The Reds headed into the encounter on an eight-game winless streak and low in confidence, a factor which made the already much-fancied Derby favourites to claim all three points.
However, an early strike from Nelson Oliveira set the tone for a game of defence against attack, and while Derby completely dominated the ball, they created virtually nothing up against a brilliant Forest rear-guard.
The hosts sat back, flew in to tackles when need be and impressively kept their shape throughout.
Led by example, Vaughan was the best player on the pitch as he protected his back-four superbly and snuffed out the dangers posed by Rams midfielders Jeff Hendrick and Bradley Johnson.
|Tackles||Interceptions||Effective Clearances||Def Duels Won||Ball Recoveries||Touches||Accurate Passes||Mins Played|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Vaughan’s brilliance can be illustrated by his significant contributions over a range of key midfield categories.
The Wales international posted two clearances, five interceptions, seven tackles, eight ball recoveries and a whopping 14 defensive duels won – more than any other player on the pitch.
In possession, Vaughan rarely wasted the ball as he took 59 touches and completed 26 accurate passes.
The 32-year-old has often come in for criticism for his so-called laid-back approach, but he was visibly putting himself about at the City Ground on Friday night and seemingly covered every blade of grass.
The victory was much-deserved for the hosts, but the challenge now for Dougie Freedman and his players is to build on this success and really climb the Championship table.
Writing on Twitter after the game, Forest fans were naturally basking in their side’s victory and rightfully highlighted Vaughan as one of the game’s outstanding players.
If David Vaughan isn't your player of the season so far then you've been watching the wrong game. Simply outstanding #nffc— Jonno Reilly (@Jonno_Reiily) November 6, 2015
As I've said before David Vaughan has upped his game this season. Definitely our best player by a long shot #nffc— Liam ⚡️ (@NFFCwozza17) November 6, 2015
David Vaughan looked like Archie Gemmill out there tonight #nffc— frank (@frankthetank622) November 6, 2015
David Vaughan was immense tonight!.... The heart of a very spirited team performance!! #nffc— Simon Holbrook (@SBH1978) November 6, 2015
Vaughan is like a new signing. Didn't have a good word to say about him last season but I literally cannot fault him for anything now #NFFC— Daniel Beeston (@NFFC_LowerBC) November 6, 2015
I actually can remember one stray David Vaughan pass. ONE. Probably the only one all season. In ridiculous form at the minute #nffc— Jonno Reilly (@Jonno_Reiily) November 6, 2015