Nottingham Forest 0-1 Derby County
What a mad day at Derby County. First, a defeat at the hands of local rivals Nottingham Forest, including a sending off of the club’s skipper Richard Keogh, and then the news of the club’s decision to sack manager Nigel Clough. All in a day’s work at the Rams? No, not quite! Clough was the longest serving manager in the division, he arrived in January 2009.
If there’s one positive from Clough going it’s that our loss at the City Ground has been overshadowed and, instead of giving us stick over that, hopefully our Forest foes will discuss the controversial sacking.
Anyway, about the match.
The first-half was very open, Derby’s shots were mostly from outside the box as they struggled to break down the defence but they did look a genuine threat going forward, with no end product however.
The goal came at a bad time before the break. Leading up to the corner, the Rams simply couldn’t clear the ball and deal with the danger. The resulting corner was superbly struck into the box, unfortunately nobody picked up Jack Hobbs’s run onto the edge of the six-yard box. Again, poor defending proved costly.
In the second-half, the visitors took the game to Davies’s Reds. The post-match stats said that the hosts committed a total of 26 fouls, compared to Derby’s 8 fouls. Dirty Reds.
Through those fouls, the Rams had a lot of free-kicks in good areas. It’s a shame that none of them were taken advantage of. Ben Davies, arguably Derby’s best set piece player, sat on the bench whilst the set pieces were wasted. He could have made a difference through the set pieces.
Clough’s men did, to their credit, go for it and push forward, even reverting to the long ball on occasions. They struggled to break down the Reds but the consequent long balls that were pumped up were barely ever won by Derby. Conor Sammon was brought on but he couldn’t get the better of Forest’s defence in the air either.
Captain Richard Keogh’s lunge on Chris Cohen resulted in a penalty and a second yellow card. My initial view of it was that it was a soft penalty but, having watched it again, it does seem clearer. The sending-off strengthens Derby’s need for another centre-half.
Up stepped Darius Henderson with the chance to put the game beyond the away side. Lee Grant’s save at stretch is to be admired, as are his various other saves in the match. The ex-Clarets ‘keeper was a shining light on a frustrating afternoon.
Despite having ten men (where have I heard that before?) Derby continued to press forward with no luck, resulting in a 1-0 defeat.
Derby were by no means played off the park. If you watched The Football League Show’s highlights of the match I don’t think you’d have seen a Derby chance – so don’t be fooled by that.
Creatively the Rams simply couldn’t hack it. I’m sure there are many who aren’t fans of Ben Davies, however I think it’s time he deserves a recall. Whatever you say about him he does put in some good crosses and gives the full-backs something to think about. Giving Michael Jacobs a chance wouldn’t be a bad thing either.
There could be two arrivals ahead of Tuesday’s Ipswich match. Defender Michael Keane from Manchester United could arrive, while midfielder Marc Albrighton from Aston Villa – regularly linked with the Rams over the past week or so – could be another new face.
This article will be followed by my thought’s on Nigel Clough’s sacking as manager.
You can vote your opinion of the club’s decision by clicking here.
You can vote your opinion on who should replace Clough by clicking here.
Twitter – @NathansRamsBlog