Nottingham Forest’s stuttering season reached new depths after a 2-1 loss against relegation-threatened Bristol City at the City Ground on Saturday 27th February.
The first-half began with a rapid intensity, with the Reds displaying their attacking intent within the first two minutes after Nelson Oliveira picked out Jamie Ward with a fine pass, only for the latter to push the ball over the bar.
Bristol City quickly reacted with a drastic counter-attack, resulting in Lee Tomlin’s shot being forced out for a corner by defender Matt Mills’ firm stance.
After a disappointing 1-0 loss away at Burnley midweek, the home side’s quick play was highlighted by defender Eric Lichaj bursting through the wings, impressively striking the ball goalwards on his left foot, only for a last-ditch save from Bristol keeper Richard O’Donnell.
On the 18th minute, Forest’s star man Jamie Ward was taken off due to an injury, leading to the introduction of 19-year old forward Tyler Walker. Evidently, this coincided with a slower pace to the game, with less chances being created on both ends for the following 10 minutes.
However, the deadlock was broken by Forest on the half-hour mark; initiated by Chris Cohen’s low free kick in the 30th minute, the ball eventually landed at the feet of midfielder Ben Osborne, who took advantage of the away side’s inability to clear the ball from the penalty area to stroke home.
Forests’ first goal was quickly cancelled out by Jonathan Kodija’s rebound from 8 yards, after Bryan’s shot hit the post within range, meaning the sides went into the break level.
The second half began with lots of high pressing from the home side, who missed the chance to go 2-1 up after Oliveira’s shot was blocked in the area, increasing the frustration in the ground at the Reds’ inability to convert their chances.
In the 70th minute, the home side was punished by Flint’s header from a Bristol City corner, which turned out to be the winner in an exciting match.
The result was the home side’s third loss in a row, after having been unbeaten for 14 games in the Championship. This leaves the former European Champions 15th in the Sky Bet Championship league table, and 13 points away from the play-off positions. Notably, concerns will now begin to increase over the fact that this looks very likely to not be the Reds’ year in terms of gaining promotion to the Premier League.
Image: Andrey Prikazchikov