowett's side made it seven games without a win, which leaves them 11 points behind second-placed Cardiff.
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Derby, who saw midfielder Tom Huddlestone sent off late on, will now be looking down rather than up, with just four points between themselves and seventh-placed Bristol City, as they attempt to book a play-off place. Forest, meanwhile, stay 15th.
A largely uneventful first half finally came to life on the stroke of half-time as Derby went close on three occasions to opening the scoring.
Lee Tomlin started for Nottingham Forest while Ikechi Anya and Bradley Johnson came in for Derby. Matej Vydra wasn't in the matchday squad.
Costel Pantilimon was the hero in goal for Forest, saving from David Nugent and then combining with Tendayi Darikwa to keep Tom Lawrence's follow-up attempt out. The former Manchester City goalkeeper then reacted well to claw away Lawrence's inswinging corner that was sneaking in at the near post a couple of moments later.
It was naturally a feisty encounter but both sides lacked quality in their attempts to break the opposition down. Kasey Palmer did provide a spark for Derby when he came on as a substitute, but they still could not find a way through.
And any chance of a Derby victory ended when Huddlestone picked up two yellow cards in three minutes for trips on Lee Tomlin.
Nottingham Forest: Pantilimon (7), Darikwa (7), Figueiredo (7), Fox (7), Osborn (6), Watson (6), Colback (6), Cash (6), Tomlin (7), Lolley (6), Brereton (5)
Subs: Murphy (n/a), Dowell (n/a)
Derby: Carson (6), Wisdom (6), Keogh (6), Davies (6), Forsyth (5), Anya (5), Huddlestone (4), Johnson (5), Lawrence (5), Weimann (5), Nugent (5)
Subs: Palmer (n/a), Hanson (n/a), Jerome (n/a)
Man of the match: Danny Fox
Man of the match - Danny Fox
Danny Fox was a rock at the back for Nottingham Forest as he helped repel Derby attacks and deny the away side any real opportunities at the City Ground.
Aitor Karanka: "It was a typical derby game with a lot of chances but again for us it's another game to keep going and keep building the team. Again we couldn't score today but we competed against one of the best teams in the league and we can't forget we've only been working together for one month. The more we work together the more goals we're going to score.
"It's difficult to manage these games and the main thing for us is the reaction of the crowd, because even drawing 0-0 they were excited and expecting games like today. It's really nice for me because I feel like we're going forward."
Gary Rowett: "We were the better team for the 90 minutes. We created the better chances and I don't think Forest had a shot on goal and it looked at the end like they were very happy with a clean sheet and a draw. We've had some brilliant chances and once again there's frustration at the end [with the seond off].
"I cannot fault the players but I felt we deserved to win the game today. Unfortunately we weren't given the opportunity to do that. It's disappointing because it's a massive game and to a certain degree it's Forest's last big game of the season, but every game is massive for us now."
Nottingham Forest travel to Sheffield United in the Sky Bet Championship next Saturday for a 3pm kick-off, while Derby host Cardiff on Sunday at midday, live on Sky Sports Football.