- English Football League - Championship
- Wednesday, July 1st 2020
- The City Ground
Report: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Bristol City
Wednesday, July 1st 2020
A Tiago Silva free kick undid what was an overall impressive Robins display, as Nottingham Forest won 1-0 at the City Ground.
City were in blistering form in the first half though they couldn’t force a way through before Silva’s set piece put Forest in control.
A frustrated Ashley Williams then saw red for a clash with Yuri Ribeiro with just over ten minutes remaining.
City still looked in the game but couldn’t convert despite their dominance and the result would confirm a third-consecutive defeat since the restart.
Lee Johnson made two changes for the Championship clash, handing a first start since January 2018 to Zak Vyner. He stepped in for Jack Hunt at right-back, with the other change coming in midfield where Ádám Nagy replaced Han-Noah Massengo.
A notable tactical change came in the form of Benik Afobe and Nahki Wells playing more as a central pair at the top of a 4-4-2 and it certainly brought a more dominant display.
City started very brightly indeed but the game would be paused as soon as it kicked off when Callum O’Dowda took a whack from Matt Cash inside the opening seconds.
The Republic of Ireland international was back on his feet after a few minutes and the Robins were quickly looking to press their opponents with energetic play in their bid to peg the home side back.
The first notable opportunity for Johnson’s side fell to Afobe, who days before said City needed to play with a smile on their face. And it was a positive display from the Stoke City loanee, who after skipping inside forced the Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba into a low save.
City were forced into the first change when Niki Mäenpää pulled up. He won the initial footrace with Lewis Grabban, the bounce of the ball working in the keeper’s favour, but he appeared to pull up injured in the process and Dan Bentley was on soon enough to replace the former Finland international.
It wouldn’t be long before City’s number one was called into action either and he showed quick reactions to beat away Cash’s quick, low effort at his near post.
Afobe went close with chances, heading wide on two occasions, while Sammy Ameobi blazed over the bar at the other end.
But it had been a very promising opening 45 minutes from City, one full of energy and creativity and they hadn’t been without their chances either.
City again looked composed and in control in the early exchanges after the break though Forest’s first chance came from a Silva effort outside the box though Bentley wasn’t troubled.
But there was nothing Bentley could do when faced with a Silva free kick just after the hour-mark. City lost the ball up the pitch, Forest countered and won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area after a foul by Andi Weimann. Up stepped Silva to gently curl the ball away from Bentley and give the hosts the advantage.
Johnson soon looked to his bench for an attacking boost with Famara Diédhiou on to replace Wells, and with the final 15 minutes to go, Jamie Paterson and Kasey Palmer hoped to unlock the door, entering the field in place of O’Dowda and Weimann, respectively.
However, the job was made more difficult when experienced centre-back Williams received a red card for a high shove on Forest defender Ribeiro.
City did nearly equalise in the aftermath, Palmer picking out Paterson whose clipped cross narrowly avoided the lurking front partnership of Afobe and Diédhiou but the ball was turned away by Ribeiro.
Another chance went by when, inside seven minutes of stoppage time, Vyner’s cross from the right was headed back across goal by Diédhiou to Afobe but he couldn’t guide his free header on target.
It proved to be City’s last chance to get something from the game and now they prepare to host Cardiff City at Ashton Gate for the latest Severnside derby this Saturday (July 4th, 3pm KO).
The match is available live on Robins TV to Season Card holders. As the game has also been selected for Sky Sports coverage, it is only available via a Robins TV audio pass for non-Season Card holders.
- Tiago Silva (62')
- Joe Lolley, Ryan Yates, Tiago Silva, Lewis Grabban
- Niki Mäenpää, Callum O'Dowda, Andreas Weimann, Nahki Wells