Report: Nottingham Forest 3-2 Bolton Wanderers
Wanderers slipped to defeat at The City Ground on Saturday afternoon despite a spirited display against Nottingham Forest.
The deadlock was broken inside three minutes through Barrie McKay, before Will Buckley levelled the scores on the stroke of half time with a close-range header.
The hosts restored their lead in the second half however with strikes from Joe Worrall and Ben Brereton, while despite the former putting through his own net late on, the Whites were unable to take a share of the spoils from the clash.TEAM NEWS
Phil Parkinson kept with the same team that beat Barnsley at Macron Stadium seven days earlier despite David Wheater being eligible to play after serving a one-game suspension.
The big central defender made do with a spot among the substitutes with Reece Burke retaining his starting role. Former Wanderers star Zach Clough was on the bench for the hosts.FIRST HALF
Gary Madine flashed just wide moments after kick off after some good build up play but the hosts grabbed the lead immediately afterwards when Barrie McKay converted Tyler Walker’s right-sided centre.
Forest could have got a second not long after when Walker’s right-sided free-kick found the head of former Wanderer Matt Mills, but the centre-half couldn’t get enough purchase on the ball to trouble Ben Alnwick and the ball went out for a goal kick.
It was a bright, positive start from Forest and Parkinson’s men had the side-netting to thank for keep full-back Eric Lichaj’s effort at bay.
As the game wore on, the visitors were seeing more of the ball, growing in confidence and stymied the early Forest onslaught.
Although they hadn’t really tested Jordan Smith in goal, they won a series of corners after pressing forward and keeping hold of the ball in midfield.
Sammy Ameobi tried his luck from 30 yards out but his low shot went wide as Wanderers aimed to get back on terms.
The hosts, though, still posed a threat and Wanderers were grateful to Ben Alnwick who kept out a well struck Walker strike just before the break.
Wanderers levelled things up on the cusp of half time and silenced the County Ground thanks to Buckley’s diving header off Josh Vela’s right-sided cross.SECOND HALF
Wanderers should have found themselves in front shortly after the restart when Madine had a free header off Vela’s corner. The striker got enough power on the ball put placed it wide.
The visitors were enjoying their best period of the game and were driving forward and looking more threatening as the minutes passed by.
Forest were making mistakes and losing possession in key areas with Ameobi, Buckley and Madine at the helm of Wanderers’ attacking.
Vela had two gilt-edged chances in a short space of time and should have done better on each occasion. The first a volley from inside the box was charged down and the second a header yards from goal that went over the bar.
But, against the run of play, Forest found themselves in front when Joe Worrall volleyed past Alnwick after an uncharacteristic misplaced header from Mark Little found its way to the defender who fired emphatically home.
The hosts made a double substitution after their goal with Bouchalakis and Carayol coming onto the field for McKay and Osborn.
In a bid to get some of their attacking impetus back, Parkinson brought on Adam Armstrong for Buckley.
With a quarter of an hour to go Craig Noone came on for captain Darren Pratley with Wanderers altering their shape to try and at least salvage a point from the contest.
Parkinson’s last throw of the dice came in the guise of Aaron Wilbraham who replaced Little with just minutes to go.
Any hopes of comeback were killed off when substitute Ben Brereton latched onto the loose ball to poke past the advancing Alnwick.
Deep into time added on Wanderers reduced arrears when Wilbraham’s drive was deflected past his own keeper by Worrall.
It sparked a sense of urgency and panic in the Forest backline as Wanderers battled for a last-gasp equaliser which unfortunately never came.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]