Report: Nottingham Forest 2-0 Blues

Report: Nottingham Forest 2-0 Blues

Blues were beaten by Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.

Keinan Davis' fifth-minute goal and a header from Scott McKenna in the second-half left Lee Bowyer's men defeated on the banks of the River Trent.

TEAM NEWS:

The Head Coach made two changes to the side that took all three points against West Bromwich Albion last Sunday. This saw Ivan Sunjic and Taylor Richards come into the team, with Tahith Chong absent through injury and Lyle Taylor ineligible against his parent club.

Ivan Sunjic was back in the starting XI after featuring from the bench against West Bromwich Albion.

Ivan Sunjic was back in the starting XI after featuring from the bench against West Bromwich Albion.

MAIN EVENT:

The hosts took an early lead after Gary Gardner was robbed of possession in the midfield. They worked the ball to Davis who moved into the box and finished from the angle.

However, from this goal onwards, the home side were unable to manufacture any further clear openings, with the next major work for either goalkeeper coming at the other end in the 32nd minute. Kristian Pedersen refused to give up on a Sunjic ball forward and outmuscled Djed Spence before forcing Brice Samba to push a low strike away.

Forest’s stopper was kept honest again soon after when Richards came to life as dazzling stepovers created space and the loanee side-footed a second Blues effort on target. A Sunjic cross-shot then had to be dealt with by Samba and the Croatian also had a strike from inside the box blocked, with the visitors flexing their muscles towards the end of the half.

Taylor Richards impresses in possession.

Taylor Richards impresses in possession.

HALF-TIME: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Blues

This pressure on Forest’s goal continued following the break and after a couple of endeavours outwide, Blues were able to get the ball into the box. Maxime Colin, making his 200th appearance for the Club, crossed well and Nico Gordon met the ball with a firm contact, only for accuracy to be lacking.

Although the Reds retained a threat of their own and Neil Etheridge did well to beat away attempts from Davis and Brennan Johnson, but that would be the ‘keeper’s last involvement as he had to leave the field following a high-speed challenge by Spence, with Connal Trueman brought on.

Once the game was resumed, Nottingham Forest went on to double their advantage from a set-piece. James Garner delivered an inswinging corner from the left and McKenna was able to head the delivery in from close range after 79 minutes.

Bowyer responded by introducing both Lukas Jutkiewicz and Troy Deeney from the bench, giving Blues a greater focal point. And aided by fellow substitute Jordan Graham there were a few nervy moments for Forest, but not enough to take anything back to the Second City.

Gary Gardner searches for a way through.

Gary Gardner searches for a way through.

KEY MOMENT:

After signing from Brentford in August 2017, Colin has been a consistent performer for Blues across nearly five seasons. The trip to the City Ground saw the Frenchman record his 200th appearance for Blues.

FINAL OUTCOME:

Blues remain in 18th position, having taken 45 points from their 41 league encounters.

MATCH DETAILS:

Nottingham Forest (3-4-1-2): Brice Samba, Joe Worrall (captain), Tobias Figueiredo, Scott McKenna, Djed Spence, Ryan Yates, James Garner, Jack Colback, Philp Zinckernagel (Joe Lolley 80), Brennan Johnson (Lewis Grabban 80), Keinan Davis (Sam Surridge 80).

Substitutes not used: Ethan Horvath, Richie Laryea, Alex Mighten, Cafu.

Booking: Zinckernagel 54.

Blues (3-1-5-1): Neil Etheridge (Connal Trueman 70), Maxime Colin, Marc Roberts, Nico Gordon, Ivan Sunjic, Onel Hernandez (Jordan Graham 76), Juninho Bacuna, Gary Gardner (captain), Taylor Richards (Lukas Jutkiewicz 81), Kristian Pedersen, Scott Hogan (Troy Deeney 81).

Substitutes not used: Jeremie Bela, Ryan Woods, Jordan James.

Booking: Gordon 25, Gardner 41, Colin 59.

Referee: Gavin Ward.

Attendance: 29,293 (1,998 away).

NEXT UP:

Blues are back on home soil in less than a week's time as Coventry City make the short trip to the City Ground on Good Friday, kick-off 3pm, before an Easter Monday visit to Blackpool scheduled for the same start time.