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Despite having the better chances, ten-man Derby County were held to a goalless draw in the East Midlands derby against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

The Rams went desperately close to breaking the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, but Costel Pantilimon produced two wonderful saves from David Nugent and Tom Lawrence respectively.

Forest on the other hand failed to register a shot on target during the 90 minutes.

Derby were reduced to ten-men with eight minutes to go, when Tom Huddlestone received his second booking after bringing down Lee Tomlin.

Andreas Weimann and Ikechi Anya started on the flanks for Gary Rowett’s side and they offered pace and directness in the opening moments, with the Austrian having a shot blocked.

Tomlin was roaming from his No.10 role and he had a shot deflected wide midway through the first half, before Matty Cash headed across goal from the resulting corner.

Tomlin fired inches wide just before the end of the half, but Derby came even closer in added time.

Nugent’s first effort from Weimann’s pull-back was beaten away by Pantilimon, and the former Manchester City ‘keeper repeated the heroics when he saved Lawrence’s low driven shot with his right foot.

Outrageously, Lawrence went close again before break when his corner-kick from the left looked to be heading towards goal, but Pantilimon got across well once again.

Both sides exchanged attacking spells in the opening minutes of the second half, with Tomlin again looking dangerous, before Andre Wisdom ventured into the box down the other end, only to see his low cross cleared.

After the hour mark, Derby enjoyed a sustained period of possession, without really threatening Pantilimon’s goal.

Kasey Palmer came off the bench to once again make an impact as he injected some pace and trickery into the Derby attack; twice winning free-kicks on the edge of the area.

Just as Forest began to come into the game with 10 minutes to go, they were given another advantage as Huddlestone received a second yellow card for a foul on the lively Tomlin.

Rowett brought on Jamie Hanson to patch up his midfield, and neither side managed to make the breakthrough as the East Midlands derby ended goalless for the first time since October 2002.

Nottingham Forest: Pantilimon; Darikwa, Figueiredo, Fox, Osborn; Watson, Colback; Cash, Tomlin, Lolley (Dowell, 78’); Brereton (Murphy, 85’).

Substitutes not used: Kapino, Mancienne, Worrall, Bridcutt, Vellios.

Derby County: Carson; Wisdom, Keogh, Davies, Forsyth; Lawrence (Hanson, 84’), Huddlestone, Johnson; Weimann, Nugent (Jerome, 66’), Anya (Palmer, 66’).

Substitutes not used: Roos, Pearce, Bogle, Thomas.

Major Moment…

Pantilimon joined Forest in January on-loan from Watford and the signing looked like quite the coup on an afternoon when he produced several superb saves.

Just before half-time, he kept out Nugent and Lawrence in quick succession, before he palmed away the Welshman’s goal-bound free-kick to keep it goalless going into the break.

Who Impressed…

Curtis Davies was outstanding in midweek against Queens Park Rangers and it was no different here.

The Rams have suffered in recent weeks as the solid defensive run that propelled them into promotion contention faded, but Davies had found his best form once again, as he won header after header as well as making some vital interventions on the ground.

What’s Next…

The Rams head to Pride Park Stadium for back-to-back home games, which are interrupted by the international break.

High-flying Cardiff City are next up on Sunday at 12pm, whilst Sunderland visit on Good Friday, kick-off: 7:45pm.

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