Young Rams suffer narrow defeat to fierce local rivals.
Nottingham Forest’s Under-21s held out for almost an hour to seal the narrowest of victories against the Rams at Moor Farm training ground.
First-team midfielder Simon Gillett’s unstoppable strike for the visitors after 34 minutes was enough to seal all three points for Forest, and although the Rams pressed hard for an equaliser, they could not find a way past goalkeeper Khalid Alrihisdi.
Andy Garner’s side will feel particularly aggrieved to have left the Rams’ training ground empty handed, following a match that the home side dominated in terms of both possession and efforts at goal.
The Rams had a hatful of opportunities to take the lead prior to Gillett’s stunning strike, with Michael Jacobs and Adam Wixted both seeing their long-range efforts saved by Alrihisdi.
Then Michael Hoganson’s lung-busting run was followed up by a fizzing cut-back towards Conor Doyle, but the American youth international could only side foot the former Newcastle United defender’s cross wide of goal.
Unfortunately, Derby were made to pay for not taking their chances, as Gillett collected his own free-kick which cannoned off the Rams’ defensive wall, before rifling a fierce 25-yard effort beyond the reach of 'keeper Saul Deeeney.
Other than Gillett’s goal, Forest rarely threatened, although in one fleeting attacking move in the first-half, Deimantas Petravicius spurned a half-chance for the Reds when he found space in the penalty area, only to fire over.
In the second-half the Rams maintained their high pressing, attacking display and were unfortunate not to level when Jacobs had a free-kick beaten away by Alrihisdi, prior to experienced defender Gareth Roberts and Doyle going close with strikes from the edge of the penalty area.
Derby County: Deeney; O'Connor, Adams, Gjokaj, Roberts; Wixted, Smith (Wassall 50), Dales (Rawson 82), Hoganson (Lelan 46); Jacobs, Doyle.
Subs not used: Morch, Hayes.