Football: Woan brings an end to the Forsyth saga

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The Independent Online
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IAN WOAN restored his reputation with Frank Clark as the post-Clough era at the City Ground began with a stirring battle against their East Midlands neighbours, Derby County, in front of near-capacity crowd.

The Forest midfielder engaged in an angry disagreement with Clark when he was substituted during Sunday's draw at Southend. Last night, his goal enabled Forest to collect another point, having again started the match without their pounds 2m striker, Stan Collymore, in their quest to make an early impact in the First Division after Derby had taken the lead.

The presence of Gary Charles and Darren Wassall in Derby shirts added a few more volts to a highly-charged atmosphere. Charles, whose move in the summer after a soured ending to his Forest career, had to contend with a particularly hostile reception.

Derby, confidence high after their opening-day drubbing of Sunderland, were first to produce quality play. Marco Gabbiadini was the key element in two early warnings for the home side, linking with the full-back, Michael Forsyth, on the left before Steve Stone stretched a leg to concede a corner, then swapping passes on the right with new colleague John Harkes, signed from Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday, before testing Mark Crossley with an awkward high shot.

Gabbiadini narrowly missed the target with an admirable effort from a tight angle but Forest clicked into gear on the half hour and Derby had to survive some fierce pressure just before the break.

They were indebted to their goalkeeper, Martin Taylor, for preventing a Forest goal. After an excellent long ball from Steve Chettle, Taylor pushed Woan's shot past his left-hand post and was soon called on to make a double save from Kingsley Black and Lee Glover. The last action of the first half saw Taylor produce his best save, palming a header from Robert Rosario around the right-hand upright.

Forest re-started with no loss of momentum but Derby took the lead after 54 minutes when the home defence failed to react to Harkes' run into the area and then allowed Forsyth to receive the American's pass with his back to goal before turning and finding a gap to score. But the Forest supporters were only briefly subdued. On the hour, Woan found space on the edge of the Derby box and beat Taylor with a left-foot drive.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Crossley; Lyttle, Chettle, Cooper, Pearce; Black, Stone, Webb, Woan; Glover (Harvey, 76), Rosario. Substitutes not used: Laws, Marriott (gk).

Derby County (4-4-2): Taylor; Charles, Short, Wassall, Forsyth; Harkes, Kuhl, Williams, Pembridge; Kitson, Gabbiadini. Substitutes not used: Johnson, Cavanagh, Sutton (gk).

Referee: T Holbrook (West Midlands).