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Nottingham Forest 2-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 14th Apr 2018 17:15

Caretaker-boss Bryan Klug was denied a first match victory as Nottingham Forest staged a remarkable last-gasp turnaround at the City Ground. The Blues had gone ahead via Grant Ward in the 38th minute and looked set to hold on to their lead until their goalscorer bundled Ben Brereton over and, after the England U19 international had netted from the spot in the final minute, Joe Lolley smashed home a volley deep in injury time to win it for Forest, who had previously gone six games without a goal.

Striker Ben Morris, 18, was handed his full debut, having previously made two sub appearances in the Championship in addition another game from the bench in the Carabao Cup match at Crystal Palace in August, and up front with Martyn Waghorn.

Klug stuck with the back three in which the Blues have lined up in recent weeks with Jordan Spence on the right, Cameron Carter-Vickers in the centre and Jonas Knudsen on the left.

Ward was at right wing-back, a role in which Klug used to play him during their days together in the Tottenham academy, with Barry Cotter, who impressed on his debut on Tuesday, dropping to the bench. Myles Kenlock was at left wing-back.

In central midfield, stand-in skipper Cole Skuse played behind Luke Hyam and Tristan Nydam. Bersant Celina missed out as he is unwell.

Forest, who went in to the match without a goal in their last six games, included ex-Town loanee Jack Colback in an unchanged starting XI but Daryl Murphy is still sidelined with a calf injury.

After a quiet opening the home side were gifted a golden opportunity to go in front in the 11th minute when Ward gave the ball away to Ben Osborn on the edge of the box when under no pressure. Osborn took it into the area but was prevented from scoring Forest’s first goal in 563 minutes of football by the advancing Bartosz Bialkowski.

Chances continued to be rare at both ends but with Forest having most of the ball until Joe Lolley hit a low 19th minute effort from distance which Bialkowski palmed wide to his right.

The home side began to put the Blues under increased pressure. Adlene Guedioura was unable to make proper contact with a cross from the left on 24, then Ben Brereton struck a powerful shot from distance which Bialkowski pushed behind. From the resultant corner, Ben Watson nodded only just wide at the far post.

At the other end Town, with Klug remaining on the bench alongside injured skipper Luke Chambers and assistants Gerard Nash and Chris Hogg patrolling the technical area, hadn’t seriously threatened, but in the 38th minute they went in front.

Kenlock slammed over a cross from the left and Ward diverted the first goal of the four-game Klug era past Costel Pantilimon at the far post, perhaps without knowing too much about it.

The goal gave the Blues more confidence and in the single minute of injury time Spence brought the ball forward from deep and fed Waghorn running into the box on the right. Town’s top scorer’s deep cross reached Nydam beyond the far post and the England U19 international’s cross deflected off a Forest player and hit the top of the bar.

Shortly afterwards, the referee ended the half, prompting boos from a home support who had gone 596 minutes without seeing their side score.

However, that drought really should have ended when Ward presented Osborn with a gilt-edged chance early on, while Bialkowski had been the busier of the two keepers, even if the Polish international had hardly been peppered with shots.

Town had defended in the resolute manner which became their stock in trade under Mick McCarthy and took their one chance when it came, although Ward may not have known a huge about it as Kenlock’s cross struck him in the face and beat Pantilimon.

The Blues started the second half in the manner they had ended the first with Nydam having a shot blocked inside the area after Ward had found him having beaten Osborn down the right, by no means for the first time.

At the other end Guedioura went well wide with a stooping header, before Luke Hyam went within a couple of inches of scoring his first goal for three and a half years.

Waghorn played a great pass into the midfielder’s path on the right of the box and he struck a shot which flew across the face and wide.

Town started to put the home side under pressure. Waghorn cut in from the left but was crowded out and from the resultant corner, the first of several flag-kicks on the left, Danny Fox just got in ahead of Carter-Vickers as he slid in to add the final touch after Knudsen had flicked on.

Morris sent Nydam away with a clever pass on halfway but the young midfielder was out-muscled as he burst forward towards the Forest box.

On 56 Morris, who otherwise had had a quiet game, was replaced by former Forest man Carayol, then a minute later Town’s other 18-year-old Nydam was switched for Callum Connolly. Just before the hour the home side swapped Guedioura for Matty Cash.

Forest were having most of the ball but without creating a significant opportunity, while the Blues were beginning to look a threat on the break. On 65 Carayol burst away down the left but failed to find Waghorn or Connolly with his pass across the edge of the box.

Five minutes later Carayol, who left the City Ground in January prior to joining the Blues, broke away pacily again and fed Waghorn to his left. However, the ex-Rangers man’s chip was never going to beat the lofty Pantilimon in the Forest goal.

Ward was shown the game’s first yellow card on 73 for pulling back Lolley as hebroke following a Town freekick. Tomlin curled the subsequent set piece well over.

Forest made a double change in the 78th minute as they looked for an equaliser and an end to their long wait for a goal, Tomlin and Watson were replaced by Apostolos Vellios and Liam Bridcutt.

Town, who been better in possession in the second half, went close to adding to their lead as the game entered it’s final 10 minutes. After excellent work from Kenlock on the left, Waghorn teed-up Carayol, who took the ball wider than he would have wanted to and shot back beyond the post from the left of the area.

Brereton was booked for an obvious dive as he took the ball past Bialkowski, then the Blues keeper was forced into a rare second half save when he tipped Lolley’s shot from distance over.

Hyam was replaced by Stephen Gleeson in the 84th minute, then Forest thought they were about to get their goal when Brereton was threaded in on goal but found Bialkowski in his way.

But with a minute of scheduled time remaining, the home side finally ended their long way to hit the net from the penalty spot.

Ward awkwardly bundled Brereton as he broke forward inside the box and referee Darren England pointed to the spot. Carter-Vickers in particular complained bitterly to the official, but the decision stood and Brereton slammed the ball low into the left corner of Bialkowski’s net ending 640 goalless minutes for Forest.

In five minutes of injury time Bridcutt curled a shot to Bialkowski’s left which the keeper was able to claim, but moments later the home side claimed what only a few moments earlier had looked an unlikely win.

Brereton crossed deep from the right and Lolley met the ball perfectly on the volley to smash into the roof of Bialkowski’s net.

There was no time for shell-shocked Town to hit back and Klug’s first game in charge ended in a defeat after a remarkable late turnaround.

Forest had spent most of the half unable to create anything significant with Town having had chances to win which they will feel they might well have taken.

The penalty boosted the home side’s confidence and got the crowd behind them in the closing minutes with Lolley’s winner a superb strike, if a heart-breaking one for Town, who certainly deserved at least something from the match.

The Blues have still not won at the City Ground since 1999 and have now conceded penalties in each of their last three away matches, all of which have been scored. Keeper Bialkowski has been beaten by penalties in four of his last six matches for Town and Poland.

Klug’s side now have a week in which to dust themselves down before they’re next in action at Portman Road on Saturday when they take on Aston Villa at Portman Road.

Forest: Pantilimon, Figuereido, Guedioura (Cash 59), Osborn, Fox, Tomlin, Brereton, Colback, Lolley, Darikwa, Watson (c). Unused: Kapino, Lichaj, Mancienne, Bridcutt, Dowell, Vellios.

Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Carter-Vickers, Knudsen, Ward, Skuse (c), Hyam (Gleeson 84), Nydam (Connolly 57), Kenlock, Morris (Carayol 56), Waghorn. Unused: M Crowe, Sears, Folami, Cotter. Referee: Darren England (South Yorkshire). Att: 25,093.

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blueboy1981 added 17:22 - Apr 14
Well we can't blame McCarthy for that. Whoever the Manager, we shouldn't concede that late.

Lets' hope certain people aren't smirking behind their hand right now !

Would definitely put a question mark against Skuse and Hyam in midfield - personally, I feel far too defensive against a team who haven't scored for six games.

Forward we GO.

TheTrueBlue1878 added 17:22 - Apr 14
Really should not be disappointed, a very positive performance for 85 minutes, and should have scored a second. Minimum deserves a point today. Evidence there that Klug desires to imbed a more passing approach. Will take longer than 6 days to really restructure things but its actually a good start. Results from someone who has a whole pre season will even greater.

Don’t be down beat, definite evidence of a more positive approach. Well done to the boys. Keep enjoying your football and expressing yourself.


blue75 added 17:23 - Apr 14
Sucks to lose it so late but we’ve gotta take the positives from this and move on.

cat added 17:24 - Apr 14
So near yet so far. Gutted for everyone associated with ITFC today, specially BK, specially as he showed some intent. Soon as that equaliser went in I feared the worse, with our record of conceding late in ‘da hood’ county, the ‘positrons’ simply started to do a runner.
Great to see Ward at wingback, with his pace and eye for goal that role could work out for him, shame he conceded that pen.
As Cornishblu said when the teams were announced, the youths need experience and confidence, so it would be great to see them figure heavily, whatever the outcome, as it’s time to start building and looking forward to next season.
I believe despite a defeat, that ‘feel good’ about your club factor is returning, priceless.

IpswichToon added 17:27 - Apr 14
Another soft penalty goes against us. After that its looked as though we were just waiting for the whistle to go

rfretwell added 17:28 - Apr 14
Lets hope the feel good vibes last but results will determine that as ever, no matter who is in charge

peteswindon added 17:28 - Apr 14
Absolutely rubbish and 2nd best all afternoon could of lost by 6 had forrest took their chances.

HALLSJ added 17:29 - Apr 14
Another kin penalty don't we ever get one!

Esseeja added 17:35 - Apr 14
Best performance in a while but the loss was so unlucky. Reckon Kenlock was MOTM despite losing.

martin587 added 17:37 - Apr 14
Well,I'm lost for words.Leading at HT and a game we should have won,but we just never learn.A stupid pen to give away and the second should have been defended a lot better.
But with nothing to play for except pride what can you say.

Northstandveteran added 17:39 - Apr 14
Klug out!

1966 added 17:43 - Apr 14
I Can't Even Get Annoyed Anymore, Quite Sad Really. I want season To End 😳😳

TimmyH added 17:44 - Apr 14
Shame for Klug in his first game as caretaker boss snatching a defeat from the jaws of victory. Sounded like Forest were generally the better side though didn't really come close until the closing stages of the game. With not much to play for glad Bryan gave Morris a debut and hopefully will continue to blood some of the youngsters til' the end of the season but saying that Hyam, Ward, Nydam (feel sorry to a degree for him as other than Skuse not that much experience around him) and then Gleeson just don't do it for me in midfield, hopefully the emergence of Dozzell, Huws and Downes will help next season but still feel we need a box to box creative midfielder.

Hard luck on wards and upwards...

jas0999 added 17:49 - Apr 14
Just about sums up the situation at ITFC. Overall, whoever the manager, it’s an inexcusable end to the game and ultimately a poor result. BUT these are the same players who have either underperformed or not been good enough under the McCarthy regime.

I’m personally not expecting anything in these last dead rubbers. Damage done long before now, whether it be the negative style of play adopted by the previous manager, or the lack of investment in the playing squad by the owner.

Positive to see two youngsters start and that for me is a small step in the right direction. However, I’d like to see a new manager installed sooner rather than later, so decisions on players can be made. For example Hyam ... is he good enough? Is there room for him in the team with Skuse? Do we need so many similar players? Same applies for many players and really we need the new man- not those associated with the past regime - to decide.

pazzy added 17:50 - Apr 14
3 points ahead of Norwich with 1 min to go now this at least we gained a goal COYB

thechangingman added 17:51 - Apr 14
"Hope is the crystal meth of emotions. It hooks you fast and kills you hard." Nonetheless, in the current situation I chose to still embrace it as we move forwards into what can only be a better era ahead...

marinerswagepacket added 17:55 - Apr 14
you can't change a team in 95 mins after 5 1/2 years of defensive survival, if we would of took our chances we should of been well clear , next game villa , let's hope we all get together and get down to Portman rd and prove a point .... COYB

midastouch added 17:56 - Apr 14
What is it with Ipswich and late goals? We are forever throwing games away! If football lasted 80 minutes like rugby we'd prob finish 20 points higher every season!
Don't want to be too hard on Bryan as he's stepped in and probably hasn't enjoyed all the extra pressure. He tried to change it up a bit and while there were certainly some positives, unfortunately the way the match ended took the shine off somewhat.
With 2 minutes to go it looked like we were going to be 3 points ahead of Norwich but now we're just clinging on again by goal difference.
Anyway, it's not a huge disaster by any means but still a shame to throw it away in the manner we did.

Kirbmeister added 18:00 - Apr 14
Blueboy - no one is smirking they’re just tired of your constant attempts in winding people up. Can’t you get a hobby, there’s a lot of trains around here to spot.

blue75 added 18:13 - Apr 14
Northstandveteran I think people are taking you seriously 😂😂

bluesman added 18:14 - Apr 14
Bring back Mick

EssexTractor added 18:23 - Apr 14
Be it MM or BK in charge today in simple terms many of the players are not good enough.
Certainly not good enough mentally against a side , who up until today,have been more woeful than we have been.
The manager for next season should be there quickly but that's someone else's choice.
This is now the most significant part of Itfc history.
That decision has to be wise or we will straddle no mans land for even more years.
For so long the driving force, the midfield has been second rate
So despite occasional interceptions by Skuse and Hyam beng " one of ours", they are quite frankly disposable. Our new man must in my view address that first.
The core has to be addressed, will Bart actually sign...Chambers fist pumping has had its day, and needs to be replaced , not with loanees , and if Webster is what we hoped for somehow the fitness guys need to sort him out...those issues cannot be left....
Some real hope lies in who is not there, Dozzell a clever brain,Huws sturdier ( when fit) but will they come through?
Waghorn really tries hard but unless better supported will go games with effort but without goal reward.
We would all be so encouraged if those younger with promise in their age range, Folami, Morris, Drinnan could step up to become regulars, but that may take more time.
The next three games may give some glimpses for next season , but all of the areas that do need revitalising suggest without doubt that the next manager could be this Clubs most important ever.
Make it your best ever sporting decision Mr Evans.


therein61 added 18:28 - Apr 14
Although we lost in added on mins which sadly appeared to be the only outcome after the leveller as they certainly had their tails up! I have been encouraged by some of our attacking intent in the 1st half and took a lead into the dressing room at 1/2 time, it all seemed a bit flat at the start of the 2nd half we just need to believe that we can play football on the front foot for 90 minutes(which has been sadly drummed out of the squad) IF BELIEF IS INSTILLED THEN THIS SQUAD CAN(with 2 or 3 additions ) BE IN A SHOUT OF THE PLAY OFFS.

grinch added 18:33 - Apr 14
if you have been to games in the past 6 weeks this was just the same played ok in patches but other times looked 2nd best really annoying thing is that forest had not scored for 6 games and we let in 2 has been like that last few months at least the penalty was not debatable. Need to improve in lots of areas did not see any improvement today if truth be told Bart was unable to save us this time. Lets hope we get enough points to stay above those down the road

Northstandveteran added 18:34 - Apr 14
I know blue75 😂

And that's what you're up against......

Oh dear

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