Nottingham Forest manager Sabri Lamouchi had a birthday to remember after watching his side win the East Midlands Derby for the second time this season, with a second-half Lewis Grabban goal giving the Reds a 1-0 win at the City Ground.
The result was a blow to the Rams whose away form has been poor all season but who had good spells in the game, unable to break the hosts down.
And it was an error from Jayden Bogle that presented Forest with the win, Grabban capitalising to finish well.
Derby had a big chance to take the lead inside the fifth minute. Striker Chris Martin teed the ball up for midfielder Tom Lawrence but he saw his low shot saved well by Brice Samba.
Forest themselves were pushing forward for the opener and both Tiago Silva and Sammy Ameobi saw early efforts from distance go wide of the target.
It continued to be an entertaining opening to the game and in the seventh minute, Derby midfielder Graeme Shinnie saw his effort easily saved.
Reds captain Ben Watson has been in the habit recently of popping up with crucial goals and he eyed another but saw his 11th minute shot blocked.
Silva would be rewarded for a superb display with the man-of-the-match award and he sent a 30 yard free kick just wide of the target.
The physical presence of Ameobi was causing Derby issues and he forced ‘keeper Kelle Roos into two strong saves before the interval.
Forest top ‘scorer Grabban curled the ball over, before Derby’s Jack Marriott forced Samba into a low save, as the two sides went into half with the score at 0-0.
The Reds started the second period the brighter and in the 57th minute, they got what would prove to be the winner. Derby right back Bogle sent a wayward pass straight into the path of Grabban who didn’t need a touch before firing past a stranded Roos.
Bogle tried to make amends for his error in the 66th minute but after good control on the edge of the box, he smashed the ball over the bar.
Ten minutes after getting their first, Forest almost got a second when Joe Lolley found a yard inside the area but his goal-bound shot was diverted off target by the frame of team mate Grabban.
Derby could have found themselves down to ten men in the 70th minute when Lawrence escaped with only a yellow for a dangerous tackle on Yuri Ribeiro.
After keeping Lawrence on the pitch, Derby turned up the pressure in the closing stages and had several chances to draw level.
Marriott was played down the right hand side of the area in the 73rd minute but fired straight at Samba.
Marriott was involved again four minutes later when Lawrence’s cross into the box was headed back into his path but his effort lacked the power and direction.
The Derby pressure continued to grow and with 5 minutes left, Marriott was found by left back Max Lowe but his shot was blocked by the outstretched leg of Forest defender Joe Worrall.
Martin and Martyn Waghorn both had opportunities in the closing stages but they were unable to find the back of the net and it was Forest who held on for the win, the Brian Clough Trophy and the bragging rights.
FOREST XI (4-2-3-1): Samba; Cash, Worrall, Figueiredo, Ribeiro; Watson ©, Yates; Lolley (Adomah 85‘), Silva (Johnson 90’), Ameobi (Carvalho 72’); Grabban
SUBS NOT USED: Muric (GK), Mir, Robinson, Chema
DERBY COUNTY XI: Roos (GK), Shinnie (Waghorn 84’), Bielik, Lawrence, Marriott, Clarke (Evans 15’), Martin, Holmes (Paterson 72’), Lowe, Davies ©, Bogle
SUBS NOT USED: Hamer (GK), Wisdom, Dowell, Jozefzoon
REFEREE: Darren England
ATTENDANCE: 29,314 (1,989 away)