Nottingham Forest’s Under 21s slipped to a 2-1 home defeat against Derby County at The City Ground this evening.James Demetriou had pulled Forest level early in the second half but The Rams struck again with just over 20 minutes remaining to take all three points.
The Reds started the game in confident fashion and were moving the ball around with pace. Demetriou was the first to test the hands of Derby stopper Mats Morch as he sent a shot into the keeper’s hands from the edge of the area.
Simon Gillett was featuring for the 21s and he was the next to try his luck on the Derby goal. After escaping the clutches of his opposite man, the midfielder fired an effort at goal but it whistled just wide of the post.
After that near miss the visitors went ahead five minutes before the break with a well-worked move. Michael Hoganson escaped down the left-hand channel and pulled a cross back to the penalty spot where Kwame Thomas was on hand to head home past a stranded Ross Durrant.
Eight minutes into the second half, Forest were on level terms thanks to Demetriou. The Australian’s trickery inside the box bamboozled the Derby defenders and, after being brought down, he stepped up to slot home a precise penalty past Morch.
Forest pushed hard to find a winner but were caught by a sucker-punch on 68 minutes. Andrew Dales’ shot from inside the box was parried by Durrant but Lowe was able to turn the ball into the unguarded net to restore Derby’s lead.
Ben Osborn sent a low shot whistling past the post as Forest searched for an equaliser but their efforts were in vain as their near neighbours took all three points back to Pride Park.
Forest: Durrant, Morgan, Kelly (Kamaneno 76’), Gillett, Worrall, Greening, Blake, Otim, Demetriou, Osborn, Grant (Wallace 62’)
Subs not used: Myles, Gnahore, Polimos
Scorer: Demetriou (pen) 53’
Derby: Morch, Hendrie, Hoganson, Gjokaj, Hanson, Dawkins, Wassall, Dales, Vernam, Lowe, Thomas
Subs not used: Berry, Hayes, Sharpe, Wixted, Girvin
Scorers: Thomas 40’, Lowe 68’
Referee: Mark Billingham