Robert Earnshaw earned the praise of Nottingham Forest assistant manager David Kelly after the striker marked his return to former club Derby with the goal that denied the Reds' fierce rivals a place in the last 16 of the FA Cup.

Wales international Earnshaw, who left the Rams to join Forest last summer, struck in the second half to cancel out Rob Hulse's first-half opener at Pride Park and set up a fourth-round replay at the City Ground next month.

"I am pleased for Earnie. He has worked really hard over the last few weeks and has regularly been scoring goals," said Kelly, who was in charge of Forest in the absence of Billy Davies, who was in Glasgow with his son William after he underwent a "major operation".

He added: "When you come back to your old club you want to do well and show people what you are all about and I am really pleased he scored a goal."

Keeper Paul Smith was as much to thank for Forest earning a replay after making two superb late saves to thwart Hulse and substitute Luke Varney.

The fact was not lost on Kelly, who added: "I thought that was it when the ball came to Hulse but it was a great save by Smithy.

"But that's what goalkeepers do. You hope that when they are called upon they produce the goods for you and he certainly did that."

When asked about the condition of Davies' son William, Kelly simply replied: "He is okay."

Nigel Clough accepted that a draw was probably a fair result but the Derby manager also admitted his side could have done without the replay.

"Maybe it was about fair on the balance of play. We dominated the first half but didn't get going in the second half and it was probably our undoing," he said.

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Topics:
#Paul Smith
#Rob Hulse
#Internationals
#Robert Earnshaw
#Derby County
#Nottingham Forest
#Luke Varney
#Liverpool
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