Billy Davies` Rams ran out comfortable 2-0 winners of the inaugural Brian Clough Trophy match at Pride Park last night, with goals from Jay McEveley on six minutes and Craig Fagan on 15 minutes.
It was a pleasing performance from the Rams, after Saturday`s defeat at Mansfield and the majority of the big crowd of 25,519 went home happy.
Davies selected Robert Earnshaw and Andy Todd for their home debuts; the former Norwich striker partnered Fagan up front and the former Blackburn defender joined Darren Moore at the heart of the defence.
The visitors had the first chance, Rams keeper Stephen Bywater`s clearance was charged down by Grant Holt, but the rebound went the wrong side of the post. The Rams pressed and went close on two minutes, Fagan`s long-range strike saved easily by Dale Roberts.
But the home fans didn`t have long to wait for the opener, and Wembley hero Stephen Pearson was the provider. His through ball found McEveley on the left and his 25-yard strike beat Roberts, much to the delight of the Rams faithful.
It was 2-0 on the quarter-hour and McEveley was the provider this time. His searching ball found Fagan clear and he clinically finished past Roberts from the edge of the box.
There were no more goals although both sides had chances, particularly in a second half that the Rams completely dominated.
It was a great evening to celebrate the times of the legion that is Brian Clough. The perpetual trophy will be played for each season by the Rams and Reds, and as both sides prepare for the current season it was a good workout for them both.
The Rams Stephen Pearson received the Man of the Match award, for a strong performance and the biggest cheer of all was when the Rams skipper Matt Oakley was presented with the Brian Clough Trophy for 2007.
Teams – Derby – GK Bywater, Beardsley (Mears 69), Camara, McEveley (Jones 77), Todd, Moore, Teale, Oakley, Fagan (Howard 71), Earnshaw (Macken 71), Pearson
Subs not used _ GK Price, Malcolm, Leacock
Forest – GK Roberts, Moloney, Morgan, Breckin, Commons (Bastians 29), Holt (Sinclair 57), Dobie (Perch 76), Bennett, Clingan, McGugan, Lennon
Subs not used – GK Redmond, Wilson, Bencherif, Fairclough, Green, Tracy
Att – 25,159