Nottingham Forest 0 Derby 1: Rams rock rivals thanks to Bryson intervention
14:35 GMT, 30 September 2012
Craig Bryson gave Derby their third successive win over 10-man Nottingham Forest after Dexter Blackstock was sent off in an ill-tempered east midlands derby.
A player had been dismissed in each of the last three meetings between these sides and a fourth always looked likely once the bruising challenges flew in from the off in this npower Championship encounter.
Sean O'Driscoll's side shaded the first period with Simon Cox skewing a swerving effort just past the post.
Close range: Craig Bryson scores the winner
Nottingham Forest: Camp, Halford (Moloney 78) Ayala, Collins, Harding, Gillett, McGugan (Lansbury 75), Cohen, Reid (Sharp 74), Cox, Blackstock.
Subs not used: Evtimov, Moussi, Coppinger, Majewski.
Booked: Gillett, Reid, Lansbury
Sent off: Blackstock
Derby: Fielding, Brayford, Buxton, Keogh, Roberts (O'Connor 78), Coutts, Bryson, Hendrick, Hughes, Ward (Jacobs 65), Sammon (Robinson 82).
Subs not used: Legzdins, Tyson, Gjokaj, Freeman
Booked: Roberts, Buxton
Goal: Bryson 55
Ref: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire)
But the game's turning point came only
32 seconds after the break when Blackstock was sent off for what was
controversially deemed a deliberate elbow into Richard Keogh's head.
The 10 men found themselves behind nine minutes later when Bryson swept home to round off a flowing move down the right.
The Rams were indebted to goalkeeper
Frank Fielding, who made a fine save to deny Simon Gillett at the death
and confirm the three points.
Forest, who left out new loan recruit
Jermaine Jenas, had struck an early blow in this fixture on the previous
three occasions, but they were unable to repeat the feat.
They may well have done, though, had a
penalty been awarded when Cox's cross struck Jake Buxton's arm with
referee Robert Madley viewing the contact as accidental.
Any hopes Madley had of enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon were soon dashed as both sides set the tone with crunching challenges.
Forest came close as Greg Halford's
long throw somehow evaded everybody before the City Ground erupted in
collective rage as Gareth Roberts became the latest player booked for a
wild lunge on Chris Cohen.
Fielding was grateful for another
blast of Madley's whistle as the Rams stopper was fouled in the build-up
to Danny Collins' header which hit the crossbar.
Conor Sammon and Cox ended the half by trading long-range efforts but the sides went into the break deadlocked.
Contrast: Richard Keogh and Bryson celebrate while Chris Cohen is left dejected
Thump: Andy Reid and Bryson (right) battle for the ball
If Madley had been conservative with his cards in the first 45 minutes, he sent out a huge message seconds after the interval.
Blackstock leapt with Keogh and, as
both sides wondered if the decision had gone their way, the Forest
striker was shown a straight red for elbowing Derby's skipper in the
Blackstock walked off perplexed and the visitors soon made their numerical advantage count.
A lovely move down the right involving
John Brayford, Will Hughes and Paul Coutts ended with the latter
squaring an enticing centre which Bryson slotted home.
Scrap: Forest's Dan Harding is barged by Paul Coutts
Tussle: Daniel Ayala and Conor Sammon (right)
Sent off: Dexter Blackstock was dismissed for an elbow
Jamie Ward left the pitch injured but
Nigel Clough's side continued to press forward as Bryson forced Lee Camp
into a smart stop.
O'Driscoll made a double switch,
introducing Billy Sharp and Henri Lansbury, and Fielding almost gifted
Forest an equaliser when he fumbled a Halford free-kick before gathering
at the second attempt.
But the Rams stopper was alert when called upon again, pushing away Gillett's stinging volley.
Cox and Lansbury were booked in the
closing stages to irk the home supporters further before a minor
confrontation involving Theo Robinson greeted the final whistle, in what
was a fitting end to a fiery affair.