This was a second-round League Cup tie like no other. Both sides made significant changes to their sides from their last league outing, however, no other tie had the same atmosphere and meant as much as this one.
Forest made 8 changes and Derby made 10, although if you looked at the line ups, Forest’s was the more familiar. It surprisingly included a star man in Joe Lolley who has been carrying a knock and therefore his inclusion was not expected. Other players that have featured regularly either as a starter or from the bench were Albert Adomah, Joe Worrall, Alfa Semedo. There was a first start for 18-year-old Brennan Johnson, while Joao Carvalho was named on the bench for the first time this season following an injury.
The Derby line up included many untested youngsters and this proved to be a pivotal reason why the match went the way it did.
Derby started with plenty of youthful enthusiasm and had a few long-range efforts early on that didn’t worry the Forest Keeper. Once the game settled down, Forest took charge and their first chance came to Rafa Mir, but his effort was well wide.
Mir then had two further opportunities to open his account for Forest, but he lashed at both displaying that he is a bit too eager to grab his first goal for Forest.
Forest took the lead from a Joe Lolley corner which found an expertly timed run by Albert Adomah who from close range grabbed for his second goal in three games, after netting in Forest’s draw at Charlton.
Just ten minutes later and The Reds had doubled their advantage with a fine header from Lolley. Adomah turned provider as he crossed for Lolley to head into the bottom corner past Ben Hamer who stood no chance.
Both Sides were playing out from the back but it was Forest who were using the tactic more effectively, John Bostock often dropping deep to collect from the back and starting attacks, this allowed Matty Cash to move higher up the pitch from his right-back starting position and in turn, Joe Lolley could drift infield.
Derby lost possession on a few occasions deploying the tactic which could’ve cost them. Former Red, Jamie Paterson created an opportunity for Lee Buchanan but he blazed way over Brice Samba’s crossbar as Forest took the lead going into the break.
Forest started the second half brightly and could have added a third when Cash’s effort was just deflected wide. From the resulting corner, Mir met Lolley’s floated delivery but his header was caught by Hamer.
Derby started to improve and created a half-chance for substitute Jack Marriot but his snap-shot was superbly blocked by Joe Worrall, who was fantastic all evening.
Paterson then showed a lack of discipline when he first appealed for a penalty, took a corner to which he was roundly jeered by the Forest Fans and took his frustration out on Cash as he broke forward and duly got himself booked.
Forest, however, put extra gloss on the victory in fortuitous fashion. In the 79th minute, when Curtis Davies’ clearance cannoned off substitute, Carvalho and past Hamer in a flash.
Forest saw the game out to continue a good recent record against the rams and retain the Brian Clough Trophy. They have now won back to back derbies for the first time since Billy Davies’s first spell as manager, haven’t conceded in 4 derbies and still haven’t tasted defeat to the Rams at the City Ground in 6 meetings, winning 4.
As a Forest fan, the most pleasing aspects were the style of play deployed and the strength in depth that the squad is displaying.
Despite making 8 changes, Forest seamlessly continued where they left off against Fulham (a 2-1 win at Craven Cottage). The way they continuously passed the ball with a purpose and stretched the opposition out wide was very pleasing to watch and is something we haven’t seen since Billy Davies was in charge.
There was a sad scene off the pitch as a Derby supporter looked in a very bad condition, after around 70 minutes into the game. Paramedics were called to the scene and laid the man on a stretcher and treated him. News as to the extent of his condition and the cause has yet to emerge but from my position in the crowd, the man looked to have gained unconsciousness.
In other off the pitch news, there was an altercation whilst Derby substitutes were warming down and Forest ground staff were tending to the pitch after the match. A member of the Forest staff has told me that his colleague asked the Derby players to move so they could tend to that area of the pitch.
This prompted an unnecessary angry response from Derby Captain Richard Keogh who pushed the women over, she was taken to hospital with knee injuries and is in the process of suing Keogh for ABH. Nottingham Forest and Derby County are said to be investigating the incident.