Derby County clinched their third successive win against fierce rivals Nottingham Forest in a full-blooded East Midlands derby at the City Ground.
Rams midfielder Craig Bryson tapped in the winner as Derby took advantage of Forest striker Dexter Blackstock's red card just seconds after half time.
Forest were denied a late equaliser when visiting keeper Frank Fielding pushed away Simon Gillett's low drive.
But Derby held firm to go above Forest into the top half of the Championship.
Robbie SavageBBC Radio 5 live
"The question is whether Dexter Blackstock intentionally elbowed Richard Keogh. There was contact and the referee made the decision to send him off - that has completely and utterly changed the game. Derby weren't in the game in the first half, Forest had possession but didn't capitalise. On the balance of 90 minutes Derby were the better team and deserved the win.
Forest dominated a fiercely-competitive first half without being able to stretch Fielding, before Blackstock's controversial dismissal just 20 seconds after the interval changed the whole complexion of the match.
Referee Robert Madley immediately brandished the red card after Blackstock's flailing arm caught Derby centre-half Richard Keogh in the face when the pair challenged for a high ball.
Television replays showed Blackstock did make contact with Keogh, although Blackstock protested his innoncence by claiming it was unintentional.
And within 10 minutes Derby took advantage by scoring with their first attempt on Forest's goal.
Rams midfielder Paul Coutts delivered a low cross into the Forest six-yard box which cut out ex-Rams goalkeeper Lee Camp to leave Bryson with a simple finish in front of the 4,000 Derby fans.
Forest, who left
recent signing Jermaine Jenas
out of their matchday squad, introduced substitutes Billy Sharp and Henri Lansbury as they launched a late onslaught.
Gillett went closest to restoring parity when he pounced on a loose ball to fire goalwards, only for England Under-21 keeper Fielding to brilliantly drop low to his left and parry the ball.
Both managers stressed the importance of their men keeping cool heads in the pre-match build up, but players from each side were guilty of over-exuberant challenges in a full-blooded first half.
Most of the action centred on the tough tackles, with goalscoring chances for either side at a premium.
Forest and Derby see red
30 Sep 2012:
Dexter Blackstock (Forest)
13 Mar 2012:
Marcus Tudgay (Forest)
17 Sep 2011:
Frank Fielding (Derby)
22 Jan 2011:
Dean Moxey (Derby)
Tempers threatened to boil over when away left-back Gareth Roberts clumsily clattered into Chris Cohen on the edge of the penalty area, before referee Madley exerted his authority to calm down a sea of jostling players from both teams.
Chances were limited to long-range efforts as Fielding punched clear Andy Reid's inswinging free-kick before Derby striker Conor Sammon and Forest's Simon Cox both sent similar 35-yard shots whistling over their opponent's crossbar.
But only Bryson found the target as Derby retained the Brian Clough Trophy, named in honour of the man who turned both provincial clubs into English league champions.
Booking The referee shows Henri Lansbury a yellow card.
Foul by Billy Sharp on Richard Keogh, free kick awarded. Frank Fielding takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Billy Sharp on Jake Buxton. Frank Fielding takes the free kick.
Paul Coutts gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dan Harding. Free kick taken by Dan Harding.
90:00 +0:05 Booking
Booking Simon Cox receives a yellow card.
A cross is delivered by Chris Cohen, John Brayford makes a clearance. Simon Gillett takes a shot. Frank Fielding makes a save. James O'Connor challenges Chris Cohen unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Chris Cohen, Jeff Hendrick manages to make a clearance.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Theo Robinson. Free kick taken by Lee Camp.
The ball is delivered by Brendan Moloney, Jake Buxton makes a clearance.
Simon Gillett takes a shot. Blocked by Craig Bryson.
The referee blows for offside against Theo Robinson. Lee Camp restarts play with the free kick.
Substitution Theo Robinson replaces Conor Sammon.
Billy Sharp takes a shot. Blocked by Richard Keogh.
Substitution Gareth Roberts leaves the field to be replaced by James O'Connor.
Substitution Greg Halford leaves the field to be replaced by Brendan Moloney.
Unfair challenge on Chris Cohen by Craig Bryson results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Chris Cohen, Frank Fielding makes a save.
Substitution Henri Lansbury joins the action as a substitute, replacing Lewis McGugan.
Substitution Andy Reid leaves the field to be replaced by Billy Sharp.
The ball is sent over by Craig Bryson, blocked by Simon Gillett. Inswinging corner taken by Michael Jacobs from the left by-line played to the near post, Chris Cohen makes a clearance.
Greg Halford delivers the ball.
Shot comes in from Michael Jacobs from the free kick.
Booking Simon Gillett goes into the referee's book.
Unfair challenge on Craig Bryson by Simon Gillett results in a free kick.
Craig Bryson takes a shot. Lee Camp makes a save.
Centre by Michael Jacobs, Greg Halford gets a block in. Corner taken right-footed by Michael Jacobs to the near post, clearance by Chris Cohen.
Centre by Chris Cohen, clearance made by Richard Keogh.
Substitution Michael Jacobs replaces Jamie Ward.
Corner taken by Paul Coutts from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Greg Halford.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Cohen by Jeff Hendrick. Direct free kick taken by Andy Reid.
Chris Cohen sends in a cross, Effort from inside the area by Simon Cox misses to the right of the goal.
Conor Sammon sends in a cross, Lee Camp makes a save.
The assist for the goal came from Paul Coutts.
54:13 Goal scored
Goal! - Craig Bryson - Nott'm For 0 - 1 Derby A goal is scored by Craig Bryson from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Nottm Forest 0-1 Derby.
Unfair challenge on Conor Sammon by Daniel Ayala results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Gareth Roberts.
Greg Halford sends in a cross, Jake Buxton makes a clearance.
Handball by Paul Coutts. Free kick taken by Lee Camp.
The ball is delivered by Jamie Ward, Daniel Ayala manages to make a clearance.
The ball is delivered by Paul Coutts.
Free kick taken by Frank Fielding.
Dismissal Dexter Blackstock is shown a red card for serious foul play.
Unfair challenge on Richard Keogh by Dexter Blackstock results in a free kick.
The second half begins.
45:00 +2:26 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.
Effort from long range by Simon Cox goes wide right of the target.
Conor Sammon takes a shot.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Simon Cox on Frank Fielding. Frank Fielding takes the free kick.
The ball is sent over by Andy Reid, blocked by Conor Sammon. Corner taken by Lewis McGugan played to the near post, clearance made by Paul Coutts.
Unfair challenge on Conor Sammon by Lewis McGugan results in a free kick. Paul Coutts crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, clearance by Chris Cohen.
Paul Coutts concedes a free kick for a foul on Andy Reid. Andy Reid restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Cohen on Gareth Roberts. Direct free kick taken by Frank Fielding.
Jeff Hendrick gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dan Harding. Lee Camp takes the free kick.
Free kick crossed by Andy Reid, save by Lee Camp.
Booking Gareth Roberts receives a caution.
Foul by Gareth Roberts on Chris Cohen, free kick awarded.
Jake Buxton concedes a free kick for a foul on Dexter Blackstock. Shot comes in from Lewis McGugan from the free kick, blocked by Conor Sammon. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Simon Gillett from the right by-line, clearance made by Richard Keogh.
Craig Bryson challenges Andy Reid unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Lewis McGugan.
A cross is delivered by Dan Harding, Jake Buxton makes a clearance.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Dexter Blackstock on Richard Keogh. Frank Fielding takes the free kick.
The ball is sent over by John Brayford, blocked by Andy Reid.
Unfair challenge on Daniel Ayala by Jamie Ward results in a free kick. Simon Gillett takes the free kick.
Dexter Blackstock fouled by Craig Bryson, the ref awards a free kick. Andy Reid delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, save by Frank Fielding.
A cross is delivered by Andy Reid, clearance made by Richard Keogh.
Lewis McGugan delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, Paul Coutts makes a clearance.
Booking Booking for Jake Buxton for unsporting behaviour.
Jake Buxton concedes a free kick for a foul on Dexter Blackstock.
Direct free kick taken by Frank Fielding.
Booking Andy Reid is booked.
Andy Reid gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jake Buxton.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Greg Halford by Jamie Ward. Free kick taken by Simon Gillett.
Jake Buxton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dexter Blackstock. Lewis McGugan produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, blocked by Craig Bryson.
John Brayford sends in a cross, Danny Collins makes a clearance.
Chris Cohen takes a shot. Frank Fielding makes a save.
The ball is sent over by Conor Sammon.
Handball by Simon Cox. Frank Fielding takes the free kick.
Craig Bryson concedes a free kick for a foul on Dexter Blackstock. Andy Reid takes the free kick.
Jake Buxton challenges Dexter Blackstock unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Greg Halford.
The ball is delivered by Simon Cox, Frank Fielding makes a save.
The ball is delivered by John Brayford, clearance made by Danny Collins. Free kick awarded for a foul by Conor Sammon on Danny Collins. Free kick taken by Lee Camp.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Cohen on Will Hughes. Frank Fielding restarts play with the free kick.
Paul Coutts crosses the ball, blocked by Dan Harding. Paul Coutts takes the outswinging corner, Danny Collins manages to make a clearance.
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