Colin Kazim-Richards’ stunning late strike earned Derby County a share of the points in a 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest in the East Midlands Derby at Pride Park Stadium.
Having signed a contract extension in the morning, the forward struck the leveller on Friday evening in the 84th minute when he set himself and rifled his shot from outside the area after James Garner’s first half strike to open the scoring.
Wayne Rooney made two changes to the starting line-up in the victory against Huddersfield Town in the week, naming the same side that started the second half with Martyn Waghorn and Kamil Jozwiak lining up.
After a tentative start from both sides in the opening stages, it was Derby who settled into the game after 20 minutes.
A lengthy spell of possession saw the first two shots of the game as the Rams patiently built-up play.
Jason Knight did brilliantly to keep possession on the edge of the area before feeding the ball out to Lee Buchanan on the left. The full-back drove a low effort towards the far corner, but it was a comfortable save for Brice Samba.
Possession was straight back to the Rams as they passed around the back looking for an opening.
Buchanan’s cross in was blocked and fell into the path of Graeme Shinnie who struck on target, but his effort was palmed away by Samba.
Kamil Jozwiak had the second chance and his effort looked to have hit the Forest defender’s arm, but despite protests, the referee said no penalty and a corner is given.
The resulting set piece is delivered by Shinnie from the right and after Forest failed to clear and Knight’s effort sailed just over the crossbar.
Despite Derby’s heavy pressure, it was the Reds who took the lead with ten minutes left to play.
A long ball is delivered into the area and Joe Worrall headed back out. Garner rushed in and squeezed his shot under David Marshall in the bottom corner.
Just minutes before half time, Marshall was forced out of the game after picking up a knock and was replaced by Kelle Roos.
Ten minutes into the second half, Derby came close again. Knight slipped a ball through to Kazim-Richards in the area and the forward fired a low effort past Samba, but also just a whisker past the far post.
On the hour mark, Roos’ goal-kick only reach Anthony Knockaert in the Rams’ half, he sent a back-heeled pass down the line to Cyrus Christie and his cross from the right was met by the head of Filip Krovinovic whose headed effort was a comfortable save for Roos.
A mistake at the back almost gifted Forest a second goal when a pass went directly to Luke Freeman who created space and took aim and his effort when just over the cross bar.
In the 84th minute, Kazim-Richards rifled in the leveller for the Rams. Gregory played through to the striker, but it came off his back and his marker looked to clear it.
Again the ball hit Kazim-Richards, but this time it was into his chest as he was facing goal. He set himself then hurtled his effort into the top corner.
Gregory had a chance to fire in the winner when Patrick Roberts squared to him and he struck a half-volley from close range just wide of the far post.
Derby County: Marshall (C) (Roos, 43), Wisdom, Shinnie (Gregory, 64), Jozwiak (Sibley, 64), Bird, Waghorn (Roberts, 75), Byrne, Kazim-Richards, Clarke, Buchanan, Knight.
Substitutes: Forsyth, Edmundson, Baningime, McDonald, Watson.
Nottingham Forest: Samba, Christie, Figueiredo, Worrall (C), Ribeiro, Freeman (Blackett, 82), Cafu, Murray (Taylor 70), Krovinovic, Knockaert, Garner.
Substitutes: Smith, Soh, Colback, Ameobi, Jenkinson, Sow, Lolley