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Page last updated at 21:41 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Nottm Forest 2-3 Derby

Derby matchwinner Kris Commons
Commons celebrates scoring the winner on his old stomping ground

Derby County fought back from two goals down to beat local rivals Nottingham Forest and set up an FA Cup fifth round encounter with Manchester United.

Forest got off to a stunning start as Chris Cohen lashed in a left-foot shot and Nathan Tyson scored from the spot after Stephen Bywater brought him down.

But Rob Hulse headed home Gary Teale's cross and Paul Green nodded in another Teale centre to level it for Derby.

They won it when ex-Forest star Kris Commons struck with a 20-yard drive.

The stirring comeback gave Rams boss Nigel Clough the perfect return to the City Ground, where he represented Forest for so long as a player.

But it was a shame for either side to lose after a rip-roaring Cup tie between two fierce local rivals, with both sets of players giving it absolutely everything.

With Forest and Derby struggling towards the foot of the Championship there are more important battles to fight this season, but bragging rights were very much up for grabs on the banks of the River Trent.

It was the home team that made by far the better start and with only 37 seconds on the clock, they took the lead.

Cohen took a short corner and collected the ball back from Matt Thornhill, creating an angle to shoot and hammering it via a slight deflection into the top corner past Bywater.

Forest were flying and Tyson headed wide before Lewis McGugan's sweetly-struck volley flew into the arms of Bywater.

Commons, on his first return to the City Ground since leaving Forest last summer, flashed a shot wide, before his old team doubled their lead.

Tyson beat the offside trap and was brought down in the Derby box by Bywater, who was cautioned, before the striker picked himself up to hammer home the penalty.

But instead of going under Derby fought back bravely and with Robbie Savage in determined mood, they began to assert themselves on the game.

Commons had an effort saved by Paul Smith before Derby pulled one back, Teale's excellent deep cross headed in by Hulse.

It was now an end-to-end affair with the tempo rarely dropping and soon after the break Cohen saw his left-foot drive expertly tipped behind by Bywater.

Just before the hour mark Derby got the equaliser their improvement deserved, but it was thanks to some more poor marking in the Forest box.

Teale sent over another cross and this time Forest left midfielder Green unmarked to beat Smith from close range.

Forest's woes deepened when captain James Perch was stretchered off, before Green danced through some more statuesque defending only to drag his shot wide.

With the home team struggling Commons, who quit the Reds in controversial fashion, made his decisive contribution.

Moments after his sizzling drive struck the post he tried his luck from the edge of the area again and his shot took a slight deflection before looping over Smith and into the net.

Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies:
"Derby have come from the Premier League and us from League One so we are miles apart from each other.

"We started brilliantly and it is disappointing to let the lead slip, but I have nothing but pride in the boys.

"They worked their socks off and we lost to a deflected goal in the end. Really you can't ask any more of them."

Derby assistant boss Gary Crosby:
"Forest came out of the blocks well and we didn't deal with it.

"But the response was magnificent. As soon as we got back to 2-1 I was always confident and we were the better side and created the better chances.

"The effort the lads put in was very, very good and if you do that you will get the rewards in the end."

Nottm Forest: Smith, Chambers, Morgan, Breckin, Wilson, McCleary (Heath 81), Perch (Byrne 70), McGugan, Thornhill, Cohen, Tyson (Newbold 85).
Subs Not Used: Darlow, Bencherif, Reid, Whitehurst.

Booked: McGugan.

Goals: Cohen 2, Tyson 14 pen.

Derby: Bywater, Connolly, Albrechtsen, McEveley, Nyatanga, Barazite, Green, Savage, Teale, Commons, Hulse (Ellington 81).
Subs Not Used: Carroll, Stewart, Villa, Sterjovski, Todd, Pearson.

Booked: Bywater, Nyatanga.

Goals: Hulse 27, Green 60, Commons 74.

Att: 29,001.

Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Nottingham Forest's Nathan Tyson on 8.71 (on 90 minutes).

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see also
FA Cup photos
04 Feb 09 |  FA Cup
Derby 1-1 Nottm Forest
23 Jan 09 |  FA Cup

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