A near full house at Christchurch Meadow, Belper, saw the Rams defeated by arch rivals Nottingham Forest this afternoon.
The Rams started brightly, but with neither side capable of the telling final ball. The Rams kept looking for the opener and it finally came in the 28th minute. A free kick just outside the Forest penalty area was not dealt with well and the ball cannoned around off several players before falling for Stephen Pearson. The Scottish midfielder, playing in the Rams reserves to gain match fitness, struck the ball well and beat Ben Cathermole low to his left hand side.
At one nil up it was never going to be enough to beat a determined and well drilled Forest outfit but the score stayed Derby County reserves 1 Nottingham Forest reserves 0 at the interval.
The team talk at half time woke Forest and they started the second period like a greyhound out of the traps and before many people had re-taken their seats in the main stand Forest had levelled the scores. A flap in the Derby County defence saw the ball given away, one pass to a Forest striker and the ball was smashed without mercy past Stephen Bywater into the roof of the Rams goal.
Derby Never seemed to get going after the scores were levelled despite having six players who are considered first team squad members, and it was Forest who seemed to have the desire to win the game and the Rams did little to worry the reds back-line.
Forest took the lead with a stunning move in the 53rd minute. Nialle Rodney finally stroking the ball past a despairing Bywater.
Dave Martin took a hard hit from a Forest defender in the 67th minute and it was no surprise when he was substituted, along with Gareth Roberts. They were replaced by Aaron Cole and Cormac Hegarty.
Stephen Pearson was also take out of the fray just three minutes later. He was replaced by Stefan Galinski.
Derby did have a guilt edged chance to level the scores in time added on at the end of the game when a cross from the left saw Callum Ball free on the edge of the six yard area but he failed to get over the ball and the resulting header ballooned over the Forest goal.
A hard fought game but one that ultimately failed to see much skilful football played on a bobbly pitch. So the Rams are left licking their wounds after first team defeats against Leicester City at the weekend and now a reserve team game against bitter rivals Nottingham Forest.