Ten-men Derby County produced a performance of a highest order to take the local bragging rights in an action-packed 2-1 victory at bitter rivals Nottingham Forest.
After back-to-back defeats against the Reds last season, Nigel Clough had stated in the build-up to the game that his side 'owed the Derby support a performance and a result'.
However, inside a minute Derby were a man down when goalkeeper Frank Fielding was dismissed for bringing down Ishmael Miller in the penalty area, and Andy Reid slotted the resultant penalty past substitute goalkeeper Adam Legzdins to give the Reds the advantage.
But instead of crumbling, Clough's men re-grouped and their team spirit, togetherness and desire to work for each other was more evident than ever.
Jamie Ward deservedly equalised with his first goal of the season after a mazy solo run before the half hour from a narrow angle to ensure Derby were back level at the break.
Despite being a man down, the Rams seized control after the break and Jeff Hendrick, who had earlier missed a golden opportunity to score from close range, tucked home the winner from distance with 18 minutes left to play.
Legzdins kept out Joel Lynch's powerful drive and Luke Chambers volleyed narrowly wide for Forest during a late barrage of pressure, but make no mistake about it, this was Derby's day.
Clough shuffled his pack after last Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Coventry City, the Rams' second in a row off the back of four wins to start the Championship season, with Gareth Roberts, Tomasz Cywka and Theo Robinson coming in for their first league starts of the season.
Roberts came in at left-back for Kevin Kilbane, who injured a hamstring in training during the week, while Cywka and Robinson were brought into the side in place of Lee Croft and Steven Davies, who dropped to the bench. Nathan Tyson, after recovering from the groin injury he picked up on the eve of the new season, was included amongst the substitutes against his former club.
Seeing Red: Frank Fielding is sent off early on at the City Ground
Derby kicked off before an electric atmosphere at the City Ground, but the Rams' pre-match preparations were out the window inside the opening two minutes.
Matt Derbyshire and Miller combined to send the latter clear on goal and, after the onrushing Fielding collided the former West Bromwich Albion forward inside the six-yard box, referee Scott Mathieson pointed to the spot and produced a red card to dismiss the Derby goalkeeper for a professional foul.
Not only were Derby down to ten men, but it meant an outfield player had to be replaced in order to allow Legzdins to fill the void left by Fielding between the posts. Cywka was the unlucky player to be withdrawn, just four minutes into his first start of the season, and was consoled by Clough and his coaching team for his unfortunate early exit from the game.
Reid, after almost a three-minute wait, kept his cool from 12 yards out to slot the resultant spot kick past Legzdins and give the early advantage to Steve McClaren's men - who were chasing their first home win of the campaign.
Forest tried to make the extra man count in the early stages, but the Rams' rearguard kept them at bay and allowed Legzdins to settle into the game after his unexpected debut appearance without too much to do.
After keeping it tight and containing Forest's pressure, Derby grew in confidence and drew level on 29 minutes through Ward after a moment of individual brilliance from the Northern Ireland international forward.
Goal Getter: Jamie Ward makes it 1-1 at the City Ground
A neat passage of play, with Forest's Chris Cohen grounded with an injury, saw the Rams retain the ball in midfield and eventually Ward collected the ball on the left-hand side, wormed his way into the box, beat two challenges and fired home from a narrow angle past Lee Camp at the near post..
It was clear from that point that Derby's tails were up and as well as staying solid for the remainder of the half, they actually had the better of the closing 15 minutes with Ward and Robinson both glancing headers off target from Ben Davies crosses on the right-hand side.
Forest tried to up their game again after the break but created nothing other than a tame Miller shot and a Reid free-kick to work Legzdins by the hour, with Derby working their socks off from back to front to press Forest and be exceptionally hard to break down.
Derby, getting more and more into the game by this stage, should have taken the lead just after the hour. Davies delivered a pin-point cross to the far post towards Hendrick from the right, but the Irishman's diving header from a few yards out went the wrong side of the post.
After six frustrating weeks sidelined with injury, Tyson was finally handed his Derby debut just after the hour in place of Ward - and he was greeted onto the pitch by a chorus of boos from the home crowd.
Then, after a period of pressure, Hendrick redeemed for his earlier miss by scoring what turned out to be the winner for Derby. Forest couldn't clear their lines and Hendrick took full advantage with a rasping strike from all of 25 yards which arrowed into the far corner and send the 4,500 Rams fans into raptures
It was then a time for cool heads as the Rams dug deep to hang onto the lead they had worked so hard to gain, but they looked a real threat on the break and continued to remain positive on the attack. This was demonstrated by a long-range strike from Tyson which went just with with ten minutes left to play.
Forest forced a late spell of pressure with Lynch forcing a fine save from Legzdins and during four minutes of added time Chambers sliced a volley high and wide, leaving Derby's players, staff and over 4,000 fans to celebrate a memorable victory.
All Smiles: Derby's players celebrate at full-time after seeing off their local rivals
After such an impressive team display it's hard to single out any players for their contribution, because there's one thing Nigel Clough's side are, and that's a team.
You will find few sides with as good a team spirit, attitude and camaraderie as what the Rams have - and it's showing, big time.
Nottingham Forest: Camp, Chambers, Morgan, Derbyshire, Miller, Reid (McGugan 68), Greening (Findley 61), Cohen (Lynch 32), Gunter, Moussi, Majewski.
Subs Not Used: Smith, Moloney.
Booked: Gunter, Lynch, Miller
Goals: Reid (5 - Pen)
Derby County: Fielding, Brayford, Roberts, O'Brien, Shackell, Hendrick, Bryson, B Davies, Cywka (Legzdins 4), Robinson (Anderson 86), Ward (Tyson 65).
Subs Not Used: Croft, S Davies.
Sent Off: Fielding
Goals: Ward (29), Hendrick (72)
Referee: Mr S Mathieson
Attendance: 27,356 (4,582 Derby County fans)