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Match Report


Posted Thu 21 Jun 12 at 20:58 PM

Nottingham Forest 1-0 Bristol City

Nottingham Forest 1-0 Bristol City
Mark Perrow reports from the City Ground

City suffered a narrow defeat on the opening day of the new season at the hands of big-spending Nottingham Forest.

Adlene Guedioura broke the deadlock 19 minutes from time in an even contest City were unlucky not to take anything from.

Derek McInnes handed debuts to a trio of summer signings, including right-back Mark Wilson, who finally put pen to paper yesterday after a successful trial period at Ashton Gate.

Also starting for City in a competitive game for the first time were Tom Heaton, who took Dean Gerken's place between the posts, and Greg Cunningham, returning from Republic of Ireland Under-21 duty to face his former club.

Louis Carey was the only other change in personnel, replacing Lewin Nyatanga, while Richard Foster started on the right side of a four-man midfield with Albert Adomah supporting Jon Stead up front.

City started on the back foot with Forest's Radoslaw Majewski looking dangerous early on.

First, he clipped a deep cross towards the back post which Dexter Blackstock could not quite divert on target, before the Pole unleashed a dipping volley from 20 yards that brushed the top of the net on its way over.

Having weathered the early storm, City responded with more and more possession, ultimately culminating with Adomah forcing the first save for Lee Camp from outside the area. Well struck too, but too close to the Forest keeper.

The home side had gone a long time without threatening, but produced their best chance through Andy Reid, whose inswinging cross was nodded goalwards by Blackstock from close range but just wide of Heaton's right-hand post.

Controversy reigned shortly before the interval when Cunningham, who spent time on loan at the City Ground last season from Manchester City, was accused of not returning the ball to his former team-mates after an injury.

Instead he ran with it before being fouled, provoking an angry reaction from Reid, who raised his hands to the City left-back and was fortunate to escape more than the booking both players received.

But the whole episode seemed to galvanise McInnes' men, who twice forced corners from distance through Stead and Adomah - the first only just escaping Camp's goal.

From the second of those corners, Liam Fontaine was clearly tripped by Forest debutant Dan Harding in the box, adding to the exasperation of City players and management alike.

The white shirts started the second half in similar vein, with Cunningham's drifting free kick only just escaping Fontaine and the far post, before Wilson's corner was glanced over by Stead.

Unlikely goalscorer Brendan Moloney had the home fans on their feet for the first time with a searing drive narrowly wide of goal with Heaton scrambling.

Slowly but surely Forest were looking more threatening, as an inviting ball across the City box was missed twice - first completely, by Lewis McGugan, who injured himself in the process, and then by Majewski who cleared the crossbar.

The hosts finally broke the deadlock within seconds of McInnes introducing Marvin Elliott for Richard Foster as his first substitution.

Reid led the charge with red shirts pouring forward, found debutant Simon Cox on the right, whose pull back was easily sidefooted home by Guedioura from eight yards.

Reid himself nearly added a second five minutes later, bringing out the best in Heaton who acrobatically tipped the ball away high to his left.

City rallied late on and Carey's deep cross was helped back in by Forest old boy Paul Anderson fresh from the bench, but the home side scrambled the ball to safety and escaped with maximum points intact.

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