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Nottingham Forest vs Derby County. Sky Bet Championship.

The City GroundAttendance29,256.

Nottingham Forest 2

  • L Grabban (48th minute)
  • B Johnson (82nd minute)

Derby County 1

  • T Lawrence (88th minute pen)
  • R Morrison (sent off 97th minute)

Nottingham Forest 2-1 Derby County: Steve Cooper's men prevail in feisty East Midlands derby

Report and free match highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash between Nottingham Forest and Derby County at the City Ground as goals from Lewis Grabban and Brennan Johnson helped Steve Cooper's men to victory in the East Midlands derby

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Derby County.

Nottingham Forest strengthened their push for promotion from the Sky Bet Championship with a feisty 2-1 East Midlands derby victory over Derby.

Wayne Rooney's Rams - who should have been in front when Tom Lawrence fired wide inside the first 20 minutes - fell behind when Lewis Grabban beat Ryan Allsop with a composed finish shortly after the break (48) - the 112th second-tier goal of his career.

Forest took charge thereafter and reported Brentford target Brennan Johnson looked to have sealed the points when he struck in the 82nd minute, only for Lawrence's late penalty to set up a tense finale at the City Ground (88).

Derby were reduced to 10 men late on after Ravel Morrison was shown a red card for a lunging challenge on Philip Zinckernagel (90+7)

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Derby substitute Ravel Morrison was sent off in second half stoppage time for a reckless attempted tackle.

Steve Cooper's men did manage to hold on for a win that moves them up to eighth and just four points outside the play-off places. Derby, though, were unable to extend their unbeaten run and stay 23rd on 14 points.

How Forest pipped Derby to the Brian Clough trophy

There was an altogether different back-drop to this derby - the 100th EFL meeting between the two teams - with the Rams' very existence under threat due to well-publicised issues off the pitch. In spite of that, Wayne Rooney has shaped his squad into one of the in-form sides in the division.

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Tom Lawrence missed a fabulous opportunity to give Derby the lead at the City Ground

And, with 16 minutes gone at the City Ground, they should have been ahead. Lawrence and Colin Kazim-Richards linked up, with the latter laying the ball into the feet of his team-mate, who dragged a shot agonisingly wide from 12 yards out.

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Forest did eventually take control of the game, in terms of possession, at least, with Allsop pushing Ryan Yates' shot clear before, at the other end, Brice Samba saved at the feet of Lawrence - and gained a bump above his eye as a result.

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Lewis Grabban opens the scoring at the City Ground with a neat finish to give Nottingham Forest the lead against Derby

Within three minutes of the restart, the hosts took the lead. James Garner's free-kick was headed into the area by Scott McKenna, with Keinan Davis prodding the ball to Steve Cook, whose shot was blocked. The ball, however, ricocheted to the far post, where Grabban was waiting to pounce.

Until the hour mark, there was a distinct lack of attacking intent from Derby. At that point, a last-ditch block from McKenna thwarted substitute Morrison, with Nathan Byrne unable to prod home at the far post.

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Brennan Johnson was in the right place to convert Philip Zinckernagel's fine cross

So the drama was left until the closing stages. Johnson doubled the lead when he slotted home a Zinckernagel cross after setting the move in motion, but Lawrence halved the deficit when he found the bottom corner with a penalty after he was tripped by Cook.

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Lawrence netted a late penalty to give Derby hope of snatching a point

Deep into stoppage-time, the Rams' misery was compounded when Morrison was dismissed by Tim Robinson after a reckless challenge on Zinckernagel, leading to a mass coming-together between the two teams.

Man of the match - Brennan Johnson

"Coming from Nottingham, I know what this means to the fans. It is unbelievable."

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Brennan Johnson is named Man of the Match in Nottingham Forest's 2-1 win over Derby.

What the managers said...

Nottingham Forest's Steve Cooper: "In the second half we were really good. We looked together, we had good organisation, positionally we were good and it gave us the opportunity to create the chances that we did. We are taking small steps but we are getting there. It was an average game in the first half, there is no doubt about that. We contributed to it being average and I accept that a little bit because of the significance of the occasion.

"There were two chances in the game in the first half, we had one through Ryan Yates and they had a better one for Tom Lawrence. We had to change things tactically but, once we did that, I thought we were good. We were definitely worthy winners. We gave them one back - which should never have happened - and I don't just mean the foul for the penalty, because it was a penalty, it was the lead into it that I did not like, in any shape or form.

"Beyond that moment we were in complete control. I thought we managed the game really well. They had a man sent off, while we kept calm heads. In the second half onwards, there was only one winner."

Derby's Wayne Rooney: "The next few days are crucial. I've had assurances that I don't have to sell players. We need someone in. We need preferred bidders to help this club exist. If not we will have to see what we can do at the end of the window. The administrators have said they are confident someone will come in this week. It is a terrible position to be in and needs sorting. I take care of the football and they take care of the business.

"Hopefully there will be some good news. I don't hold my breath but I'm always pushing to see where we're at. The players and fans deserve someone to come in. Of course we have players lined up, we have to keep doing our job. We see players, we have seen players who would like to play for Derby. Maybe one day I can bring someone in - but the existence of the club is far more important."

What's next?

Nottingham Forest return to action at 7.45pm on Tuesday January 25, when they host Barnsley at the City Ground, while Derby host Birmingham City at Pride Park at 1.30pm on Sunday January 30, in a game which is live on Sky Sports Football.

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