Janos Radoki's side were fresh off a hard-fought 1-1 draw with follow Franconians, Würzburger Kickers last weekend. He restored Mathis Bolly, Adam Pinter and Sercan Sararer to the line-up, in place of Veton Berisha, Serdar Dursun and Benedikt Kirsch as they bid to make it five games unbeaten.
Following on from their 1-0 loss against VfL Bochum, Alois Schwartz opted for change across the board. Miso Brecko, Dave Bulthuis, Constant Djakpa, Mikael Ishak and Kevin Möhwald were all drafted in as Even Hovland, Tobias Kempe, Dennis Lippert, Tim Matavz (all bench) and Abdelhamid Sabiri (knee) dropped out.
With both sides locked in mid-table, there was little more than bragging rights available to either but the oldest derby in German football comes with plenty of those. The hosts were on the front foot from the beginning, however, some last-ditch clearances from the all-changed visiting back-line managed to keep them at bay.
Yet that dominance would continue as the game wore on, with Zulj and Bolly beginning to see more sights of goal. Nürnberg were stuck in their own half for the majority of the first period and only when Hanno Behrens managed to have two attempts, the second a header that went close, did they look in anyway dangerous.
Towards the end of the half, Fürth came back at their visitors and had Khaled Narey blaze two volleys over the bar from decent positions. At the break, though, it was goalless.
Zulj proves the difference
The start of the second half, as well as the end of the first, saw a distinct derby feel draw over the game. Five yellow cards in eight minutes, including a brawl, added to the atmosphere that was already heightened. Zulj again went close with an effort from range, while Johannes van den Bergh had a header cleared by Georg Margreitter.
Finally, the breakthrough that the Shamrocks had deserved for their constant pressure throughout, arrived with 15 minutes to go. Sararer laid the ball into the impressive Zulj, who went past Kammerbauer before letting fly from 25 yards. A deflection off Margreitter's back caught Kirschbaum cold, and as the ball looped in the home fans erupted.
It wasn't until the 86th minute when Nürnberg finally forced a save out of Balasz Megyeri, who had been a spectator until then, as he did superbly to deny Ishak's snap-shot half-volley. Zulj would have one last attempt from range as his wobbling free-kick struck the bar, but the three points were safe as they moved above their Franconian rivals.