Nigel Clough last night became the first Derby manager to deliver a double over Nottingham Forest since his father 40 years ago, substitute Jake Buxton's header from a Ben Davies free-kick halfway through eight minutes of stoppage time giving them victory against the East Midlands rivals both men also served with distinction.
Buxton, a peripheral figure since following Clough Jnr from Burton Albion, owed his opportunity to what appeared a serious leg injury to Derby's captain Shaun Barker after he collided with two Forest players while challenging for a corner. Barker left on a stretcher, followed off in the last minute of normal time by ex-Derby forward Marcus Tudgay who was dismissed for a foul on Craig Bryson, his second bookable offence.
The clubs may be separated by 15 miles of the Brian Clough Way but there was, of course, nothing neighbourly about the exchanges. There were bookings inside 18 minutes for Steven Davies and Forest's Adlene Guedioura and Guy Moussi, whose team-mate Andy Reid was both sinned against and sinning as tackles flew in.
Nathan Tyson was left limping by the challenge that led to Guedioura's caution. He continued after treatment.
The Derby-born Lee Camp, the Forest goalkeeper, was the busier while not actually having to make a save worth the name during the first half. Frank Fielding was a spectator for long spells, although Reid's cunningly flighted free-kicks intermittently caused concern to the home defence.
The poor quality of the play was witlessly summed up by Forest shortly after half-time. First Reid's corner kick cleared both sets of players in the penalty box. Then, after he had charged up the opposite flank to keep the ball in play, Guedioura miscued his cross straight out for a goal kick and suffered a groin strain in the process, forcing him to give way to Jonathan Greening.
Strange to reflect that, in Clough Snr's pomp, Derby produced high-class fare on a quagmire. Pride Park boasts an excellent surface, and yet neither side could put together a passing move that would have set Old Big 'Ead purring. Ben Davies at last forced Camp into action in the 63rd minute, but within two minutes a foul on him by Dexter Blackstock sparked a 20-man mêlée which ended with a yellow card for the Forest man.