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?
News
Night job: Pacha nightclub DJ, Joan Ribas, is the new kingmaker on the island
news
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family
film'I survived it, but I’ll never be the same,' says Arash Amel
Life and Style
Retailers should make good any consumer goods problems that occur within two years
tech(and what to do if you receive it)
Life and Style
healthIf one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada