Nottingham Forest 1-1 Derby County: Under-fire Phillip Cocu denied much-needed win as Kamil Jozwiak’s late strike is ruled out for offside after Lyle Taylor had cancelled out Martin Waghorn’s stunning free-kick
- Taylor rescued a point for Nottingham Forest with his first goal for the club
- Taylor poked home from close range to cancel out Waghorn’s brilliant opener
- Derby winger Kamil Jozwiak had a goal ruled out for offside in 77th minute
Eight months since his last goal, Derby striker Martyn Waghorn issued a timely reminder that he can still be trusted to provide a quality service.
A stunning 25-yard first-half free-kick had the few dozen ‘spectators’ at the City Ground off their seats, a reflex reaction to an East Midlands derby ice-breaker.
Taking the lead and hanging on to it are two different things, illustrated by an Anthony Knockaert-inspired fightback which saw Lyle Taylor mop up an equaliser from close range.
Derby striker Martyn Waghorn scored his first goal in eight months on Friday night
The visitors were also convinced they had scored again but young Polish winger Kamil Jozwiak’s strike was ruled offside as El Cloughico ended honours even.
No Derby fans need telling their team have been doing badly – three points from the opening six League matches was their worst start in 28 years. Going into this match County had scored two goals and conceded 10. The only side with worse figures in the Championship are Wycombe.
Manager Philip Cocu has been looking ever more world weary, batting away constant questions about his future with the elephant in the room. Or, in this case, the would-be next manager holed up at home in coronavirus self-isolating frustration – because Wayne Rooney looms large in what happens next.
The only way to return to an even keel is by putting together a string of impressive results, which could also be said of Forest, under new management with Chris Hughton.
The Derby striker fired home a stunning 25-yard free-kick for the opening goal
Hughton has been around the block often enough to know that there will be a minimal honeymoon period. Joe Lolley’s 90th minute decider at Blackburn was gratefully received and the midweek draw at home to Rotherham at least extended the unbeaten run to two after losing all five opening League and Cup games.
Having the neighbours round tends to up the ante at the City Ground and that was evident in an impressive opening 45 minutes from Derby, who could easily have been more than a goal up by half-time.
There was a huge penalty shout which was waved away by referee Tony Harrington. Impressive Jozwiak made a dangerous run into the area and pulled the ball back for Tom Lawrence, who needed no second invitation to crash to the ground under a perceived push from Ryan Yates.
Anthony Knockaert-inspired fightback saw Lyle Taylor mop up an equaliser from close range
Graeme Shinnie, master of set pieces, was also a positive influence and forced Brice Samba into a reflex push with one curling effort.
Yet when Derby won a free kick 25 yards out, it was Waghorn who claimed the honour. Samba did not have a chance to save it as the ball flew past him.
As expected, Forest’s reply was to bring on Knockaert and increase the tempo. It worked. First Knockaert set up Sammy Ameobi, who somehow missed from close range, and then the winger zipped in a corner and Taylor pounced for the equaliser.
Derby regrouped and began to look dangerous on the counter-attack. Promising signs for Cocu and food for thought for Hughton.
Young Polish winger Kamil Jozwiak had an effort ruled out for offside in the 77th minute