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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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Trac70 added 18:21 - Dec 1
Being a lifelong Town fan who has lived in Norwich all those years, everything really hurts at present and has done for several years now!! Relegation aside (it's going to happen unfortunately) my concerns are.... Will PL stay? I hope so. Bart needs to be "rested". His head doesn't seem to be with it. NOT knocking him as maybe this goes deeper than just confidence. Who will want to join us in January and who will ME sell to try and balance the books. More importantly if ME does pull the plug we could be finished for ever!!! We owe the debt of millions to him. A man worth £850 million on paper may just cut his loses and run. Sad sad times.

Pilgrimblue added 18:22 - Dec 1
the answer to your question Martin is NO he wasn't. My worry is that PL will have to make too many changes to get it right and so doubt ME will fund but who knows!

pragmatic added 18:22 - Dec 1
Whilst poor results / individual errors continue Lambert is doing his best to keeps spirits up if we are relegated only 2 people to blame HURST & DOIG!! Meanwhile keep supporting & hope for a miracle if worst happens I hope Lambert is still around to challenge for a quick return!!!

Swn98 added 18:30 - Dec 1
Can't understand why so many people think PL won't stay.
Still I shouldn't be suprised as I don't understand the reasoning behind most posts on the news site.

Northstandveteran added 18:33 - Dec 1

I happen to think we are exceptionally lucky to have acquired the services of Paul Lambert, I also have no problem with Marcus Evans or for that matter, Elton John...

I am fully aware that humour doesn't always come across in the way it is intended via text, whattsapp or twtd like sites.

Also can I take this opportunity to apologise to Corfu72 should I have caused offence and also to avoid the possibility of a Blueboy Swn keyboard war.

Really just trying to laugh my way through easily the worst period I have ever witnessed in my 40+ years as a town fan.


blueboy1981 added 18:34 - Dec 1
...... that's not surprising from you - Why read them then ?? Simple answer I would have thought.

Be on your way over the water, and leave us all alone. Bon Voyage.

mickeyjb added 18:40 - Dec 1
No problem with Lambert, it’s Hurst who is to blame. Good players gone replaced by dog toffee. How did he do so well in L1?? It’s ok calling for the youngsters who are not ready yet, by doing this we are grasping at straws and risk destroying our young players as we are putting too higher expectations on them. We are not winning with them or without them so we obviously need to spend a lot of money, but who on and who actually would want to come here to this shambles. Each year we’ve had a decent loanee, not this year!!

Hurst you make Roy Keane and Paul Jewel look good!

herfie added 18:42 - Dec 1
It’s when the gallows humour kicks in.......we’ll know all hope is gone! But at present we’re still hanging in the air, hoping to avoid the drop!

In truth, another predictably routine defeat; partly self-inflicted (again), but mostly inflicted by a far more accomplished side. No alternative other than to keep on keeping on,and hope that some January investment, and PL finding some magic dust to sprinkle over our current squad, will make it come good. Hope and believe: COYB!


Swn98 added 18:43 - Dec 1
Northstand I laughed at your original post.😅

Northstandveteran added 18:55 - Dec 1
Cheers Swn and thanks for the up vote blueboy.

If you'd like me to mediate you both one Saturday I would be only too happy to help over a pint. I reckon you'd both have a great time reminiscing about the war ( the Boer war )and get on really well.
Failing that, a dance off?
I could get you back to front caps, trainers up to your ankles and find a beat box, what do you think?
As, all town fans friends again and perhaps a win. What a fantastic vision of utopia I have in my mind.
I'd actually like to teach the world to sing...

Bluearmy_81 added 18:56 - Dec 1
We have been in decline for years. Crowds falling for years. Best players sold for years. Underfunded for years. Yet some of the our think the current situation is all about one man who managed us for 15 games?!! He didn't help but really?!!! Wake up!! Some of you are unreal

BossMan added 18:57 - Dec 1
Maybe next time Lambert shuffles the pack the changes might be aimed at the defence.

Suffolkboy added 19:13 - Dec 1
Martin , Solely because without naming names you deliberately picked on one player : you were plainly there ( I was not ) & I understand you've the privilege of knowledgeable criticism,BUT despite everything we've somehow GOT to keep heads up, try to always believe ,and perhaps I'd be looking to constructively illuminate , come up with understanding alternatives etc.
I do most certainly appreciate the continuing sadness and disappointment which leads to such ' frustrated critique ' !

RobsonWark added 19:15 - Dec 1
OMG!! Why am I the only one who can see how totally useless CHAMBERS is? I've just looked at the Sky Sports highlights. Chambers is at fault for the second goal. He just gave up at the back post. It should have been 3 when he let the Forest players just attack a free kick into the box and they hit the post with a header, a throw in that he totally screwed up and let a Forest player in again on goal and then the worst of all when Forest hoofed the ball forward he just jogged back and a Forest player got in front of him and hit the bar! How much worse does he have to be to get dropped? FFS!!

martin587 added 19:23 - Dec 1
I tell the truth as it is.60;years a life long season ticket holder I’m entitled to express my concerns and criticism as I feel it deserves.I was at the game and yes Bart was to blame for the first goal and yes the defence was awful once again.
Paul has inherited a very poor squad.He new this before he took the job and I’m sure he will eventually turn this around.
We must not paper over the cracks but be honest.I am not criticising for the sake of it but Bart must hold his hands up and say at the moment I’m having a torrid spell.

davidsc1971 added 19:24 - Dec 1
I'm stunned at how negative this chain is. I for one won't accept the apparent inevitability of relegation until it's mathematically assured. We are Ipswich. We need to support this team, they need us. In Lambert I trust. COYB

PSGBlue added 19:26 - Dec 1
As usual it was a case of men against boys, out muscled and out fought. The best thing to come out of today, is that I live in Sleaford and made it home to watch Strictly. Good luck with the A1/A14 roadworks to all those loyal fans travelling back to Suffolk.

RobsonWark added 19:27 - Dec 1
If only Roy Keane hadn't sold Jordan Roberts for £850.000 we could have been in Premier League a long time ago :(

TimmyH added 19:31 - Dec 1
Strictly and Ipswich all in one day...SH%T!! talk about self harming :)

dirtydingusmagee added 19:57 - Dec 1
anyone know what the lowest points total a relegated Championship team has ever had ?

braveblue added 19:57 - Dec 1
Some comments!! MM brilliant - no mention of our worst finish in 50 years. Hurst bring blamed for the defence - three out of four were here last year!!! Evans is to blame. He saw a wage saving with McGioldrick, the other quality saw what was happening and left. He has lost money due to his pathetic decisions not only in managers but also MDs and the general running of the business. He is a disaster.

Michael101 added 20:03 - Dec 1
Timmy h ment to up Mark you, but the mixture of small letters,fat fingers and red wine got the better of me.

ITFCsince73 added 20:07 - Dec 1
Robsonwark. My thoughts exactly. Chambers is beyond poor. And is taking us down with his inept performances every game. Can’t lead. Can’t play. But alarmingly guaranteed to start next game.
And so it goes on....

mattwin added 20:18 - Dec 1
If anyone’s got 5 minutes look up Norwich City’s seasons starting 2008/09 when they were relegated from the Championship. The 2009/10 season they won League 1 under PLs management! Average home crowd was still nearly 25 K. The 2010/11 season they kept up that momentum and won promotion to the Premier league. If we are to go down which even me as the worlds most optimistic Ipswich Town fan seems likely, could we match what Norwich done? They took it as a clean start and still had healthy home gates and got behind there team! I feel the state we are as a team and let’s face it a Marcus Evans business venture gone wrong don’t have the passion from our owner for us to bounce back and use it as a spring board for a possible long awaited premier league return. I don’t mean this nastily as I’m a avid fan but I can see us as fans still turning up to watch league 1 football and getting anywhere near average crowds of 25K like the scum did as we’ve all had enough.......Very dark times

Walk_the_Wark added 20:18 - Dec 1
We were ok today.
Plus points- Bish-excellent, Skuse good, Lankester showing promise.
Our defence is a shambles, and I'm sorry but both goals were Barts fault. He needs to be dropped

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