The Warmdown: Derby day drama as Nottingham Forest take all three points
Steve Cooper, Nottingham Forest head coach glances at the Brian Clough Trophy during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Derby County at the City Ground, Nottingham on Saturday 22nd January 2022. (Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Nottingham Forest picked up all three points beating Derby County 2-1 at the City Ground. 

It was the 109th meeting between the two sides but perhaps the most tense and pivivtal when it comes to the future of this fixture.

In recent years an extra element has been added to this fixture with the arrival of the Brian Clough Trophy back in 2007. The legend in Midlands football bought great success to both clubs and to win it is a case of the ultimate bragging rights.

The Rams fans my feel this game in particular was a missed opportunity to take the trophy from Forest and make a real statement of intent about the clubs pas, present and future

Derby are facing a crucial next week and which could see them taken over or potentially liquidated. Therefore it's a possibility that this weekend's encounter was the last one between the two sides and it didn't go to plan for Derby.

Serial goal scorer Lewis Grabban bagged the first with a tidy finish from close range before Brennan Johnson doubled the host's lead. A consolation came for Derby through a captain's contribution from Tom Lawrence.

  • Tom Lawrence

The skipper was Derby's diamond in the rough in this fiture, and another strong performance by himself shows just how crucial he is to this team. 

He could have put the visitors ahead early on after a brilliant chance went begging. However, Lawrence did later get his goal from the penalty spot after being bought down by Forest's newest defensive recruit, Steve Cook.

Statistically, Lawrence had a solid performance impressing again and showed just why he is one of the clubs highest rated payers. 

Fans will be hoping no other sensible offer has been made or will be made for the player so they can keep him until his contract expires in the summer.

  •   Forest frontline on fire

The Forest frontline has been on fire since Steve Cooper's arrival last year and they had another strong game today winning the game for their side.

Grabban grabbed their first of the game and his 12th of the EFL Championship season, in 25 appearances. The 34-year-old also has four assists to his name and with him leading the line for the Reds, they're attacking output is in good hands. 

His experience can also be passed on to younger attackers in the squad such as Johnson, the scorer of the second goal. The 20-year-old linked up nicely with Philip Zinckernagel before finishing off the move by slotting the ball past Ryan Allsopp

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The winger has made himself a fan favourite at the city ground  and has the talent to back it up. He has six goals and four assists in 27 matches, contributing to 29% of the club's total goals.

  • A cagey affair

As always this Derby was a tight affair with plenty of cards being show including a red to Ravel Morrison, a player used to being in trouble with the referee.

Seven yellow cards and the red were shown by the referee. The game had a tense feel to it, built up by the tense off the pitch situation circulating around Derby. This now or never, do or die attitude the club has adopted because of everything thrown at them clearly showed in this game and the host's were quite happy to play the enemy in this story.

The Rams fought to the end and if Lawrence had scored early it could have been a different game. They just weren't critical enough in hte final third, where as their counterparts made good work of their numerous efforts on goal. 

This lead to a fiery but entertaining affair in another rendition of the East Midlands Derby.

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