A slow start cost Nottingham Forest dearly in the East Midlands battle at Pride Park as they lost 2-0 to Derby County.
Forest were 1-0 down after just 24 seconds following Matej Vydra’s impressive turn and strike from the edge of the area.
Mark Warburton’s side had good chances in the first half to pull level. Barrie McKay was played clean through but could only shoot straight at Scott Carson as he raced into the area.
David Nugent’s third goal of the season early in the second half calmed Derby’s nerves after the break.
Warburton said: “That (the game) was deeply frustrating. To concede a goal in less than 30 seconds in what was a really intimidating atmosphere is tough, but we responded magnificently.
“We have got to take our chances. Credit to Scott Carson, he made himself big, but we made great runs, great passes and we could have had great rewards. That is the main frustration.”
In fact, Forest had Derby beaten in terms of total shots, shots on target and possession. Warburton’s side also made more passes in the attacking third and completed more dribbles, but a goal proved elusive.
Warburton said: “We gave the ball away cheaply and, tell me if I am wrong, I look back to the first half and I cannot think of a save Jordan (Smith) had to make.
“We have come to a venue of such quality against a squad with really good individual players, but I thought we were very good for long periods of play. But, that is not what the players or supporters want to hear.”
Derby’s victory means they have leapfrogged Forest and moved one place above their East Midlands rivals into 13th.
Forest’s next match is against lowly Burton Albion on Saturday.