Commons caps Derby's fightback

Nottingham Forest 2 Derby County 3

No stranger to winning matches in front of a packed City Ground, Nigel Clough enjoyed the feeling again last night, although as manager of Forest's arch-rivals, his success was celebrated only by the 4,500 visiting supporters after Derby recovered from the loss of two early goals to book their passage into the fifth round of the FA Cup and a home tie against Manchester United a week on Sunday.

It could hardly have been a more painful experience for the home crowd, among whom there had been a strong lobby for Nigel to inherit the family business when Colin Calderwood was dismissed on Boxing Day. Not only did Clough get one over Billy Davies, the former Derby manager whom Forest ultimately preferred, but the winning goal was scored by Kris Commons, who left Forest for Pride Park last summer.

Despite his father's association with both clubs, Clough Jnr had insisted, despite his nine years as a player in the red shirt, that there were no divided loyalties. Yet, recognising the sensitivity of the occasion, he would not share his thoughts last night, passing that responsibility to another Forest old boy, his assistant, Gary Crosby. "You know the nature of the man," Crosby said. "Nigel is incredibly pleased with the result but does not want to be seen to be taking any glory whatsoever."

There was no such restraint from Commons, whose 73rd-minute deflected strike completed Derby's recovery after Chris Cohen had scored for Forest after 57 seconds and Nathan Tyson added a second, from the penalty spot, in the 13th minute. He ran towards the Derby fans at the Bridgford End of the ground then, and at the final whistle. Then again, he had delivered a fine performance as Forest, whose team consisted of the full complement of fit senior players available to Davies amid an injury crisis. Rob Earnshaw, whose goal at Pride Park had forced the replay was among the absentees.

Forest suffered another blow when James Perch, their captain, was carried off suffering from concussion after a clash with Rob Hulse, and with no player aged over 20 on the bench, Davies felt the depth in quality and experience of the respective squads was key. "We scored a good first goal and then go two up but then our naïvety kicked in," Davies said. "We allowed them to get balls into the box and did not deal with them. But against a side just out of the Premier League we have competed well and I'm only disappointed with the result."

Hulse had given Derby a lifeline after 27 minutes, sending a looping header over the goalkeeper Paul Smith after Forest had failed to cut out a Gary Teale cross. A quarter of an hour into the second half, Teale picked out Paul Green, who jumped unchallenged to nod in the equaliser.

By then, Forest were routinely conceding space and possession, not least to Commons, who had hit the woodwork with a thunderous shot minutes before he delivered the home side's fatal wound. Mark Byrne, summoned from the bench, missed a chance to take the tie into extra time but the result, on balance, was a just one.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-1-1): Smith; Chambers, Morgan, Breckin, Wilson; Thornhill, McGugan, Perch (Byrne, 70), McCleary (Heath, 80); Cohen; Tyson (Newbold, 88). Substitutes not used: Darlow (gk), Bencherif, Reid, Whitehurst.

Derby County (4-4-1-1): Bywater; Connolly, Albrechtsen, Nyatanga, McEveley; Barazite, Savage, Green, Teale; Commons; Hulse (Ellington, 81). Substitutes not used: Carroll (gk), Stewart, Villa, Sterjovski, Todd, Pearson.

Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London