What was expected to be a fiery, competitive encounter turned out to be somewhat of a routine win for the Reds as Derby had no answer to goals by Albert Adomah and Joe Lolley in the first half and a Joao Carvalho effort in the second period.
Though derby fixtures always mean more, the Carabao Cup isn’t too high on either side’s priority list and that was reflected with the two team selections as Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi made eight changes to the side who beat Fulham at the weekend with his Derby counter-part Philip Cocu going even further, naming 10 new faces in his line-up.
Forest had an opening in the 18th minute as a cross into the box was only cleared as far as Matty Cash 25 yards out but his well-struck volley flew comfortably over the Derby goal.
The Reds continued to look the more likely and Rafa Mir spurned two golden opportunities in quick succession, first lifting an acrobatic effort over the bar from close range before then being denied by Ben Hamer after good work by Brennan Johnson teed up the on-loan Wolves striker.
Forest’s opener finally arrived in the 25th minute. A whipped in corner from Joe Lolley somehow ended up at the back post where Albert Adomah was sneaking in to finish well and put the home side ahead.
Ten minutes later and Forest were two ahead. This time it was Adomah who delivered the ball into the area and his fellow winger Lolley was charging in at the back post to thump a header past Hamer.
The visitors almost hit back straight away but after former Red Jamie Paterson pulled the ball back from the left flank, youngster Morgan Whittaker lifted a good opportunity over the bar.
Sabri Lamouchi’s men should have added another goal to their tally moments into the second half as Lolley picked out Mir at the back post but the Spanish forward’s wastefulness in front of goal continued as he headed straight at Hamer.
Derby were trying hard to work a way back into the contest but were finding it hard to get past a resolute Forest back line. Mason Bennett wriggled into some space outside the area in the 69th minute but he fired over the bar.
Things went from bad to worse in the 79th minute for the Rams as Forest extended their advantage. Joao Carvalho marked his return from injury with a fortuitous goal as an attempted clearance from inside the Derby area ricocheted off the playmaker, arrowing past a helpless Ben Hamer.
With Derby despondent, Forest were able to see out the game with the 23,000 Reds in the City Ground left to enjoy the satisfaction of securing those all-important bragging rights.
FOREST XI (4-2-3-1): Samba (GK); Cash, Figueiredo, Worrall © (Rodriquez 83’), Ribeiro; Bostock, Semedo; Lolley (Silva 68’), Johnson (Carvalho 57’), Adomah; Mir
SUBS NOT USED: Muric (GK), Grabban, Jenkinson, Ameobi
DERBY COUNTY XI: Hamer (GK), Shinnie (Bird 83’), Paterson, Clarke, Evans, Bennett, Holmes, Davies ©, Sibley (Marriott 58’), Buchanan, Whittaker (Mitchell-Lawson 70’)
SUBS NOT USED: Roos (GK), Keogh, Lawrence, Knight
ATTENDANCE: 26,971 (3,331 away)
FOREST MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Alfa Semedo
REFEREE: John Brooks