Nelson Oliveira’s early strike proved enough as Derby County fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat to local rivals Nottingham Forest.

Nelson Oliveira’s early strike proved enough as Derby County fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat to local rivals Nottingham Forest.

The Portuguese forward struck four minutes into the contest to give the hosts a priceless and despite Derby’s possession dominance, they were unable to break down a stubborn backline.

The closest Paul Clement’s side came to scoring was through Jeff Hendrick, who crashed the top of the crossbar with a long range effort as the Rams’ 10 game unbeaten run in the Sky Bet Championship came to an end.

The tone for a typical fiery East Midlands was set within the first 30 seconds of the contest after Jonathan Williams was booked for a high foot, but it taken too much longer before the encounter also had its breakthrough.

Quicker out of the traps, Forest attacked Derby relentlessly and opened the scoring on four minutes after Oliveira crashed a low effort beyond Scott Carson after seeing an initial effort blocked.

But for the Derby goalkeeper it could have been two. Jamie Ward skipped away down the right and after exchanging passes with Oliveira on the edge of the area and unleashed a shot destined for the far corner.

Carson had other ideas and stretched to turn the fine bending effort behind for a corner.

From there, Derby bossed possession at the City Ground, content to be patient as they create whilst Dougie Freedman’s side played on the break.

Jeff Hendrick came closest to getting the Rams back level, clipping the top of the crossbar with a shot from the edge of the area and minutes later, tried sent a long range effort well over the crossbar after driving forward with the ball.

Forest were having better luck from range. Henri Lansbury, the Captain, drove an arrow like drive narrowly wide and on 28 minutes, Matt Mills saw a headed goal from a corner ruled out for a push in the box.

A frantic first half saw Derby, slickly, break through midfield, leading to Johnny Russell forcing Dorus De Vries into his first save of the contest, whilst Cyrus Christie, after showing great feet to avoid a challenger, blazed well wide of goal.

Shortly after the half hour mark, Russell’s dangerous free kick caused havoc and eventually saw the ball bounce over the crossbar off a Forest player, whilst Bradley Johnson sent another speculative effort over.

The early stages of the second half came with the same story. Clement’s side dominated the possession stats, but seldom threatened De Vries’ goal.

Instead, after robbing back the ball midway inside their own half, Forest broke at pace, leading to Oliveira testing his luck again with a fierce drive that flashed past the outside of Carson’s far post.

On 66 minutes, only last-gasp challenge from Stephen Warnock at the far post prevented the hosts from doubling their lead after he intercepted Daniel Pinillos’ low centre after the full back broke inside the area.

With 20 minutes remaining, Chris Martin, the Captain, drove a free kick well over the bar and whilst Clement’s side huffed and puffed, they struggled to create any meaningful openings.

As they had done all game, Forest still created the better chances. Released through the middle Ryan Mendes had a goal bound effort saved by Carson and Oliveira blazed well wide as Derby’s 10 match unbeaten run, disappointingly, came to an end with their first away defeat since March.

Nottingham Forest: De Vries, Lichaj, Mills, Hobbs, Pinillos, Mendes, Lansbury (c), Williams (Trotter, 70), Vaughan, Ward (Osborn, 60), Oliveira (Blackstock, 89)

Substitutes not used: Evtimov, Wilson, Blackstock, C.Burke, Walker

Derby County: Carson, Christie, Keogh, Shackell, Warnock; Thorne, Hendrick (Ince, 65), Johnson; Weimann (Bent, 80), Russell (Butterfield, 73), Martin (C)

Substitutes not used: Grant, Bryson, Baird, Pearce

Attendance: 25,114 (1,951 Derby supporters)

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