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Nottingham Forest 2-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 1st Dec 2018 17:04

Two first-half Lewis Grabban goals saw Nottingham Forest to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Town at the City Ground. Grabban followed up a rebound to open the scoring in the ninth minute then, after Kayden Jackson had headed the Blues’ best opportunity wide, added the second on 38.

Blues boss Paul Lambert handed 18-year-old Jack Lankester his full debut and Teddy Bishop his first start of the season as he made four changes.

Academy product Lankester, the first player born in the 2000s to appear for the Town first team having previously made four sub appearances, started on the left of the midfield three with Bishop on the right, Trevoh Chalobah, who was among the subs, and Flynn Downes, who missed out on a place in the 18, having dropped out of the XI for the first time under Lambert.

Jackson came into the team for Jordan Roberts as the central striker with the ex-Crawley man also among the subs. Grant Ward, making his first appearance under Lambert, was on the right.

Skipper Luke Chambers was making his 300th appearance for the Blues against his old club in an unchanged back four.

Forest made three changes from the team which drew 5-5 at Villa on Wednesday with Michael Hefele in for the suspended Tobias Figueiredo, while Adlene Guedioura and Gil Dias took over from Claudio Yacob and Matty Cash, who dropped to the bench.

Ex-Blues loanee Jack Colback started, while former striker Daryl Murphy was among the subs having returned from illness.

Town made a bright start, Lankester sending Jackson away down the left but the former Accrington man’s cross was cut out.

On six Ward claimed a penalty when he looked to be tripped by Colback in the area, however neither the former Blues loanee nor referee James Linington were impressed.

But it was the home side who would take the lead with their first serious attack of the afternoon in the ninth minute.

Right-back Tendayi Darikwa struck a powerful shot from distance which Bialkowski couldn’t hold on to and former Canary Grabban followed up to net his 14th goal of the season. The ball appeared to move in the air but the Polish international, currently going through his toughest spell with the Blues, will again feel he ought to have done better.

Lankester, who has been with the Blues since he was six years old, created an opportunity for Jackson in the 15th minute, threading the ball through for the pacy frontman. However, he screwed his shot well wide.

Having gained their lead Forest confidently controlled the game but without forcing Bialkowski to make a save until the 23rd minute when Joe Lolley hit an effort from the right which the Pole claimed comfortably.

The Blues began to get back into the game and in the 25th minute they should have equalised.

Bishop brought the ball away from his man on halfway and took it forward before feeding Ward to his right. The former Spurs youngster whipped over a cross which Jackson flicked past Forest keeper Costel Pantilimon but also past his right post.

Jackson went close again two minutes later after catching Forest skipper Michael Dawson in possession. The striker brought the ball forward to the edge of the box before hitting a powerful effort which Pantilimon blocked. Lankester running in on the loose ball with Gil Dias was only able to direct it back to the keeper.

Town had briefly begun to look the more likely scorers of the game’s next goal but right on the half-hour the home side almost doubled their lead.

Darikwa crossed from the right to the far post and Joao Carvalho nodded back across the face and struck the opposite upright.

It was a lucky escape for the Blues, who subsequently found themselves pressed back in their half as Forest dominated possession.

And in the 38th minute they scored a well-worked second goal. Carvalho found Darikwa on the right and the Zimbabwean international sent the ball across the face of goal to Grabban, who found the net at the far post to take his total for the season to 15, all of them in the space of the last 15 games.

Forest, with their confidence having unsurprisingly increased since their second goal, put the Blues under more and more pressure as half-time approached, Darikwa hitting a 42nd-minute shot from distance that Bialkowski palmed over. Following the corner, Colback shot over.

Skuse was booked for a foul on Lolley moments before the fourth official held up a board indicating four further minutes.

The half ended with Forest deserving their lead having been on top and in control for most of the period.

Bialkowski will feel he should have held on to Darikwa’s shot for the first goal, although it was hit with power, while Grabban shouldn’t have been allowed to reach the rebound first. For the second goal Forest slickly passed their way through the Blues’ defence.

Town’s best chance was Jackson’s header at 1-0 which the frontman probably should have put away but other than that and his shot from distance soon afterwards the Blues had rarely threatened.

The Blues needed an early second-half goal if they were to get anything from the game and in the first minute following the restart Knudsen crossed from the left, the ball reached Jordan Spence beyond the far post but the former West Ham right-back was unable to get a clean contact on his volley.

Forest almost made it 3-0 two minutes later when they hit the woodwork for the second time. Carvalho sent over a freekick from the left which Michael Hefele headed on to Bialkowski’s right post and into the keeper’s arms.

Sears hit a looping effort from distance which Pantilimon turned over, then at the other end Cole Skuse blocked a shot from Lolley.

Lankester feinted his way into space before hitting a defender with a shot from distance prior to Hefele picking up a booking for a foul on Ward.

Grabban was inches way from his hat-trick in the 58th minute, outpacing Chambers and then the advancing Bialkowski for a ball played down the Forest left. The 30-year-old, who netted twice in the 5-5 draw with Villa, looped a shot from a tight angle towards goal but the ball bounced off the top of the bar and over.

Moments later Town made a double substitution with Jackson and Ward making way for Roberts and Chalobah.

The Blues were making little headway as they sought an unlikely comeback, however, on 70 Lankester curled a 25-yard strike only just past Pantilimon’s right post.

Two minutes later, the Blues swapped Bishop, who had shown glimpses of the form which made him one of the stars of Town’s 2014/15 play-off campaign, for Jon Nolan.

Forest had been happy to sit in and prevent Town from getting a foothold back in the game for much of the second half but on 73 Lolley burst through a number of Blues before hitting a low shot from the edge of the box which Bialkowski grabbed down to his left.

Pantilimon was booked for time-wasting in the 82nd minute, somewhat needlessly with Forest looking comfortable despite the Blues seeing more of the ball in the latter stages.

Knudsen blocked from Grabban from an angle on the right on 85, then a minute later seemed certain to complete his hat-trick a minute later when found unmarked in the centre of the area, however, Matthew Pennington made a superb saving challenge as he prepared to shoot.

That was the two-goal striker’s final action of the afternoon with Karim Ansarifard replacing him for the final two and a half minutes.

The sub missed a golden chance to make it 3-0 a minute after coming on but scuffed wide having been found unmarked and with time to pick his spot by Dias. After seven minutes of injury time the Blues’ third successive defeat was confirmed by referee Linington.

The Blues had never looked like getting anything from the game in the second half with the match having been all but won before the break.

Forest were happy enough to stick with their two-goal lead for the most part but were unfortunate not to add to it via their two second-half efforts which hit the woodwork, while Lankester, one of the Blues’ brighter performers on his full debut, was unlucky that his curling effort didn’t arc inside the post.

The game took a predictable path after Forest had scored their early first-half goal with the home side, who are up to fifth, never really looking in any trouble.

Town remain bottom now seven points from safety with 21st-placed Reading having drawn 2-2 with Stoke City, who the Blues visit next Saturday, while Bolton, 22nd, drew 1-1 with Wigan and Hull, now 19th, won 3-2 at QPR. The gap could extend to nine if Millwall win at Bristol City on Sunday.

Nottingham Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Dawson (c) (Osborn 79), Hefele, Robinson, Guedioura, Colback, Dias (Cash 90), Carvalho, Lolley, Grabban (Ansarifard 88). Unused: Steele, Murphy, Janko, Yacob, Ansarifard.

Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers (c), Pennington, Knudsen, Skuse, Ward (Chalobah 59), Bishop (Nolan 72), Lankester, Sears, Jackson (Roberts 59). Unused: Gerken, Donacien, Rowe, Dozzell. Referee: James Linington (Newport IoW). Att: 27,873.

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LWNR2013 added 17:04 - Dec 1

DoseOfReality added 17:10 - Dec 1
This time last year we had a decent squad but useless manager ..

Now we got a useless squad but a decent manager ..

Only consistent is we still got a lying, deceitful fool as an owner ..


Sourdough added 17:12 - Dec 1
Nothing new to talk about. They were expected to lose and they duly did. The weak goalkeeper played what is now his usual part. As did the rest of the players, so NF coasted it.
They're expected to lose again next week away in the Potteries.

Hamish1979 added 17:13 - Dec 1
Mick McCarthy is not a useless manager, what a stupid comment.

martin587 added 17:14 - Dec 1
Will the guilty players please hold there hands up and say “we are not good enough to wear a Town shirt”
This was another game of schoolboy errors.We started well and took the game to Forest until a certain person made a diobolicle error.We just cannot keep doing this.
It’s starting to look very bad now and if we keep this up it will be impossible to encourage a few quality players to join us in January.
A terrible drive home on the A1 and I’m very unhappy.Enough said.😡😡

mattwin added 17:16 - Dec 1
Walsall, Rochdale and Scunthorpe at home are unmissable games next season 😲

thechangingman added 17:16 - Dec 1
Rotten days to be a Town fan and it hurts. A LOT.

As Sourdough noted, there's nothing new to talk about and yes, DoseofReality, you summed it up very well indeed.

Personally, I am bringing myself to terms with the fact that we'll be playing our football in League One next year. My only hope is that we'll have a different owner when we do so.

How has it all gone so very wrong?

carlo88 added 17:17 - Dec 1
I don't think Mr McCarthy was a useless manager, in fact he probably deserves a knighthood for keeping this team up.

DoseOfReality added 17:19 - Dec 1
Really Hamish ..?

Serving up boring don’t lose football week in week out come what may & alienating fans.

Not brave enough to try anything different..

Yes useless

TimmyH added 17:20 - Dec 1
Another team that beats us without having to get out of 2nd gear...worrying thing is that Hurst's signings were more or less (other than Jackson) inconspicuous in their absence. The majority of the starting line-up today have all had at least a season of Championship experience so maybe they should be looking themselves in the mirror tonight (they know who)...

A shuffling of a dead pack today in my opinion by PL akin to Hurst though have to say Ward and Bishop as the 'fresheners' in midfield never looked like it would work, and what's with Dozzell only having 5 or 6 minutes since Lambert has been here?...obviously doesn't rate him.

Oh well no honeymoon period for Lambert...sad times!

Cakeman added 17:26 - Dec 1
It’s going to be a long hard winter. On the bright side the daylight hours start to increase again in just three weeks time.
Sorry about that comment but there is absolutely nothing to say that is positive about our club aside from we have a very good manager who sadly has a Southern league central division standard team to try and stay in the a Championship with!

Northstandveteran added 17:27 - Dec 1
Lambert out!

dirtydingusmagee added 17:27 - Dec 1
bring on the Lambert knockers ,

blueboy1981 added 17:28 - Dec 1
However loyal one is - you just cannot extract positives from one win in twenty.

To add to that there are some very ordinary teams in the Championship, therefore we cannot keep saying ridiculous things such as we have quality players, we're playing well, it will turn, we're just making silly mistakes.

Quite simply - we are not at the Races. It would take a miracle to avoid relegation, is the reality of it all

However, it hurts to see us slipping further down the slope with every game - I seriously wonder if Paul Lambert realised what he was taking on - although of course he would not say such.

League 1 it is, face up to it - it's real.
Cannot see Paul Lambert prepared to stay around for that, to be honest - other offers will most certainly come in.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 17:32 - Dec 1
We are lucky to have PL. Hopefully he WILL stay around in League 1.

blueboy1981 added 17:32 - Dec 1
....... how long do we wait for another 'be carful what you wish for' to surface again - they will be having a field day, at the same time calling themselves ITFC Supporters...... !! That part of it, I will always challenge.

Suffolkboy added 17:32 - Dec 1
For whatever reasons the recognition of MMc 's quality is too latently now to the fore ; his acute sense of survival , good purchases and loans brought unsuspected promise and results .The damage is done however , and was compounded by bad judgement and an ill advised appointment , which seemed to find little opposition until it rapidly ALL went cockeyed throughout the Club !
The damage is DONE , we must move on , give willing support , be realistic , if sad , but trust Paul Lambert 100%: his instincts are good , his experience first class and already he's had a steadying influence which can only grow !
Let's all look for the good !!

Northstandveteran added 17:32 - Dec 1
Evans out!

dubblue added 17:37 - Dec 1
I wonder will ME be willing to invest next January or is too late. Will any quality players want to come to a team that looks like it's heading for relegation. Very worrying times for the Blues ☹

Northstandveteran added 17:38 - Dec 1
Elton John out!

brittaniaman added 17:38 - Dec 1
I do not think even Guardiola could do any better with this squad

blueboy1981 added 17:41 - Dec 1
....... I see that pesky fly is still around with it's finger still stuck on the minus button - wish it would get some kind of life.

Preferably as far away from us (ITFC) as possible.

Swn98 added 17:42 - Dec 1
Well said Suffolkboy. Lambert will sill be here next season(apart from what some think !!!!...) obviously part of the gig ME would of accepted that we were beyond recall when he signed lambert he will give him the funds to get us back up.
Need not of happened but hey ho here we are.

dukey44 added 17:42 - Dec 1
How does the tw... at mick always get a mention? This isn't his team as Hurst see to that? The back 5 are diobolical and the most of bench is made of his stupid signings that had no championship experience? Bart certainly needs to warm bench again, Chambers needs to as well so what if it was he's 300th game when was his last descent game? Absolutely rubbish but I blame Hurst not the owner either as he funded what Hurst wanted so how's that the owners fault? Lambert is going to change things but we got to survive until January. Been a blue since the 70s as rhus is WORST EVER but its Hurst no one else's fault!!

ShropshireBluenago09 added 17:43 - Dec 1
Yes we are suffering, due to lack of investment. Nothing to do with Lambert. He is getting the best out of a poor squad. Given 3-4 additions in Jan - a Prem quality striker an absolute must, we can survive.

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