- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, January 19th 2019
- The City Ground
James Crawley reports from The City Ground
Report: Nottingham Forest 0-1 Bristol City
Saturday, January 19th 2019
Famara Diédhiou swept home his eighth goal of the season to secure City their fifth consecutive win in a 1-0 victory away to Nottingham Forest.
The striker tapped home from Andreas Weimann’s second-half cutback at the City Ground, as City made it 11 unbeaten in all competitions.
City had been bright but survived spells of pressure, with Frank Fielding denying Lewis Grabban, Yohan Benalouane and Jack Colback, to earn his clean sheet in his first appearance of the season.
Weimann had a glorious chance to make it 2-0 late on but for the in-form Costel Pantilimon, however the full-time whistle would ensure City retain seventh spot in the Sky Bet Championship and a rare win on Forest turf; their third victory here in their last 28 attempts.
Fielding, having recovered from illness and injury, replaced the injured Niki Mäenpää (calf) – one of four changes to the starting XI, with Eros Pisano, Nathan Baker and Jay Dasilva all handed starts. The Robins were unable to call on Jack Hunt (calf), while Adam Webster (ankle sprain), Matty Taylor (hip flexor) and Marley Watkins (ankle) also missed out.
A sense of anticipations and excitement from the home side was to be expected with the arrival of Martin O’Neill as manager, and he almost saw his side take a two-minute lead when Joe Lolley met Ben Osborne’s cross, but his shot on the turn sailed wide.
City on the ball early
It didn’t take long for City to find their rhythm though, with some neat passing play leading to a chance for Weimann, but the forward’s shot was saved by Pantilimon.
The Forest keeper was again the man to deny City, when Diédhiou saw his snap-shot blocked, before Callum O’Dowda looked to finish off a superb counter attack but for the keeper’s fingertips to keep the ball out of the net.
City’s momentum faded as the half progressed and that gve the home side more encouragement but again Lolley was wasteful when presented the chance to open the scoring, timing his run to perfection but unable to keep his header under Fielding’s crossbar.
Matty Cash would be the next Forest player to fire off target with a shot from the edge of the box, before Josh Brownhill found himself in space after Jamie Paterson’s corner but Pantilimon was equal to his top-corner strike.
Johnson’s players looked to the wings for more options but the 6ft8” frame of never looked like it would be beaten in the air.
It had certainly been an encouraging half from the visitors but they would survive one more scare before the break, when Dasilva’s clearance fell kindly to Grabban, whose goal-bound volley needed to be bravely blocked by Tomas Kalas.
Nathan Baker had to position him well to block a dangerous delivery into the City box with Graban breathing down his neck, as the hosts went on the offensive at the start of the second half.
The game would pick up pace quickly though and City quickly threatened at the other end when Paterson showed off his chest control before volleying an effort on goal, but for Pantilimon’s acrobatic save.
The home side could have broken the deadlock but for Fielding’s reactions as they soon piled on the pressure in front of their sold-out home support. First the City keeper got down low to deny Grabban at the far post, before he tipped over Benalouane’s header. Daryl Murphy would have the chance to shoot not long after, as City failed to break away from a Forest corner, but when the chance fell to Murphy, the forward crashed the shot into the side netting.
Diédhiou breaks the deadlock
But the team in white and black soaked up that pressure and Diédhiou pounced with 20 minutes remaining. Kasey Palmer, who had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes played is part, spotting the run of Weimann, whose ball across the face of goal was slotted home by the Senegal striker.
Baker would be forced to clear off the line when Murphy went for goal and Lloyd Kelly replaced the ever-impressive Dasilva as Johnson looked to secure the win.
Fielding again frustrated O’Neill’s side pulling off saves to deny Jack Colback and Grabban, while Weimann was unable to beat Pantilimon when Palmer played him in one-on-one in the latter stages.
City take a break from Championship next week, with an Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Bolton Wanderers under the Ashton Gate lights on Friday (January 25th, 7.45pm KO).
- Claudio Yacob, Matthew Cash
- Diedhiou (70')
- Jay Dasilva, Jamie Paterson, Famara Diedhiou