Lewis Grabban's second-half goal earned Nottingham Forest a third straight win over rivals Derby County to ensure the Brian Clough Trophy stayed Trentside.
Grabban's strike, coupled with a strong defensive performance which earned a fifth consecutive clean sheet against the Rams, was enough to see the Reds secure all three points.
Forest were unchanged after the welcome win at Luton Town ended a run of two disappointing defeats at Wigan and at home to Hull City.
After an immaculate minutes' silence against a backdrop of another impressive Forza Garibaldi display in the Trent End, the game started in typical derby style.
Set against a crackling atmosphere on a bitterly cold day, it was end-to-end stuff, with the visitors looking the more impressive, Brice Samba was forced into a smart stop to palm away Tom Lawrence's drive, while Forest were restricted to shots from distance, Tiago Silva and Sammy Ameobi both failing to test the goalkeeper as they pulled their low shots wide.
Joe Lolley's low corner then found Ben Watson, but his shot was blocked amid appeals for handball.
The game then settled into a pattern of Forest sitting back and inviting Derby on, who were always trying to find Chris Martin or the disgraced but talented Tom Lawrence, while Forest looked to nick the ball and hit the Rams on the break, a tactic which was increasingly working as both Grabban and Ameobi came close.
Jayden Bogle - who escaped a red card in a previous East Midlands derby for an elbow on Ben Osborn - was then booked for a nasty foul on Silva, before Ben Watson followed for an innocous looking foul on Lawrence.
After conceding the majority of possession in the first half, Forest started the second half on the front foot and were rewarded after 57 minutes. Ameobi shot just over, but from the resulting goal kick Kelle Roos played it short to Bogle, but his attempt to play it straight back was wayward and Grabban pounced to fire home.
Lawrence, who was jeered throughout, was then lucky to escape a red card for a horrible challenge on Yuri Ribeiro as he lost possession after riding lunges by Watson and Joe Worrall
Derby started to press forward in the search for an equaliser and Jack Marriott was denied by a Samba low to his right side, but despite throwing everything forward, they couldn't find a way past a resolute Forest back line as the Reds held on for the win.
Forest: Samba; Cash, Ribeiro, Worrall, Figueiredo; Watson; Yates, Silva (Johnson, 90), Lolley (Adomah, 85), Ameobi (Carvalho, 72); Grabban, Subs not used: Muric, Robinson, Rodriguez, Mir.