Derby returned to winning ways but remain outside the playoff places on goal difference after a 2-0 win over League One bottom club Forest Green.

Goals from James Collins from the spot and David McGoldrick late in the second half were enough for all three points in Gloucestershire as relegation continued to close in on the hosts.

County made the perfect start when Collins’ effort was blocked by a Forest Green hand, and the referee pointed to the spot with just 40 seconds played and Collins scored the resulting penalty.

Former Ram Kyle McAllister lobbed Joe Wildsmith from the edge of the area, but his effort dropped wide of the post soon after in Forest Green’s best moment.

Cotswold Journal: Forest Green beaten at home by Derby CountyForest Green beaten at home by Derby County (Image: Wayne Tuckwell)

Collins came close to doubling his and Derby’s tally when he latched onto a fine McGoldrick pass but Ross Doohan was out smartly to save.

Paul Warne’s team threatened a second through McGoldrick but Doohan’s double save soon after the break thwarted the experienced forward.

They finally added that second goal when Cooper’s forward ball was closed down by McGoldrick and the ball ricocheted into the Rovers goal from his boot.