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Derby County fell to a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest at the City Ground ahead of the last International break of 2019.

After a tight first-half in the East MidlandsdDerby, Forest took the lead early in the second-half through Lewis Grabban to take all three points in the Sky Bet Championship clash.

Phillip Cocu named one change from the starting line-up that beat Middlesbrough 2-0 last weekend with Max Lowe replacing Scott Malone, who picked up an injury in that game.

The Rams began on the front foot and asked questions of the home side after five minutes. Tom Lawrence continued on his impressive form, looking to add to his brace that secured the three points for Derby last Saturday.

Jayden Bogle blitzed down the right channel, before crossing in to find Chris Martin who, flicked the ball to the Welshman just inside the area, but his shot was batted away by Brice Samba.

Moments later, after another good run by Bogle, the Rams worked that ball well before Graeme Shinnie tried his luck from outside the area which Samba saved comfortably.

Matt Clarke was forced off after taking an early knock and replaced by George Evans after just 15 minutes. Evans slotted into the midfield while Krystian Bielik fell back in the defensive line to take on Clarke’s role.

A tense battle played out for the remainder of the half with either side enjoying periods of looking dangerous.

Sammy Ameobi was the biggest threat for the Reds and called Kelle Roos into action for the first time on 26 minutes. The forward controlled the ball in the left of the box and bent his effort toward the near post which Roos got a strong hand to and Bielik eventually cleared.

Ameobi struck again minutes before the break from a similar position drawing an instinctive save from Roos.

The remainder of the half was spent surrounding the Forest box, without creating a clear-cut chances. That momentum shifted following the break and just more than ten minutes after the restart, Forest had the lead.

A back-pass from Bogle to Roos was intercepted by Grabban and slotted in to break the deadlock.

Jamie Paterson looked to make an instant impact against his former side after coming off the bench in the 72nd minute. He received the ball by Bogle down the line ad moved past his marker to waltz into the area and find Jack Marriott at the near post, but Samba did well to block the tight-angle effort.

Marriott again came so close just minutes later to levelling the score. Lawrence sent a cross to Bogle on the other side the area who squared to the striker in front of goal, but Samba met his close-range effort.

The Rams kept pushing to find the equaliser with substitute Martyn Waghorn heading on target in the final minutes, but the Forest back line held strong.

Cocu’s side now have two weeks to prepare for their meeting with Preston North End at Pride Park Stadium following the international break.

Nottingham Forest: Samba; Cash, Figueiredo, Worrall, Ribeiro; Silva (Johnson, 90), Watson (C), Yates; Lolley (Adomah, 85), Grabban, Ameobi (Carvalho, 72)

Unused Subs: Muric, Vicente, Robinson, Benito

Derby County: Roos; Bogle, Davies (C), Clarke (Evans,15), Lowe; Bielik, Holmes (Paterson, 73), Shinnie (Waghorn, 84), Lawrence; Marriott, Martin

Unused Subs: Hamer, Wisdom, Dowell, Jozefzoon

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