Nottingham Forest and Chesterfield played out a 1-1 draw at The Proact Stadium this evening.A good second-half strike by Spireites winger Gary Roberts cancelled out Matt Derbyshire’s opener.
Marcus Tudgay joined Derbyshire up front, while Dorus de Vries took his place between the Forest sticks.
New Reds signing Jack Hobbs watched on from the stands as Chesterfield mustered the first shot of the game on six minutes. Sam Morsy picked it up 20 yards out and curled an effort towards goal with the outside of his boot. Dorus de Vries saved comfortably.
Five minutes later, Ritchie Humphreys ghosted in at the back post to volley Drew Talbot’s pinpoint cross over the bar.
Despite Chesterfield’s early threat it was Forest who took the lead. Derbyshire raced on to a perfectly-weighted through ball from Andy Reid to finish calmly beyond Tommy Lee on 17 minutes.
They nearly doubled their lead two minutes later. After a patient spell of possession, Greg Halford charged into Chesterfield’s half and flashed a powerful 30-yard strike just wide of the post.
The home side’s response came in the form of a long-range Jimmy Ryan effort. de Vries watched his strike sail through a crowd of bodies before punching it to safety.
As half-time approached, Sam Togwell lobbed an effort over the crossbar on the stretch before Derbyshire won possession at the other end and curled a precise effort inches wide.
On the stroke of the interval, Henri Lansbury pulled it back for Marcus Tudgay whose shot from the edge of the area deflected over for a corner. There was no time for the resultant set piece as Craig Pawson blew for half-time.
The Spireites made five changes at the break while Forest emerged unchanged, and it was the hosts who had the first shot of the second-half. Some neat build-up play sent Jay O’Shea towards goal and Danny Collins had to be on hand to knock de Vries’ parry out for a corner.
Moments later, Humphreys’ dangerous cross was met by Marc Richards at the back post, but the striker couldn’t keep his header down.
Forest went straight down the other end and were gifted two golden opportunities by Lee. The keeper was twice caught in no man’s land but Sam Hird and Ryan were on hand to deny Tudgay and Derbyshire respectively.
Ryan’s clearance was particularly impressive but it almost counted for nothing as the resultant corner found its way to Halford at the back post. He brought the ball under control but blazed over from a tight angle.
Chesterfield made another three changes after the hour and it appeared to give them a temporary boost – Halford had to show good anticipation to block a dangerous low cross at the near post.
It was Forest’s turn to make changes on 65 minutes – Guy Moussi was replaced by Stephen McLaughlin, Tudgay by Darius Henderson, Henri Lansbury by Adlene Guedioura, Derbyshire by Dexter Blackstock, Reid by Jonathan Greening and Jamie Paterson by Radi Majewski.
And it didn’t take long for the Pole to get in on the action – Eric Lichaj laid it off after a good run but Majewski shot over from just outside the area.
Forest then almost caught their hosts on the break. A cross was cleared by Danny Collins and McLaughlin controlled well to pass it on to Henderson. The striker sent Blackstock through on goal but Lee got down well to divert the Antiguan’s effort wide.
At the resultant corner, the ball eventually dropped for McLaughlin but his goalbound effort was blocked.
With 15 minutes to play, Guedioura twisted and turned his way into space before dinking an inviting ball over towards Henderson at the back post. The striker was crowded out before he could apply the finishing touch.
A minute later at the other end, Richards’ clever flick from a low ball into the area went just wide, but the hosts did find a leveller on 79 minutes.
Substitute Roberts picked the ball up on the edge of the area and shaped a lovely curling effort out of the reach of de Vries and into the net.
In the last minute of time, de Vries made a smart save from Jay O’Shea – the final action of an entertaining evening at The Proact Stadium.
Forest: de Vries, Lichaj (Harding 72'), Collins (c), Moussi (McLaughlin 65'), Cohen, Reid (Greening 65'), Halford, Derbyshire (Blackstock 65'), Paterson (Majewski 65'), Tudgay (Henderson 65'), Lansbury (Guedioura 65')
Subs not used: Darlow
Scorer: Derbyshire 17'
Chesterfield: Lee, Talbot (Bencherif 62'), Brown (Darikwa 46'), Cooper, Humphreys (Davidsen 88'), Cakin (Hird 46'), Togwell (O'Shea 46'), Morsy (Gnanduillet 62'), Ryan (Broadhead 88'), Devitt (Roberts 46'), Doyle (Richards 46')
Subs not used: Hewitt, Walshaw, Finlaw, Chapman
Scorer: Roberts 79'
Referee: Craig Pawson