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11th April

Forest-Brighton 1:2 (0:1)

Forest performed much better here but still lost and relegation remains a
possibility.Brighton started on the front foot but it was Forest who had the first clear opportunity. Lansbury was looking more effective in a more advanced midfield position and he shot from outside the box and forced a decent save. Brighton took the lead in the 27th minute. Lichaj gave away a wide free kick, the ball came in and Brighton defender rose highest to head in. Cohen had a decent chance at the end of the half but spooned it over.
Foret had been pretty lacklustre in the first half but were much improved
in the second. They equalised in the 50th minute when Blackstock rose to head home. From there Forest were the better team. Lansbury chipped over when clean through. Brighton had a couple of decent chances but Forest were bossing possession. The game looked to be heading for a draw when Knockaert jinked into the box deep in injury time. The ball bobbled to Sidwell who smashed home from close range. 2-1 was the final score and it was cruel to Forest.

Forest: De Vries - Jokic, Fox, Mills, Lichaj - Gardner (84. Tesche), Cohen,
Vaughan (68. Mendes), Osborn, Lansbury - Ward (42. Blackstock)

Player ratings
De Vries - 6 - Could perhaps have done better on the 1st goal
Jokic - 6 - Tough
Fox - 6 - Did well on his return
Mills - 6 - Steady
Lichaj - 5 - Been struggling the last few weeks
Cohen - 5 - Off the pace
Vaughan - 6 - Decent game
Gardner - 6 - Quiet
Osborn - 6 - Busy
Lansbury - 7 - Looks better further forward
Ward - 6 - Looked busy before his injury

Substitutes
Blackstock (on for Ward 42 minutes) - 7 - Always works hard
Mendes (on for Vaughan 68 minutes) - 5 - Anonymous
Tesche (on for Gardner 83 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
Unlucky

 

8th March
Forest-Preston 1:0 (1:0)

Forest deserved the three points on Tuesday. They dominated large portions of the match but wasteful final balls meant their domination didn't equal enough goals and it took a couple of very good saves by De Vries to secure the win. Preston were enjoying quite a lot of possession but it was Forest who took the lead against the run of play in the 37th minute. It was a wonderful breakaway goal. Mancienne blocked a shot on the edge of the Forest area. The ball broke to Mendes who ran the length of the pitch before timing a perfect little ball to Osborn who crossed the ball and left Oliveira with a tap in. It was a marvellous goal. The rest of the half was all about Forest old boy Joe Garner's pathetic antics as he dove and elbowed at every opportunity. It was no surprise he was substituted at half-time.
Forest started the second half strongly but couldn't find the second goal. Mendes had a clear opportunity from a Cohen free kick but headed straight at the keeper. Oliveira was denied a clear penalty after he was pulled down in the box. Forest had numerous chances to put the game to bed but fluffed them all and, in the end, De Vries pulled off a couple of excellent saves to keep the points safe.

Forest: De Vries - Lichaj, Mancienne, Mills, Cohen (72. Jokic) - Mendes (83. Vaughan), Tesche, Gardner, Osborn - Oliveira (73. Grant), O'Grady

Player Ratings
De Vries - 7 - A couple of excellent saves
Lichaj - 7 - Strong
Mancienne - 7 - Forming a good combination with Mills
Mills - 7 - Another solid showing
Cohen - 7 - Looking good
Mendes - 7 - Some poor decisions but most play came through him
Tesche - 6 - Quietly effective
Gardner - 6 - Best game since he came back
Osborn - 7 - Always wants to get involved
O'Grady - 7 - Strong hold up play
Oliveira - 6 - Another goal but too often his ambition outstrips his ability

Substitutes
Jokic (on for Cohen 72 minutes) - 6 - Kept the defence steady
Grant (on for Oliveira 73 minutes) - 6 - Full of potential
Vaughan (on for Mendes 83 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
Better

 

27th February
Forest-Bristol City 1:2 (1:1)

Forest lost their third game straight after this insipid performance.They started well and Jamie Ward was looking lively before having to go off in the 18th minute with a pulled hamstring. Forest took the lead on the half hour. The Reds had a freekick wide on the right. Cohen took it. His kick was blocked but the ball broke to Osborn who swiveled and tucked it home. Forest were struggling to make any headway after the goal and Bristol equalised just before halftime. A Bristol player shot against the post and the rebound fell perfectly to Kodjia to roll in.
Forest started the second half with purpose but little imagination. They had plenty of ball but created nothing. Inevitably it was Bristol who took the lead after 70 minutes from a corner. The ball was pinged in and Bristol's Flint beat the Forest defenders to nod in at the near post. From there Forest huffed and puffed for an equaliser but failed to create anything resembling a clear chance.

Forest: De Vries - Jokic, Mancienne, Mills, Lichaj - Ward (18. Walker), Tesche (74. Mendes), Vaughan (68. Gardner), Osborn - Oliveira

Player ratings
De Vries - 6 - Couldn't really do anything about either goal
Jokic - 5 - Not as solid as usual
Mancienne - 5 - A little unsteady
Mills - 6 - Some decent distribution
Lichaj - 5 - Let his winger get by a couple of times
Mills - 6 - Looked dangerous
Vaughan - 6 - Busy
Tesche - 5 - Anonymous
Cohen - 6 - Good to see him get through 90 minutes
Osborn - 6 - Took his goal well
Oliveira - 5 - Some poor decisions

Substitutes
Walker (on for Ward 18 minutes) - 5 - A little lightweight at the moment
Gardner (on for Vaughan 68minutes) - 5 - Struggled to get involved
Mendes (on for Tesche 74 minutes) - 5 - Quiet

Verdict
A poor performance

 

13th February
Forest-Huddersfield 0:2 (0:1)

Forest were pretty easily beaten in the end by a decent Huddersfield side. Their high pressing style seemed to stifle Forest's counter-attack pretty effectively. Huddersfield dominated the early possession and deservedly took the lead in the 14th minute when a dangerous cross from the right forced Mills to put through his own net. Neither side managed to create any really clear opportunities during the rest of the half. Oliveira shot wide from the edge of the box a couple of times but, in truth, Huddersfield were in control.
The second half continued in a similar pattern. Freedman bought on Burke and Grant but neither were able to make an impact.The game was drifting to an close when Huddersfield's Billing stepped up and blasted a 25-yard swerver past De Vries to kill the game. It was an excellent finish and Forest knew the game was lost.

Forest: De Vries - Jokic, Mancienne, Mills, Lichaj - Ward (57. Burke), Gardner (57. Grant), Vaughan, Tesche (81. Blackstock), Osborn - Oliveira

Player ratings
De Vries - 6 - Couldn't do anything with either goal
Jokic - 5 - Wasteful today
Mancienne - 7 - Some good blocks
Mills - 6 - Unlucky for the o.g.
Lichaj - 5 - His winger had the beating of him
Ward - 5 - Quiet
Gardner - 6 - Couple of decent touches
Vaughan - 6 - A decent game
Tesche - 6 - Competent
Osborn - 6 - Worked hard but little end product
Oliveira - 6 - Tried to make things happen

Substitutes
Burke (on for Ward 57 minutes) - 6 - Full of potential
Grant (on for Gardner (57 minutes) - 6 - One for the future
Blackstock (on for Tesche 81 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
All good things come to an end

 

26th January
Forest-Queens Park Rangers 0:0

After their weekend heroics at Boro Forest looked tired here and 0:0 was probably a fair result. Forest had the best of the first half but were unable to get the goal which would have opened the game up. The first clear chance fell to Mancienne who found himself free at a corner. He headed
powerfully but the keeper saved well. Next Osborn hit the post with a powerful shot from the corner of the box. Tesche was next to go close hitting a lovely swerving half volley. Q.P.R. nearly took the lead with the last kick of the half. The delicate freekick beat the wall but not De Vries who saved acrobatically.
The second half was, to be frank, terrible. Both sides struggled to carve out anything close to a chance and the game fizzled out to a goalless draw.

Nottingham Forest: De Vries - Jokic, Hobbs, Mills, Lichaj - Osborn, Mancienne, Tesche, Mendes (55. Burke) - O'Grady (55. Ward), Oliveira (88. Blackstock)

Player ratings
De Vries - 6 - One excellent save
Jokic - 6 - Continues to impress
Hobbs - 6 - Another steady game
Mills - 6 - Consistent
Lichaj - 6 - Solid again
Osborn - 6 - Always works hard
Mancienne - 6 - Some excellent blocks and tackles
Tesche - 7 - Quietly effective
Mendes - 5 - Struggled to get involved
O'Grady - 6 - Decent hold up play
Oliveira - 6 - Quieter today

Substitutes
Burke (on for Mendes 55 minutes) - 6 - His pace and strength will trouble
defenders
Ward (on for O'Grady 55 minutes) - 6 - Committed but struggled to influence
the game
Blackstock (on for Oliveira 88 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
Bore Draw

 

16th January
Forest-
Bolton 3:0 (2:0)
Forest secured an comfortable win after Bolton had a player sent off early in the game. The decisive moment came in the 12th minute. Jamie Ward nipped ahead of his defender, intercepted the ball and ran free towards the goal. The keeper tried to stop him but only succeeded in bringing the player down and receiving a red card. Oliveira stroked home the penalty. The game was over as a contest 4 minutes later. Man-of-the-Match Ward crossed from the left, Burke hung well in the air and powered home his header. The rest of the half was all Forest. Ward went close with a sweetly struck volley and hit the bar with a long range effort.
The second half was even more routine.Forest continued to dominate
possession. Ward continued to look dangerous and finally got a deserved goal when Osborn played him through and his deflected finish wrong-footed the keeper. In the end 3-0 flattered Bolton.

Nottingham Forest: De Vries - Jokic, Mancienne, Mills, Lichaj - O. Burke
(90. Mendes), Gardner, Tesche (86. Cohen), Osborn - Ward, Oliveira (70. Walker)

Player ratings
De Vries - 6 - Nothing to do
Jokic - 6 - Continues to impress
Mancienne - 6 - Works well with Mills
Mills - 6 - Consistent
Lichaj - 6 - Always strong
Burke - 7 - Huge potential
Tesche - 6 - Simple and steady
Gardner - 6 - Getting back to match sharpness
Osborn - 7 - Creative and hard working
Ward - 8 - Deserved more than one goal
Oliveira - 6 - Keeps defenders honest

Substitutes
Walker (on for Oliveira 70 minutes) - 6 - Perhaps needs to bulk up a little
Cohen (on for Tesche 86 minutes) - 6 - Welcome back!
Mendes (on for Burke 90 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
Easy win

 

12th January
Forest-
Birmingham 1:1 (1:1)
The City Ground saw one of the most inept refereeing displays for many years on Tuesday night. Vaughan was sent off in the second half for a high boot although the opposition player stooped down so low his head was at waist height. Oliveira was booked in the first half and midway through the second half the referee was about to book him again until the 4th Official reminded him that he would have to send the forward off if he showed him another card. Overall the officials never got control of Birmingham's rough play and play acting. Due to the referee's lack of control the game had no flow whatsoever. For what it's worth Birmingham took the lead with a well worked headed goal before Matt Mills equalised. Both sides hit the post and Forest coped quite well with 10 men but as a spectacle this game was a waste of time.

Nottingham Forest: De Vries - Jokic, Mancienne, Mills, Lichaj - Osborn,
Tesche, Vaughan (74. Red Card ), Mendes (76. Gardner) - Oliveira (71. Ward), O'Grady (89. O. Burke)

Player ratings
De Vries - 6 - Decent game
Jokic - 7 - Strong debut
Mancienne - 7 - Some excellent blocks
Mills - 7 - Another well taken goal
Lichaj - 6 - Struggled with his winger a little
Mendes - 5 - Ineffective today
Vaughan - 7 - Didn't deserve his red card
Tesche - 6 - Starting to get back to match sharpness
Osborn - 6 - Worked hard
O'Grady - 6 - Some poor decisions
Oliveira - 6 - Quieter than recently

Substitutes
Ward (on for Oliveira 71 minutes) - 6 - Nearly scored from a cross
Gardner (on for Mendes 76 minutes) - 6 - Welcome home!
O. Burke (on for O'Grady 89 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
Ref ruined the game

 

27th December
Forest-
Leeds 1:1 (1:1)
Forest played pretty well but couldn't quite grab the victory after Leeds equalised late on. Leeds started the match confidently but it was Forest who took the lead in the 17th minute. Mills drifted a long ball up. A Leeds defender and the goalkeeper both missed the ball and all Oliveira had to do was roll the ball into an empty net. The teams traded chances for the rest of the half but neither keeper was overly tested.
Forest nearly doubled their lead in the second half. Lansbury sent in a corner and Mills connected well with his header but a defender was there to clear off the line. Forest were looking dangerous on the counterattack. Substitute Ward shot from just outside the box and forced a good save from the keeper. Leeds equalised in the 80th minute. Byram took advantage of some space and drilled home from 20 yards. The last 10 minutes were a helter-skelter affair. Leeds had chances to win it but Forest went closest when substitute Oliver Burke crashed a shot against the post.

Nottingham Forest: De Vries - Lichaj, Mills, Hobbs, Mancienne - Mendes (62. Ward), Vaughan (83. O. Burke), Lansbury, Osborn - O'Grady (68. Tesche), Oliveira

Player ratings
De Vries - 6 - Another solid game
Lichaj - 7 - Always gives 100%
Mills - 6 - Playing well
Hobbs - 6 - Came in and did well
Mancienne - 6 - Did OK at left back
Mendes - 6 - Quieter today
Vaughan - 7 - Continues to be excellent
Lansbury - 6 - Disciplined
Osborn - 6 - A little terrier
O'Grady - 6 - Decent hold up play
Oliveira - 7 - Looking dangerous

Substitutes
Ward (on for Mendes 62 minutes) - 6 - Always looking to get the counterattack going
Tesche (on for O'Grady 68 minutes - 6 - Good to see him back
Burke (on for Vaughan 83 minutes) - 7 - Looks a real prospect

Verdict
Another decent performance

 

19th December
Forest-
MK Dons 2:1 (2:0)
Forest took an early two goal lead against MK Dons but made hard work of finally finishing them off. The Reds took the lead with their first attack in the 2nd minute. Mendes released Oliveira on the right hand side of the box. He stepped past a defender and drilled a shot into the far corner. The Dons were enjoying plenty of the ball and came close with a free kick De Vries saved well low in the corner. Forest were two up after 16 minutes. Pinillos crossed from the left. Mendes missed his connection initially but managed to prod home while lying on the floor. Forest should really have gone three up minutes later when Mendes headed Oliveira clear. The striker was in one-on-one but sent the ball just wide.
The start of the second half was all Forest but they couldn't score that
goal which would have killed the game. Osborn shot tamely while in a good position, Lansbury went close with a free kick and Oliveira hit the post with a long range effort. MK had a penalty in the 78th minute after Lichaj
clashed with The Dons winger but De Vries saved well low to his right. The
keeper couldn't stop MK getting one back a few minutes when they worked the ball well in the box. MK had a lot of possession in the final minutes but didn't really trouble the Forest defence. The victory was overshadowed by a nasty looking injury to impressive left back Dani Pinillos.

Nottingham Forest: De Vries - Pinillos (70. Hobbs), Mills, Mancienne, Lichaj
- Osborn, Vaughan, Lansbury, Mendes (80. Ward) - Oliveira (84. Trotter), O'Grady

Player ratings
De Vries - 7 - Good PK save
Pinillos - 7 - Get well soon!
Mills - 7 - Steady
Mancienne - 7 - Seems to work well with Mills
Lichaj - 6 - Some trouble with his winger
Vaughan - 7 - Always looks to snuff out danger
Lansbury - 6 - Quieter today
Mendes - 7 - Unpredictable
Osborn - 6 - Always gives 100%
Oliveira - 7 - Nice goal
O'Grady - 6 - Decent hold up play

Substitutes
Hobbs (on for Pinillos 70 minutes) - 6 - Kept the defence tight
Ward (on for Mendes 80 minutes) - 6 - Worked hard
Trotter (on for Oliveira 84 minutes) - 6 - Plugged the gaps

Verdict
Another good home win

Matt

 

5th December
Forest-
Fulham 3:0 (1:0)
Forest saw off high scoring Fulham fairly comfortably on Saturday. Fulham started the match with a lot of possession but only managed to create half chances although De Vries did have to pull of a decent save from a deflected shot. Truth told, it was a half of little quality from either team but it was Forest who went in to half time with the lead. Lansbury sent a corner deep, Lichaj acrobatically put it back into the 6 yard box and Mills rose highest to nod home.
Forest had a good chance early in the second half when Lichaj found himself free in front of goal but blazed his shot over. It only took The Reds 7 minutes of this half to double their advantage. Oliveira shot viciously from the edge of the box. The keeper couldn't hold it and the ball fell to O'Grady who blasted home. Fulham pressured but they didn't manage to create anything too dangerous. The game was over in the 78th minute when Mills took advantage of more terrible Fulham marking to head his second from another corner. In fact Mills almost had a hat-trick when he headed yet another corner against the bar.

Nottingham Forest: De Vries - Pinillos, Mancienne, Mills, Lichaj - Mendes (79. Grant), Vaughan, Lansbury, Osborn (87. Tesche) - Oliveira (79. Trotter), O'Grady

Player ratings
De Vries - 7 - Decent clean sheet
Pinillos - 8 - What a find!
Mills - 8 - 2 Goal hero
Mancienne - 7 - His pace compliments Mills' strength
Lichaj - 7 - Having a very good season so far.
Mendes - 6 - Another decent game
Vaughan - 7 - Playing well this season
Osborn - 7 - High energy
Lansbury - 6 - Another solid game
Oliveira - 7 - Looks confident
O'Grady - 7 - Strong

Substitutes
Grant (on for Mendes 79 minutes) - 6 - Busy
Trotter (on for Oliveira 79 minutes) - 6 - Kept it tight
Tesche (on for Osborn 87 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
Another good result

Matt

 

28th November
Forest-
Reading 3:1 (2:1)
Forest won an entertaining game against Reading despite being down to 10 men for the last 26 minutes.The Reds got off to a decent start but it was Reading who took the lead after 14 minutes. A Reading player shot from distance and unfortunately the ball was deflected straight into the path of Vydra who had a simple job to tuck it past De Vries. Despite the setback Forest didn't go under. O'Grady carved out a chance with a lovely bit of skill but shot well wide, It only took 6 minutes for Forest to equalise. The impressive Mendes crossed into the box and O'Grady turned and shot. It wasn't a particularly fierce shot but it managed to wriggle under the Reading 'keeper for O'Grady's first Forest goal. Forest were looking dangerous now. From a Reading corner Mendes broke away and carried the ball 50 yards before squaring it to Oliveira who curled in a beauty from the edge of the box. Hobbs brought down the Reading player and got a yellow
card for his troubles. De Vries made a wonderful save from the resulting freekick. Forest managed to see out the half without any more drama.
The Reds extended their lead early in the second half. Osborn and O'Grady combined well down the left before O'Grady sent in a lovely cross for Oliveira to volley home from close range.This was the first time Forest have scored three goals in the league this season. Hobbs received his
marching orders after another foul. From the stands both cards looked unnecessarily harsh. From here Forest concentrated on staying solid. Reading had a lot of the ball but Forest were committed and determined and the opposition didn't really create any clear chances.

Nottingham Forest: De Vries - Pinillos, Hobbs (64. Red Card) Mills, Lichaj - Mendes (75. Mancienne), Lansbury, Vaughan, Osborn - Oliveira (65. Wilson), O'Grady (86.Trotter)

Player ratings
De Vries - 7 - A couple of excellent saves
Pinillos - 8 - Another brilliant performance
Hobbs - 6 - Harsh red card
Mills - 7 - Strong
Lichaj - 7 - Always committed
Mendes - 8 - Better decision making = 2 assists
Vaughan - 7 - Tenacious and skillful
Lansbury - 6 - Quieter today
Osborn - 7 - Energy and bustle
O'Grady - 7 - Played the target man role excellently
Oliveira - 8 - Starting to look like a proper goalscorer

Substitutes
Wilson (on for Oliveira 65 minutes) - 6 - Kept the defense steady after the red card
Mancienne (on for Mendes 75 minutes) - 6 - Kept it tight in front of the back four
Trotter (on for O'Grady86 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
Well played!

Matt

 

6th November
Forest-
Derby 1:0 (1:0)
Forest battled to a victory against an unimpressive Derby side. The game was only 5 minutes old when Forest took the lead. Oliveira shot from the edge of the box, his shot was deflected back to him so he tried his luck again. His second attempt took a little deflection off a defender and the
keeper couldn't reach it. 1-0 to The Reds! Forest kept pressing. Former Derby player Ward wriggled free on the right hand side off the box, played a 1-2 with Oliveira and forced an excellent save from the Derby 'keeper. Derby weren't threatening much but Hendrick managed to graze the bar with his 20 yard curler. Lansbury sent a fierce shot just past the post. Mills powered a header in from a Lansbury corner but the referee disallowed it for pushing by Hobbs. Derby finished the half with a decent spell of possession but the Forest defence limited them to long range efforts.
Supporters probably expected a second half Derby onslaught but it never really came. If anything it was more likely that Forest would get a second. Pinillos danced into the penalty area and rolled the ball across the 6 yard box. The Derby defender just stopped Mendes tapping in. Mendes nearly scored again when his 1-2 with Lansbury got him free in the box but the Derby keeper saved well. A final Derby chance fell to substitute Bent but he headed tamely and De Vries saved comfortably.

Forest: De Vries - Pinillos, Hobbs, Mills, Lichaj - Vaughan, Lansbury, Williams (70. Trotter), Ward (60. Osborn), Mendes - Oliveira (89. Blackstock)

Player ratings
De Vries - 7 - Steady
Pinillos - 8 - My Man-of-the-Match
Hobbs - 7 - Strong
Mills - 7 - Good performance
Lichaj - 7 - Always 100% commitment
Vaughan - 8 - Tenacious
Williams - 7 - Technique and vision
Lansbury - 7 - Captain's performance
Ward - 7 - Always hassling the opposition
Mendes - 7 - Some poor finishing but never stopped running
Oliveira - 8 - Excellent lone front man performance

Substitutes
Osborn (on for Ward 60 minutes) - 7 - Always busy
Trotter (on for Williams 70 minutes) - 6 - Closed down the space
Blackstock (on for Oliveira 89 minutes) - n/a -

Verdict
Excellent performance!

 

24th October
Forest-Ipswich
1:1 (0:0)
Forest's run of bad luck continues. Here it took an injury time equaliser to save a point in a game they should have won easily. Forest started pretty well. Mendes shot just wide and and set up new boy Trotter for a decent chance. Forest were bossing possession and Mendes was looking
dangerous but the half time score was 0:0. De Vries hadn't made a save. The second half continued pretty similarly. Forest kept pressing but the breakthrough wouldn't come. Ipswich had spells of possession but never really threatened. The Ipswich goal was pretty lucky. The ball bobbled around in the penalty box until their left back pinged a looping half volley into the top corner. The scorer looked as surprised as anyone as he celebrated. Forest kept going. The substitutes came on and The Reds went three at the back. Time ticked away but finally the equaliser came deep in stoppage time. The Ipswich keeper came for a cross he should have left and allowed Grant to place a pass past him which Trotted prodded home. Afterwards there was barely time to restart.

Forest: De Vries - Lichaj, Wilson, Hobbs (82. O'Grady) - Ward (78. Blackstock), Williams (67. Grant), Vaughan - Mendes, Oliveira

Player ratings
De Vries - 6 - Barely needed today
Pinillos - 7 - Continues to impress
Wilson - 6 - Decent performance
Hobbs - 6 - Strong
Lichaj - 7 - All action
Ward - 6 - Gets stuck in
Vaughan - 8 - Another excellent performance
Trotter - 6 - Steady debut
Williams - 7 - Looked classy on his full debut
Mendes - 7 - Always wants the ball
Oliveira - 6 - Will come good but needs a goal

Substitutes
Grant (on for Williams 67 minutes) - 7 - Always looks comfortable on the ball
Blackstock (on for Ward 78 minutes) - 6 - Struggled to get in the game
O'Grady (on for Hobbs 82 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
Decent performance again but we need a home win

 

20th October
Forest-
Burnley 1:1 (0:0)
Forest dug deep to get themselves into a winning position late in the game but could only manage a draw in the end after Lansbury's disputed red card left Forest with 10 men for the last part of the game. Forest were lucky not to go behind after 11 minutes. Burnley's Joey Barton shot from distance but his strike was deflected. De Vries was wrong footed, the shot bounced off the post and Gray tapped in but the fourth official called offside. Forest gave a free kick away fairly far out but quite central. The Burnley shot was on target but De Vries saved well. Burnley had more first half possession but struggled to create any clear chances. Burnley could easily have gone down to ten men late in the first half after a Burnley defender handled the ball under pressure from Oliveira. Luckily for Burnley the referee decided he wasn't the last man.
Forest were stronger in the second half. Oliveira shot just wide from the edge of the box after good approach play by Mendes. Mendes was involved again when substitute Blackstock headed a deep cross back towards him. Mendes shot firmly but the keeper saved. Forest kept the ball alive and it finally broke for Lichaj to smash one in from the left hand corner of the box for his first Forest goal. The Reds barely had a moment to enjoy their lead before Lansbury was red carded. A Burnley player slid into a challenge and Lansbury either stamped on him or mistimed his jump to avoid the tackle. Either way Forest played out the last 15 minutes with ten men. They inevitably defended deeper and deeper. When Matt Taylor eventually did hit the equaliser it wasn't a huge surprise and, in the end, Forest were happy to hang on for a point.

Forest: De Vries - Lichaj, Wilson, Hobbs, Pinillos - Ward (81. O'Grady), Vaughan, Lansbury, Mendes - Oliveira (77. Grant), Walker (70. Blackstock)

Player ratings
De Vries - 7 - Another good game
Lichaj - 8 - Cracking game and a good goal
Wilson - 6 - Decent
Hobbs - 6 - Solid
Pinillos - 7 - Continues to impress
Ward - 6 - Harasses defenders
Vaughan - 7 - Probably the first name on the team sheet at the moment
Lansbury - 5 - Silly to give the referee a decision to make
Mendes - 7 - Skillful but also a fighter
Walker - 6 - Quieter today
Oliveira - 7 - Strong runner

Substitutes
Blackstock (on for Walker 70 minutes) - 6 - Gave us a bit more strength up top
Grant (on for Oliveira 77 minutes) - 6 - Came on at a difficult time and worked hard
O'Grady (on for Ward 81 minutes) - n/a -

Verdict
Home win soon please, Dougie

 

3rd October
Forest-
Hull 0:1 (0:1)
Forest lost an entertaining game against another strong side. On this showing a Top 6 finish might be just out of reach but Forest should win more games than they lose. Both teams started quite strongly but struggled to carve out any real chances.an Oliveira went close with a shot from the edge of the box and Hull rattled the bar with a fiercely struck effort Hull should have taken the lead in the 29th minute when the referee judged Mills to have pulled back a Hull player in the box and gave a slightly soft looking penalty. The spot kick was tamely struck and De Vries managed to save with his legs. Hull did take the lead after 41 minutes. They won a corner, took it quickly and had tapped the ball into the net before Forest had woken up.
Both teams fought hard in the second half but clear chances were hard to come by. O'Grady blazed over the bar, Oliveira again went close and Ward had his shot well saved. The final blow came when Mills was sent off for leading into an aerial challenge with his elbow.

Forest: De Vries - Pinillos, Mills, Hobbs, Lichaj - Mancienne (56. Ebicillio, 77.Ward), Mendes (82. Walker), Vaughan, Lansbury, Oliveira - O'Grady

Player ratings
De Vries - 7 - Excellent PK save
Pinillos - 7 - Another solid performance
Mills - 5 - Stupid red card
Hobbs - 7 - Looking like his old self
Lichaj - 7 - 100% commitment
Mancienne - 7 - Quietly efficient before his injury
Mendes - 7 - A box of tricks
Vaughan - 8 - Seemed to be everywhere
Lansbury - 6 - Quality in open play but his set pieces aren't working at the moment
Oliveira - 7 - Looks an exciting player
O'Grady - 6 - Some selfish play

Substitutes
Ebicilio (on for Mancienne 55 minutes) - 5 - Looked off the pace before going off injured
Ward (on for Ebicilio 77 minutes) - 6 - Tigerish
Walker (on for Mendes 82 minutes) - n/a -

Verdict
Positive signs but need some home points soon

 

19th September
Forest-
Middlesbrough 1:2 (1:2)
Forest went toe-to-toe with one of the league's strongest teams and,
despite the result, fought them hard till the final whistle. Freedman can be proud of his team's performance. Forest went behind after 3 minutes. A defensive mix-up allowed David Nugent to nick a goal.Forest struck back three minutes later when Mills deftly volleyed in Lansbury's corner. Boro nearly took the lead when a break left Downing one on one but De Vries pulled off an excellent save. De Vries was called into action soon after pulling off an excellent double save. Boro retook the lead when Ayala nipped in to head in a bobbling corner. Lichaj nearly levelled the scores but his excellent drive was well saved. The second half was pretty much all Forest as they strived for an equaliser. Mendes ran clear into the penalty area but chose to shoot when maybe the pullback would have been the better option. The Boro 'keeper saved well again from the marauding Lichaj and Mendes tested him from the edge of the box. Forest should have equalised when the referee awarded a penalty for a Boro handball. Lansbury blasted his ball straight down the middle and the keeper just got his foot to it. Forest battled until the final whistle but the equaliser just wouldn't come.

Nottingham Forest: De Vries - Pinillos, Wilson, Mills (18. Hobbs), Lichaj -
Osborn (46. Ward), Vaughan, Lansbury, Mendes - Oliveira (75. Williams), O'Grady

Player ratings
De Vries - 7 - Some excellent saves
Pinillos - 7 - Quietly effective
Wilson - 6 - In decent form
Mills - 7 - Took his goal like a centre forward!
Lichaj - 7 - Strong and committed
Osborn - 5 - Out of sorts
Vaughan - 7 - Playing really well at the moment
Lansbury - 7 - Excellent performance despite the penalty miss
Mendes - 7 - Strong and creative
Oliveira - 6 - Looks an intelligent player
O'Grady - 7 - Committed hold up play

Substitutes
Hobbs (on for Mills 18 minutes) - 6 - More like his usual self
Ward (on for Osborn 46 minutes) - 6 - A little terrier
Williams (on for Oliveira 75 minutes) - 6 - Should be a good acquisition

Verdict
Excellent performance despite the loss

 

29th August
Forest-
Cardiff 1:2 (0:1)
Despite a late fight back Forest were beaten by Cardiff. Both teams started quite brightly and created some half chances but it was Cardiff who took the lead in the 23rd minute. A cross was lofted in from the left and the dangerous Jones beat Hobbs in the air to power home a header. Forest nearly struck back immediately but Walker couldn't quite get on the end of Antonio's cross.Mason shot from close range for Cardiff but De Vries saved well. Vaughan stole the ball in midfield and fed Walker who shot well from the corner off the box but the Cardiff keeper saved well.
Cardiff went 2:0 up early in the second half when Mason nodded in Pilkington's shot from the edge of the box. Forest had changed from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2 for the 2nd half and were looking a little more dangerous but this was a hammer blow. Forest were looking for a goal and seeing plenty of the ball but struggling to create clear chances. Forest eventually got a goal when Blackstock nodded on De Vries' kick and Antonio prodded home with 4 minutes left. Unfortunately the grandstand finish never happened from there and Cardiff ran out relatively comfortable winners.

Nottinham Forest: De Vries - Pinillos, Hobbs, Mills, Lichaj - Antonio, Mancienne, Vaughan, Ebecilio (45. Osborn), C. Brke (59. Blackstock) - Walker (80. McDonagh)

Player ratings
De Vries - 6 - Looked good so far this season
Pinillos - 6 - Decent home debut
Mills - 6 - Looks like he cares
Hobbs - 5 - Off the pace today
Lichaj - 6 - Regaining his form
Mancienne - 5 - Clearly a defender playing in midfield
Ebecilio - 5 - Lacking fitness and substituted at half time
Vaughan - 6 - Been better recently
C. Burke - 6 - Always works hard but no end product today
Antonio - 6 - Farewell performance?
Walker - 6 - Massive potential but maybe not suited to the lone front man role?

Substitutes
Osborn (on for Ebecilio 45 minutes) - 6 - busy player
Blackstock (on for C.Burke 59 minutes) - 6 - Always works hard. Good assist
McDonagh (on for Walker 80 minutes) - 6 - Good to see another youngster on the pitch

Verdict
4-4-2 from the start?

 

18th August
Forest-Charlton 0:0

The match may have ended in a draw and Antonio was left out amid transfer speculation but this was a hugely encouraging performance. Forest finished the game with three young Academy-graduates on the pitch, the 'keeper pulled off a couple of wonder saves and Forest tried to play the ball on the ground and build from the back. Forest had a lot of possession early on but didn't really manage to create anything aside from the odd half chance and long range effort. Charlton had a couple of dangerous crosses but each time their big centre forward missed the target. The visitors then had a chance when they won a free kick 25 yards out but they just missed the target.
The Forest made two substitutions early in the second half and Grant and Walker came on to increase the youth in the side. It was this pair that combined to win a free kick right on the edge of the box. It was a dangerous position but Lansbury blasted his shot into the wall. Charlton looked to get forward when they could and it took two excellent saves from headers by De Vries to keep the scores level. Lichaj worked a ball into the box but Walker poked it over. Forest kept pressing to the final whistle but the goal wouldn't come and the match finished 0-0.

Nottingham Forest: De Vries - Lichaj, Wilson, Mills, Mancienne - O. Burke, Lansbury, Vaughan, Ward (55. Grant), C. Burke - Blackstock (54. Walker)

Player ratings
De Vries - 7 - A couple of excellent saves
Lichaj - 6 - Better tonight
Wilson - 6 - Did OK
Mills - 6 - Strong
Mancienne - 7 - Another excellent performance
O. Burke - 6 - A fine debut
Vaughan - 7 - Was excellent tonight
Lansbury - 7 - Shrugged off the transfer speculation to turn in a captain's performance
Ward - 6 - Looked good before his injury
C. Burke - 6 - Always wholehearted
Blackstock - 6 - Tried hard but no real scoring opportunities

Substitutes
Walker (on for Blackstock 54 minutes) - 6 - Getting better with each game
Grant (on for Ward 55 minutes) - 7 - Comfortable on the ball

Verdict
Really encouraging

 

14th August
Forest-
Rotherham 2:1 (1:1)
Forest came from behind to beat a poor Rotherham side on Saturday. The Reds could have taken an early lead when a stray pass was pounced on by Jamie Ward but his 20 yard shot was well saved. Forest old boy Matt Derbyshire nearly headed in a cross but De Vries saved well but it was another familiar face, Danny Collins, who headed Forest into the lead. He rose at a corner and headed in under no pressure. The Forest equaliser looked like it came quickly after the Rotherham goal but Walker was flagged offside as he tapped in after good work by Antonio. The equaliser did come just before half-time. Ward lifted a cross into the far post and Matt Mills crashed in a thunderous header.

Forest took the lead 16 minutes into the second half. Burke crossed into the box. The Rotherham keeper flapped and tipped the ball onto the leaving Antonio with a simple finish. From there Forest kept Rotherham comfortably at arm's length. The impressive Mancienne was unlucky with a snapshot. Burke had a chance but the ball rebounded off a defender too quickly to allow him to control his shot. In the end Forest ran out relatively comfortable winners.

Nottingham Forest: De Vries - Lichaj, Mills, Wilson, Mancienne - Antonio, Lansbury, Vaughan, Ward (64 . Blackstock), C.Burke - Walker (85. O. Burke)

Player ratings
De Vries - 6 - Couple of decent saves
Mancienne - 7 - Excellent performance at left back
Mills - 6 - Looks a good acquisition
Wilson - 6 - Steady game
Lichaj - 6 - Better today
Burke - 6 - Typical bustling performance
Vaughan - 6 - Not a fan but he did OK
Lansbury - 6 - Solid
Ward - 7 - Flair plus hard work
Antonio - 7 - Pace and power
Walker - 6 - Looks more assured every week

Substitutes
Blackstock (on for Ward 64 minutes) - 6 - You always get hard work from Dexter
O. Burke (on for Walker 85 minutes) - 6 - Raw but full of potential

Verdict
Not spectacular but a win's a win

 

 


3rd April
Forest-
Wolverhampton 1:2 (0:0)
An out-of-sorts Forest side were beaten by an organised and efficient Wolves side at The City Ground. Forest actually started quite well. Antonio almost nipped in to intercept a back pass and Mancienne forced a decent save with a long-distance effort. Wolves nearly took the lead when Wilson slipped and allowed the Wolves player a clear shooting chance. Darlow saved well and Lichaj hacked the follow-up off the line.
Wolves took the lead 27 seconds into the second half. Afobe got the ball around the halfway line and ran at the Forest defence. The centre halves backed off and the striker beat Darlow from the edge of the box. A well taken goal but the defenders will think they should have down better. Forest created a few half chances but it was Wolves who got the next goal. Lansbury made a silly challenge in the box and Sako stroked home the resultant penalty. Forest struggled after that to create any clear chances. Substitute Blackstock scored in the dying seconds but it was too little too late.

Nottingham Forest: Darlow - Lichaj, Lascelles, Wilson, Mancienne - Gardner, Antonio (83. Blackstock), Osborn (57. Paterson), Lansbury, Burke (76.Walker) - Akpom

Player ratings
Darlow - 6- Distribution could be better
Lichaj - 6 - Good attitude
Lascelles - 6 - Should have done better for the first goal
Wilson - 6 - Won't be happy about the first goal
Mancienne - 5 - Steady defender but offers nothing going forward
Gardner - 7 - Protects the back four really well
Antonio - 5 - Looked tired today
Lansbury - 6 - Silly tackle to give away a penalty
Osborn - 5 - Quiet
Burke - 5 - Couldn't get into the game
Akpom - 6 - Started well but faded

Substitutes
Paterson (on for Osborn 57minutes) - 5 - Been disappointing this season
Walker (on for Burke 76 minutes) - 6 - One for the future
Blackstock (on for Antonio 83 minutes) - 6 - Took his goal well

Verdict
Disappointing

 

18th March
Forest-
Rotherham 2:0 (2:0)
Two moments of quality were the difference between the two sides. Rotherham worked hard but couldn't match the talent of Forest particularly the pace and power of Antonio. The first 44 minutes were pretty dull as neither side managed to create any clear opportunities. Lichaj shot over from long range, Antonio had a shout for a penalty ignored and Lansbury sent a free kick over from a decent position. Rotherham were having some decent
possession but struggling to create chances. The game sprang into life in the 43th minute with two quick goals. The first one came when Antonio clipped a hopeful ball towards Blackstock. The keeper started to come to try and collect. Blackstock got to the ball, spotted the keeper was off his line and casually lofted the ball over his head and into the goal. It was really well taken but the second was even better. Antonio got the ball in his own half and just ran through the Rotherham tackles before rifling it in from the edge of the box. A wonderful goal that brought back memories of Stan Collymore.
Rotherham kept battling in the second half but the victory never really felt in doubt. The visitors hit the post and forced a brilliant save from Darlow after a shot deflected off a defender but really Forest should have extended their lead. Antonio continued to terrorise his fullback, Lascelles headed just over when free at a corner and Gardner shot just wide at the death.

 

7th March
Forest-
Middlesbrough 2:1 (1:1)
Forest turned in another composed counterattacking performance to beat an impressive Middlesbrough side. The opposition were impressive early on but t was Forest who almost took the lead. Antonio took a shot from the edge of the box which took a massive deflection and nearly looped in. Both sides wee having decent possession but it was Middlesbrough who took the lead on the 27th minute. Leadbitter danced into the box and lofted a cross to the far post. The ball was too high for Darlow and fell into after hitting the unfortunate Mancienne. Freedman's Forest don't crumble when they go behind though and they soon struck back. The increasingly impressive Gardner got the ball in space just outside the box. He took one touch to set the ball
and then curved another beauty into the top right corner. A Middlesbrough
corner led to a dangerous goal-mouth scramble but Forest managed to go in to half-time level.
Middlesbrough continued to threaten early in the second half but it was
Forest who took the lead. Blackstock and Antonio exchanged four passes as they broke down the left and Blackstock swivelled and shot from 10 yards. A wonderful goal to celebrate Blackstock's 150th appearance. From there Forest were happy to hold their defensive shape and frustrate Middlesbrough. They survived a late scare when Kike hit the post but, in the end, Forest ran out worthy winners.

Nottingham Forest: Darlow - Mancienne, Lascelles, Wilson, Lichaj - Antonio, Gardner, Lansbury, Osborn, Burke (90. Walker) - Blackstock (79. Barrow)

Player ratings
Darlow - 6 - An excellent save to keep his clean sheet
Mancienne - 6 - Versatile
Lascelles - 7 - In good form
Wilson - 6 - Solid
Lichaj - 7- Always committed
Gardner - 8 - Looks better every game
Lansbury - 6 - Quieter today
Osborn - 6 - Always busy
Burke - 6 - Tricky
Antonio - 8 - Superb. Can we keep him next season?
Blackstock - 7 - Excellent lone frontman

Substitutes
Barrow (on for Blackstock 79 minutes) - 6 - Looks like he'll be fun
Walker (on for Burke 90 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
A routine win

 

25th February
Forest-
Bournemouth 2:1 (2:1)
Forest turned in a wonderfully disciplined performance to beat a Bournemouth side that had 77% of the possession but very few clear chances. Bournemouth started brilliantly and took the lead after 3 minutes. They won a succession of corners and Forest were slow to mark their short corners. This allowed Andrew Surman to curl a beauty in from 25 yards. Forest were rocking and could easily have gone 2 down as Bournemouth dominated the ball but Forest dug deep and slowly got back into the game. The equaliser came after Forest finally managed a decent spell of possession. Osborn swung a corner in, the ball bobbled around the penalty box before finally landing on the boot of Lascelles who smashed home from 10 yards. From here Forest came into the game a little more. Lansbury had a sliding shot saved. Forest's 2nd goal came just before half-time. The marauding Antonio was fouled on the left edge of the box and Lansbury scored a delightful free kick.
The crowd expected a second half onslaught but it never really came.
Bournemouth had a huge amount of possession but created very few clear chances. Forest allowed them the ball but defended magnificently. In fact, the best chance fell to Forest. Lascelles having a header cleared off the line.

Nottingham Forest: Darlow - Fox, Lascelles, Collins, Lichaj - Burke (69.
Mancienne), Gardner, Lansbury, Osborn, Antonio (89. Veldwijk) - Blackstock (73. Fryatt)

Player ratings
Darlow - 6 - Wish he would organise his defence a bit more
Fox - 7 - Solid
Lascelles - 7- Kept Bournemouth quiet
Collins - 7 - The old warhorse fights on
Lichaj - 7 - Rough and tough
Burke - 6 - Tidy
Gardner - 7 - Protected the back four
Lansbury - 8 - Captain's performance
Osborn - 6 - Busy
Antonio - 6 - Looked jaded
Blackstock -7 - Great hold up play

Substitutes
Mancienne (on for Burke 69 minutes) - 6 - Stiffened up the midfield
Burke (on for Blackstock 73 minutes) - 6 - Intelligent player
Veldwijk (on for Antonio 89 minutes) - 6 - Fought

Verdict
Superb defensive performance
 
 

21st February
Forest-
Bolton 4:1 (2:1)
Forest beat another frankly terrible team pretty easily. Antonio was unplayable for long periods off the game. He scored a wonderful solo goal and got a Bolton centre half sent off. Forest are lucky to have him. Forest scored with their first real attack. Lansbury sent a beautiful diagonal
ball to Burke on the edge of the box. The defender slipped allowing him a
shooting chance. The keeper saved his first shot but he was quickest to react and prodded home the rebound. Next came the moment of the match. Antonio got the ball on the halfway line and simply rampaged through 5 Bolton players before slamming a right foot shot into the net. It was one of the best goals scored at The City Ground for years. From there Forest should have increased their lead. Antonio, Lascelles and Lansbury went close with headers while Osborn's goal-bound effort was blocked. Bolton got one back just before halftime when Fox gave away a soft penalty and Le Fondre scored.
Any thoughts of a Bolton fightback were extinguished two minutes after the
break when Bolton captain Matt Mills was sent off after he got a second yellow card for hauling down the irrepressible Antonio. From there the result was never in doubt. The Bolton 'keeper fouled Blackstock to give away a penalty and got a nasty injury at the same time. Lansbury slotted it
away coolly. Burke made it four three minutes later with a tidy finish from
just inside the box. Lansbury should have made it five with a free kick that went close in injury time.

Nottingham Forest: Darlow - Fox, Collins, Lascelles, Lichaj - Burke (72.
Paterson),Osborn, Lansbury, Gardner, Antonio (87. Fryatt) - Blackstock (76.
Veldwijk)

Player ratings
Darlow - 6 - Untroubled
Fox - 6 - Easy game
Lascelles - 7 - Best game for a while
Collins - 6 - Welcome back!
Lichaj - 6 - Works hard
Gardner - 8 - Tidied everything up in front of the back four
Burke - 8 - Tricky and committed
Lansbury - 7 - Solid
Osborn - 6 - Quieter today
Antonio - 9 - Unplayable
Blackstock - 7 - Brilliant hold up play

Substitutes
Paterson (on for Burke 72 minutes) - 6 - Involved
Veldwijk (on for Blackstock 76 minutes) - 5 - Needs a goal
Fryatt (on for Antonio 87 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
Bravo!

 

11th February
Forest-
Wigan 3:0 (1:0)
Forest beat a terrible Wigan team to give new manager Dougie Freedman his second win in two games and also a first win at home since November last year. Defences were on top for the first half an hour. Forest had better possession but nether side really troubled the goalkeepers. Forest broke through on the 34th minute with a quality goal. Burke moved well into space and his clever pass found Assombalonga in the box who finished sweetly. The rest of the half was all Forest but they couldn't find that second goal.
That goal came 5 minutes into the second half. Antonio smashed through two
defenders on the right and clipped a good ball over to the impressive Burke. Burke took a couple of steps into the penalty box and shot confidently passed the keeper. The third goal came after some lovely controlled Forest football. Hobbs, Osborn, Assombalonga and Fox were all involved before Lansbury curled it in from the edge of the box. The match was over after that and drifted away. The only disappointment was a nasty looking injury to Assombalonga in the 76th minute which saw him stretchered off with a suspected dislocated knee.

Nottingham Forest: Darlow - Fox, Collins, Hobbs, Lichaj - Burke (76.
Paterson), Gardner, Osborn, Lansbury, Antonio (86. Blackstock) - Assombalonga (76.Fryatt)

Player ratings
Darlow - 6 - Couple of decent saves
Fox - 6 - Looked better than recently
Collins - 7 -Steady
Hobbs - 7 - Solid
Lichaj - 6 - Committed performance
Gardner - 8 - Excellent in front of the defence
Osborn - 6 - Tireless
Lansbury - 7 - Lovely goal
Antonio - 7 - Pace and power
Burke - 8 - A goal and an assist
Assombalonga - 7 - Took his goal excellently

Substitutes
Fryatt (on for Assombalonga 67 minutes) - 6 - Busy
Paterson (on for Burke 76 minutes) - 5 - Anonymous
Blackstock (on for Antonio 86 minutes) - n/a -

Verdict
A good start

 

31st January
Forest-
Millwall 0:1 (0:0)
Stuart Pearce's final game as manager was, in all honesty, a very poor performance indeed. Forest were perhaps unlucky to lose but never really looked like scoring. Lansbury had a good early chance from an Antonio long throw but the defender blocked well. De Vries pulled off a magnificent save from a close range header to keep the scores level after Kane gave away a free kick in a dangerous area. McLaughlin's half volley and Lansbury's free kick were the closest chances but Forest didn't create much in the first half.
The second half started with a bang as Tesche's cross/shot rattled the bar from long range. Forest finally created a clear chance when Antonio crossed but Assombalonga's header was well saved. McLaughlin had been a surprise choice at left back and he had played quite well until the 83rd minute. Then he had a simple header to clear the ball. He tried to nod back to De Vries but his header was too soft. Fuller nipped past the stranded goalie and rolled it home. Forest tried but could manage nothing in the last few minutes of the game.

Nottingham Forest: De Vries - McLaughlin, Hobbs, Wilson, Kane - Burke (60. Fryatt), Osborn, Tesche (70. Paterson), Antonio, Lansbury, Assombalonga

De Vries - 6 - Could do nothing for the goal
McLaughlin - 5 - Fatal mistake
Hobbs - 6 - Pretty solid
Wilson - 6 - Steady
Kane - 6 - Tried to get forward
Tesche - 6 - Workhorse
Lansbury - 6 - Looked like he was trying
Osborn - 6 - Full of energy
Burke - 5 - Poor today
Antonio - 6 - Sometimes final ball could be better
Assombalonga - 6 - No service

Substitutes
Fryatt (on for Burke 60 minutes) - 5 - Quiet
Paterson (on for Tesche 70 minutes) - 5 - Not really involved

Verdict
Thank you for trying, Stuart

 

10th January
Forest-
Sheffield Wednesday 0:2 (0:1)
Forest turned in another limp performance that must leave Stuart Pearce fearing for his job. Wednesday were nearly gifted a goal after Osborn's pass fell short but Lascelles pulled off an excellent last-ditch tackle as the Derby player looked set to score. Forest nearly took the lead after Tesche smashed a corner goalwards from close range but the Wednesday keeper pulled off an excellent save. Forest were beginning to look in control but it was Wednesday who scored just before half-time. Vaughan lost the run of the ball in the left back position. The cross came in and fell to a Wednesday player. New boy Kane blocked the shot on the line but Wednesday's Lee managed to prod it in.
Forest were two down early in the second half. A cross came in from the
left. Maguire controlled it well and put it away from 10 yards. It could have been three soon after but De Vries managed to pull off a decent save. Antonio had a header well saved by the Wednesday keeper but, at the other end, it took a brilliant block by Lascelles to stop Forest going further behind. Forest had a lot of the ball but did very little with it whereas Wednesday looked dangerous whenever they broke. In the end Forest were lucky to only lose 2-0.

Forest: De Vries - Lichaj, Hobbs, Lascelles, Kane (68. Paterson) - Vaughan,
Tesche, Osborn, Burke (46. Gardener) - Assombalonga (68. Veldwijk)

Player ratings
De Vries - 6 - Couldn't really do anything about either goal
Hobbs - 5 - A little rusty
Lascelles - 7 - Some excellent blocks and tackles
Kane - 6 - Looks a good prospect
Lichaj - 5 - Not effective today
Burke - 5 - Quiet
Vaughan - 4 - Poor
Tesche - 6 - Industrious
Antonio - 6 - Didn't work for him
Osborn - 7 - The only bright spot. Excellent attitude
Assombalonga - 5 - No impact

Substitutes
Gardener (on for Burke 46 minutes) - 6 - Looks like a fighter
Paterson (on for Kane 68 minutes) - 6 - Good effort late on
Veldwijk (on for Assombalonga 68 minutes) - 5 - Needs a goal

Verdict
Something's wrong
 

28th December
Forest-
Birmingham 1:3 (0:3)
Forest lost this game because of 10 minutes of madness at the end of the 1st half. Forest started brightly but failed to make any clear chances. The nearest we came was when Lansbury shot wide from just outside the box.The collapse started on the 35th minute. Birmingham's dangerous left winger, Gray, charged towards the penalty area. Lansbury had no choice but to bring him down and Cotterill curled it low into the goal. Worse was to come 4 minutes later. Birmingham won a
corner. Forest weren't awake to the short ball and Cotterill shot from
about the same spot as the first goal. All that was left was for Donaldson to deflect the shot home. It was 3 a few minutes later. Darlow parried a shot but it rebounded off a Forest defender and landed in front of Donaldson who made no mistake. Tesche nearly grabbed one back before half-time but his magnificent long-range strike hit the underside of the bar and bounced out. Forest started the second half well but the early goal they needed wouldn't come and the game drifted by. Forest grabbed a consolation in injury time when Assombalonga nodded home Osborn's cross.

Forest: Darlow - Lichaj, Mancienne, Lascelles, Fox (76. Veldwijk) -
Tesche, Lansbury (89. Osborn), Paterson (60. Burke), Antonio - Fryatt, Assombalonga

Player ratings
Darlow - 6 - Some decent saves
Lichaj - 5 - Their winger beat him every time
Lascelles - 6 - No obvious mistakes
Mancienne - 6 - Good player but not captain material
Fox - 5 - Too many stray passes
Tesche - 7 - Commitment and heart
Lansbury - 5 - Too many bookings
Antonio - 6 - Always tries
Paterson - 5 - Didn't do much today
Fryatt - 6 - Anonymous
Assombalonga - 6 - No service

Substitutes
Burke (on for Paterson 60 minutes) - 5 - Quiet
Veldwijk (on for Fox 76 minutes) - 5 - Struggled to get involved
Osborn (on for Lansbury 89 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
Oh dear
 

20th December
Forest-
Leeds 1:1 (1:0)
This wasn't a vintage Forest performance but they were denied a deserved victory after two goals were wrongly ruled out for offside. Pearce set Forest up in a 3-5-2 formation to counter Leeds' diamond midfield and it worked ok. Leeds started well and had a couple of decent chances but gradually played themselves into the game. Forest should have taken the lead when Fryatt redirected Antonio's shot but it was ruled off for offside. TV replays later showed this to be the wrong decision. Forest did finally take the lead in first half injury time. Mancienne got his head to
a corner and Fryatt diverted it in.
Leeds won a penalty early in the second half. Fox brought down the Leeds player. There was definitely contact but it looked a little soft and Billy Sharp didn't miss his kick. Forest were looking for their second goal straight after. Hunt shot weakly and Antonio curled a beauty from 25 yards. Fryatt managed to fire home a ball bobbling around the 6 yard box but again it was called offside and again TV replays showed it to be the wrong decision. Forest were pressing but it was Leeds who nearly scored. Darlow was alert to save Sharp's snap volley. Tesche's long-range effort was well saved as was Lansbury's shot from just inside the box. Forest fought until the end with Assombalonga heading over in the closing moments but the deserved winner just wouldn't come.

Forest: Darlow - Wilson, Fox, Lichaj - Hunt (70. Burke), Mancienne (89.
Paterson), Lansbury, Tesche, Antonio - Fryatt, Blackstock (41. Assombalonga)

Player ratings
Darlow - 6 - Couple of decent saves
Fox - 5 - Too many predictable diagonal long balls
Wilson - 6 - Starting to look like his old self
Lichaj - 6 - 100% commitment
Antonio - 7- Worked ok as a wingback
Mancienne - 6 - Comfortable at DM
Lansbury - 6 - Decent game
Tesche - 7 - Good performance
Hunt - 6 - Wingback suits his game
Fryatt - 7 - Should have had a hat trick
Blackstock - 6 - Hope the new injury isn't too bad

Substitutes
Assombalonga (on for Blackstock 41 minutes) - 5 - Didn't deserve to be
dropped but struggled today
Burke (on for Hunt 70 minutes) - 6 - Always works hard
Paterson (on for Mancienne 89 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
Referee robbed us
 

6th December
Forest-
Charlton 1:1 (0:1)
Forest were awful in the first half and much better in the second so a draw was probably a fair result although Forest pushed hard for a winner after they equalised. Charlton took the lead after 10 minutes. Harriot's shot from the edge of the area took a little deflection off Mancienne which took it out of Darlow's reach. Unlucky but the attacker should have been closed down quicker before the shot. Forest tried to hit back straightaway but it was Charlton who had the next good chance. Vetekele headed from about the six-yard box and brought a good save from Darlow. Lansbury came off at halftime and Tesche came on. Forest started the half with much more purpose and vigour. Antonio crossed dangerously twice but Fryatt couldn't quite connect. Antonio, himself, had a good chance which he shot just wide from close range and Ince blazed over from a tight angle. Paterson had a decent shout for a penalty after two defenders wrestled him over in the box but the referee didn't see a foul. The equaliser, when it came, was special. The ball bobbled to Tesche who hammered a half-volley from 25 yards. The keeper touched it but the shot was just too powerful. From there there was only one team in it but Forest just couldn't find the winner. Paterson shot over the bar a couple of times, Blackstock headed into the keeper's arms and Antonio's tame shot was easily saved. A much better second half but Forest have to learn to perform for 90 minutes.

Forest: Darlow - Fox, Mancienne, Lascelles, Lichaj - Osborn, Lansbury (46.
Tesche) - Ince (76. Blackstock), Antonio, Paterson - Fryatt

Player ratings
Darlow - 6 - A couple of good saves
Lichaj - 6 - Dependable
Lascelles - 6 - Starting to look better
Mancienne - 6 - Quick and comfortable on the ball
Fox - 6 - Good crosses in the second half
Osborn - 6 - Looks more assured week by week
Lansbury - 5 - Ineffective
Ince - 5 - Not shown anything special yet
Antonio - 7- Pace and power
Paterson - 7 - Looks worth a regular start
Fryatt - 6 - No joy today but an intelligent player

Substitutes
Tesche - 7 - Brilliant goal
Blackstock - 6 - Gave us a target

Verdict
A game of two halves


8th November

Forest-
Norwich 2:1 (0:1)
Forest finally got a win with this gutsy last gasp comeback. As usual Forest started quite brightly. Ince shot just over the bar from just inside the box Forest looked lively but it was Norwich who took the lead on 16 minutes. Some nice interplay allowed Howson to get free. He strode into the
box and slotted past Darlow Grabban had a good chance a few minutes later
but he couldn't get his header on target. Forest kept working hard. Assombalonga and Antonio had half chances and the crowd stayed behind the team. Paterson came on at half time for the ineffective Ince and the second half was much more open. Norwich had a couple of chances but Forest were enjoying some good possession. On 66 minutes Pearce brought on Lansbury and Lichaj and switched to a back 3. This seemed to open up the space in midfield and Forest started to build up some pressure on the Norwich goal. The equaliser finally came with 7 minutes to spare. Fryatt danced into the box and passed to Assombalonga who side footed home from close range. The momentum now was all with Forest but it took until injury time to grab a winner. Assombalonga headed a Norwich corner. The ball found Paterson who pinged a ball to Assombalonga who had raced to the halfway line. His pinpoint ball found Antonio who ran into the box and steered home. It was a wonderful counter-attacking goal and Forest fully deserved their win.

Forest: Darlow - Hunt (66. Lansbury), Mancienne, Lascelles, Harding (66.
Lichaj) - Tesche, Osborn, Antonio, Ince (46. Paterson) - Fryatt, Assombalonga

Player ratings

Darlow - 6 - Maybe could have done better for their goal
Hunt - 6 - Worked hardFryatt
Mancienne - 6 - Looked more solid
Lascelles - 6 - More like his old self
Harding - 6 - Looked to get forward
Osborn - 8 - Drive, bravery and vision
Tesche - 6 - Gave us a base
Ince - 5 - Quiet
Antonio - 7 - Pace, power and goals
Fryatt - 6 - Vital link between midfield and attack
Assombalonga - 7 - Works so hard

Substitutes
Paterson (on for Ince 46 minutes) - 7- Gave us an extra dimension
Lansbury (on for Harding 66 minutes) - 7 - Looked like he's getting into
some form
Lichaj (on for Hunt 66 minutes) - 6 - Strong

Verdict
Keep it up!

 

5th November
Forest-Brentford 1:3 (0:2
)
Forest were totally outclassed by a hardworking, skillful Brentford side. 1:3 was bad enough but it could easily have been four or five. Brentford scored from their first real attack. Their right back strode forward dangerously. When Forest players stood off he carried on into the box, passed square and Toral finished neatly. Hunt put in a last ditch tackle to try to block the pass, injured himself and had to go be substituted. Forest were pushing for the equaliser but it was Lichaj, Hunt's replacement, who gifted Brentford the second goal. His back pass was way too short and allowed Gray to intercept and beat the stranded Darlow. Forest were lucky to go in at half-time only 2:0 down. Brentford missed two glorious chances just before the break. Forest's hopes of a comeback were dashed two minutes after the break. Wilson committed a clear foul in the penalty area and the Brentford player coolly slotted the penalty. The game was pretty much over from then Brentford took their foot of the gas and Forest created some decent chances but both teams knew how the match would finish. Antonio grabbed a late consolation with a decent strike but, in truth, Forest were beaten far too easily tonight.

Forest: Darlow - Fox, Lascelles (46. Assombalonga), Wilson, Hunt (32.Lichaj) - Mancienne, Lansbury, Osborn, Ince, Burke (62. Paterson)

Player ratings
Darlow - 5 - Poor distribution
Hunt - 6 - Hope the injury isn't too serious
Fox - 5 - Poor game and nasty injury at the end
Lascelles - 4 - Looks lost this season
Wilson - 4 - No presence
Mancienne - 5 - Decent at CB but anonymous in midfield
Lansbury - 5 - Anonymous
Osborn - 6 - Brave. Didn't hide
Burke - 5 - Quiet
Ince - 6 - Will do well when he settles in
Antonio - 6 - Good spirit

Substitutes
Lichaj (on for Hunt 32 minutes) - 4 - Directly responsible for the second goal
Assombalonga (on for Lascelles 46 minutes) - 6 - No service
Paterson (on for Burke 62 minutes) - 6 - Looked lively

Verdict
Must defend better

 

25th October
Forest-Blackburn 1:3 (1:0
)
Forest started played well enough for an hour but uncharacteristic errors in the last half hour handed the points to Blackburn. Forest started brightly. Hunt broke into the box but his cross was just too close to the Blackburn keeper. Forest took the lead a few minutes before half-time.
Assombalonga hit a sweet shot with the outside of his boot. The ball hit
the post and bounced back into the path of Fryatt who tapped in. Assombalonga had a couple of good chances to double the score before half-time but his shots went just wide. Forest were comfortable but the
second half was a different story. Rhodes could have scored early in the
half but some good blocking put him off. The equaliser came from a Darlow mistake. He flapped at a cross, missed the ball and the Blackburn player smashed home at the far post. Forest nearly grabbed the lead back straight away. Substitute Lansbury had his close range effort saved by the keeper's legs and hit the post seconds later. Unfortunately it was Blackburn who took the lead soon after. Vaughan's pass sold Harding short and Blackburn took advantage. Gestede headed powerfully home. Next Mancienne's mistake lead to a goal. He missed a long ball and ace finisher Rhodes pounced to make it 3. Blackburn finished stronger than Forest and we were lucky not to concede more.

Forest: Darlow - Harding, Wilson, Mancienne, Hunt - Tesche (80. Paterson),
Vaughan, Antonio, Burke - Fryatt (62. Lansbury), Assombalonga

Player ratings
Darlow - 5 - Bad mistake for their first goal
Hunt - 6 - Decent game
Wilson - 5 - Lacking confidence?
Mancienne - 5 - Bad mistake for the 3rd goal
Tesche - 6 - Some bright passing
Vaughan - 5 - Good player but his mistake cost a goal
Burke - 6 - Good defensive work
Antonio - 5 - Quiet today
Fryatt - 6 - Lucky goal
Assombalonga - 6 - Always a handful

Substitutes
Lansbury (on for Fryatt 62 minutes) - 6 - Hopefully finding his form
Paterson (on for Tesche 80minutes) - 5 - Wasteful

Verdict
Need a win


5th October

Forest-Ipswich 2:2
(0:1)
Forest stuttered again against a strong Ipswich side but grabbed an injury-time equaliser to preserve their unbeaten record. Forest should have taken the lead early on but the returning Fryatt could only manage to head Antonio's cross against the bar. Both sides were having decent posession and creating the odd half-chance but it was Ipswich who took the lead on 19 minutes. Murphy beat Lichaj and curled a shot past Darlow from the corner of the box. Lansbury's under hit back pass almost gave Ipswich a chance to go two up but Mancienne produced an excellent saving tackle. Forest started the second half well and it took a magnificent save to stop Antonio
equalising from Hunt's cutback. Forest did get the equaliser soon after.
Lansbury lofted a corner to the far post and Tesche guided his header into the goal. Despite this Ipswich wouldn't lie down and retook the lead in the 71st minute. Forest failed to defend a cross and Murphy rose to beat Darlow again. Forest were desperate to equalise and nearly managed it when Assombalonga rounded the keeper but his shot was knocked off the line by a defender and the keeper pulled off an excellent save as Antonio tried to knock in the rebound. Still Forest wouldn't give up and the equaliser came in injury time. Another Lansbury corner, the keeper flapped and Antonio
volleyed in from close range.

Forest: Darlow - Hunt, Mancienne, Wilson ( 29. Lascelles), Lichaj (81.
Harding) - Burke (76. Veldwijk), Tesche, Lansbury, Antonio - Assombalonga

Player ratings
Darlow - 6 - Could have perhaps done better for the first goal
Hunt - 6 - Always looks to get forward
Wilson - 6 - Looked decent before his early substitution
Mancienne - 7 - Better and better
Lichaj - 5 - Beaten by his man for both goals
Tesche - 7 - Man of the Match
Lansbury - 6 - His corners led to both goals but his all-round game wasn't
great
Burke - 5 - Quiet
Antonio - 7 - Willing runner
Assombalonga - 6 - Struggling at the moment
Fryatt - 6 - Good to have him back but looked a little rusty

Substitutes
Lascelles (on for Wilson 29 minutes) - 6 - Looked slightly shaky
Veldwijk (on for Burke 76 minutes) - 6 - Struggled to get involved
Harding (on for Lichaj 81 minutes) - 6 - Better on the ball than Lichaj

Verdict
Draws disguising some poor performances

 

27th September
Forest-
Brighton 0:0
Forest played badly but still managed to grab a point today at The City Ground. Brighton started well and created a couple of half-chances. Assombalonga drove to the by-line after good work by Osborn but his pull back only found a Brighton player. Tesche had a half-volley deflected wide
and then, minutes later, another deflected shot forced a good save from
the Brighton keeper. The away team had a decent spell before half-time but didn't really manage to trouble Darlow. After the break the game was fairly even. Brighton crossed from the right and Mancienne made a vital
interception but was close to scoring an own goal. Forest won a free kick
30 yards from goal. Fox lofted a ball to the far post and Veldwijk was just inches away from connecting. The last and best chance came in injury time. Osborn sent a corner to the far post. Mancienne found himself free but he headed into the ground and the ball bounced over the bar.

Forest: Darlow - Hunt, Mancienne, Wilson, Fox - Tesche (61. Paterson),
Osborn, Lansbury (77. Veldwijk), Antonio (88. Grant), Burke - Assombalonga

Player ratings
Darlow - 6 - A couple of decent saves
Fox - 6 - Couldn't attack as much as usual
Mancienne - 7 - Continues to look top class
Wilson - 7 - Good to have him back
Fox - 5 - Looked poor today
Tesche - 6 - Every team needs a player like him
Osborn - 7 - Gets stronger each game
Lansbury - 5 - Out of form
Antonio - 6 - Quiet today
Burke - 6- Ineffectual
Assombalonga - 6- No service

Substitutes
Paterson (on for Tesche 61 minutes) - 6 - No real impact
Veldwijk (on for Lansbury 77 minutes) - 6 - Tried hard to get involved
Grant (on for Antonio 88 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
More imagination at Wigan, please!
 

17th September
Forest-
Fulham 5:3 (2:1)
Forest threw a two goal lead way before finally killing off a brave Fulham side. Forest were 2:0 up within 21 minutes. Firstly Assombalonga got his head to a Lansbury free kick and then he scored a penalty after Antonio was lucky to get a decision. From this point, against a side at the foot of the table and lacking in confidence, Forest should have been cruising but it was Fulham who bossed the next 45 minutes with forwards McCormack and Rodallega looking superb. Fulham's first goal came when McCormack curled in a beautiful free kick on 31 minutes. Their equaliser came early in the second half. The left back crossed the ball and Rodallega produced a lovely side foot volley low into the corner. From there the momentum was all with Fulham and they soon took the lead. Rodallega played McCormack into the box and his deflected shot bobbled in. Forest are made of strong stuff this season and wouldn't give up. Antonio equallised in the 77th minute. Mancienne played a long ball into the box which Antonio controlled with a beautiful touch and coolly rolled into the corner. The winning goal came just two minutes later. Burke crossed, Assombalonga headed against the bar but was first to the rebound and tapped in. A deserved hat-trick for the lethal hit man! Substitute Paterson rounded things off with a tidy finish.

Forest: Darlow - Hunt, Mancienne, Fox, Lichaj (56. Wilson) - Tesche (90.
Lascelles), Lansbury, Osborn (69. Paterson) - Assombalonga

Player ratings
Darlow - 5 - Couple of shaky moments
Hunt - 6 - Didn't manage to get forward as much as usual
Mancienne - 6 - Not as solid as usual
Fox - 6 - Great on the ball but some erratic defending
Lichaj - 6 - Unlucky to be subbed
Tesche - 7 - Disciplined with an eye for a pass
Osborn - 6 - Lovely passer but can look lightweight
Lansbury - 6 - Not sure a slightly advanced position suits him
Burke - 5 - Lovely cross for Assombalonga's goal but, overall, a little anonymous
Antonio - 8 - Superb goal
Assombalonga - 9 - His hat-trick saved us

Substitutes
Wilson (on for Lichaj 56 minutes) - 6 - Good to see him back
Paterson (on for Osborn 69 minutes) - 7 - Lovely goal
Lascelles (on for Tesche 90 minutes - n/a

Verdict
Firepower rescues a shaky performance
 

14th September
Forest-
Derby 1:1 (0:0)
A draw was probably a fair result in a match that was overshadowed by another serious looking injury to captain Chris Cohen. Forest started brightly but were unable to carve out any clear chances. Cohen appeared to twist his knee awkwardly after 15 minutes and the injury looks bad. He left the field in tears and other players were visibly distressed. Tesche came on for the unfortunate Cohen. Lansbury's wide free kick produced a comfortable save from the Derby keeper. Burke dinked a cross towards the far post and the waiting Antonio. This combination has worked well for Forest so far this season but this time Derby defended well. Teshe shot from 30 yards but his strong shot was just wide. Early in the 2nd half Antonio wriggled free from his marker but the keeper hand safe hands. Forest took the lead on 71 minutes. Assombalonga received the ball in the box with his back to goal, spun and shot into the bottom corner, Forest nearly doubled their lead a few minutes later when Antonio met Hunt's cross but his powerful header flew wide. Derby equalised after 80 minutes. Burke gave away a silly free kick out wide, the ball came in and Shotton scored in the goalmouth scramble that followed. Derby's Buxton was sent off at the death but Forest couldn't manage the win.

Forest: Darlow - Hunt, Mancienne, Hobbs, Lichaj - Cohen (15. Tesche), Reid
(43. Osborn, 87. Veldwijk), Antonio, Burke, Lansbury - Assombalonga

Player ratings

Darlow - 6 - Solid when needed
Hunt - 7 - Always an attacking threat
Mancienne - 7 - Classy as always
Hobbs - 6 - Not his best game
Lichaj - 6 - Strong
Cohen - 7 - Get well soon, Chrissy!
Reid - 5 - Poor before he left the game injured
Antonio - 7 - Our main attacking threat
Burke - 6 - Gave away a silly free kick that allowed Derby to score
Lansbury - 7 - Excellent playing slightly further forward
Assombalonga - 7 - Brilliant finish

Substitutes
Tesche (on for Cohen 15 minutes) - 7 - Played sensibly
Osborn (on for Reid 43 minutes) - 6 - A little anonymous
Veldwijk (on for Osborn 87 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
Hope the skipper's injury isn't too bad

 

23rd August
Forest-
Reading 4:0 (1:0)
Forest had a strong second half to thank for this impressive win. Forest had the best of the early exchanges but didn't create a clear opportunity until Antonio scored in the 17th minute. Good hold up play by Assombalonga allowed Burke to put in a cross and Antonio rose highest at the far post. Forest carried on pressing. Antonio led a dangerous breakaway and Fox forced a decent save from a corner. Reading ended the half with a flurry of chances. Pearce clearly wasn't happy and halftime bought a substitution as Lichaj came on for Harding and a formation change as Forest put another body in midfield. The changes worked and Forest doubled their lead two
minutes into the second half. Hunt curled in a dangerous cross and and
Antonio shinned it in for his second of the day. Next Antonio turned provider, curling a wicked cross in for Fryatt to nod home. The fourth came from a corner as a goalmouth scramble allowed Assombalonga to prod home. From there Forest were cruising although Darlow had to produce a decent save to preserve his clean sheet. Paterson and Lichaj went close but, in the end, Forest had to settle for 4.

Forest: Darlow - Fox (46. Lichaj), Fox, Mancienne, Hunt - Antonio (74.
Osborn), Reid, Cohen, Burke (76. Paterson) - Fyatt, Assombalonga.

Player Ratings
Darlow - 7 - Steady
Mancienne - 8 - Reads the game brilliantly
Fox - 7 - A couple of lovely crossfield balls
Harding - 6 - Unlucky to be subbed at halftime
Hunt - 7 - Made the second goal
Antonio - 8 - 2 goals and an assist
Burke - 7 - A clever signing
Cohen - 7 - So much energy
Reid - 6 - Quiet today
Fryatt - 7 - Intelligence and goals
Assombalonga - 7 - So many sides to his game

Substitutes
Lichaj (on for Fox 46 minutes) - 7 - Tough defender
Osborn (on for Antonio 74 minutes) - 6 - Tidy
Paterson (on for Burke 76 minutes) - 6 - Unlucky not to score

Verdict
Easy win but there'll be tougher tests soon.

 

9th August
Forest-
Blackpool 2:0 (2:0)
Stuart Pearce got a stunning reception when he returned to The City Ground as our new manager. His first Forest side featured 6 debutantes including Assombalonga the big money signing from Peterborough. Forest started on the front foot as the new team looked tidy and creative. Assombalonga nearly got off to a dream start on 8 minutes when he broke free from the defenders but he just couldn't get the ball under control. Forest kept up the pressure and it felt like a goal was coming and, halfway through the first half, it did. Reid got some space on the edge of the box and cannoned a shot against the post. Antonio was following up and coolly slotted home the rebound. Assombalonga turned beautifully and sent his long range shot just wide. It got even better a few minutes later. Fryatt sprayed a ball out wide to Hunt. He rolled it infield to Burke on the edge of the box and he curled a beauty into the far corner. Fyatt beat a couple of defenders in the box and set up Antonio but his shot was well saved. The second half was a little flat in comparison. Assombalonga had a couple of half chances and Blackpool had a couple of long range efforts but, in the end, Forest ran out comfortable winners.

Forest: Darlow - Hunt, Mancienne, Fox, Harding - Cohen (87. Lichaj), Reid, Antonio (57. McLaughlin), Burke (78. Osborn) - Fryatt. Assombalonga

Player ratings
Darlow - 6 - Nothing to do
Hunt - 7 - Looked good first half but faded a little towards the end
Mancienne - 7 - Looks a classy, ball-playing centre-half
Fox - 7 - Looked comfortable
Harding - 7 - Solid game
Cohen - 7 - Great to have our captain back
Reid - 7 - Great shot to set up the first goal
Antonio - 7 - Pace and power
Burke - 7 - Tricky and skillful
Fryatt - 7 - An intelligent footballer
Assombalonga - 7 - Looks like money well spent

Substitutes
McLaughlin (on for Antonio 57 minutes) - 6 - One decent run but no final
ball
Osborn (on for Burke 78 minutes) - 6 - Tidy
Lichaj (on for Cohen 87 minutes) - n/a

Verdict
2 debutante goals and an opening day win - good stuff!

Matt


Season 2013/14
Season 2012/13

Season 2011/12
 



Interviews:
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Brian Laws
Alex Walker

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