Nottingham Forest 0-1 Swansea City (EFL Championship) 29.11.20
It was a third straight defeat for Chris Hughton’s men in what was a plucky but largely toothless performance against a well drilled side in Steve Cooper’s Swansea.
The Reds started brightly against their Welsh opponents as Sammy Ameobi tricked his way down the left wing to centre for a busy looking Lyle Taylor who couldn’t divert his flick on target. The ball trickling inches wide of Freddy Woodman’s goal after just seven minutes of the game. Swans top goalscorer Andre Ayew trying his luck from twenty yards shortly after, high into the Trent End without troubling Brice Samba.
A set play on 18 minutes offered the first chance on target as Roberts cross for Bennett was saved easily by the Forest goalkeeper and as the game settled from its frantic initial pace, neither side would impose themselves on another in the opening half hour. The best move a slick passing sequence from the visitors which ended with Roberts crossing low well saved by Samba.
Connor Roberts looked to be the visitors most dangerous player and he linked up with Ayew who’s shot was deflected for a corner but the Reds defence easily dealt with the Swans set-piece.
An injury to Jack Colback meant that he would be replaced by Harry Arter and six minutes before half time the Reds produced their best opportunity as Anthony Knockaert dazzled to cut in from the right and shoot hard and low left footed saved by the feet of Woodman when it looked certain the Frenchman would score.
Forest would rue that missed opportunity though as a minute before half time Ayew hooked a hopeful ball in to the box which was headed up into the air by Reds defender McKenna and Roberts headed home at the back post under pressure despite taking a knock from Sammy Ameobi, the Welsh wingers first goal of the season for Swansea.
In search of an equaliser, Chris Hughton’s men would come out with attacking intent after the break and a desperate bit of defending by Bennett stopped Taylor levelling as the former Charlton striker looked to pounce on a knockdown inside the box. On 54 minutes Knockaert combined with Taylor before shooting over.
It certainly wasn’t Knockaert’s day as on 67 he dragged a volley wide after good build up play by Taylor, Swansea at the other end starting to look dangerous with attempts of their own as the game opened up. The best chance coming with six minutes remaining as Bennett headed a corner over the bar from down into the ground.
As the stages closed Taylor headed hopefully and ambitiously but well over, Grimes saw space at the other end as the Reds defence opened up for him to shoot over from distance. In the end Forest failing to trouble the Swans keeper more than once, a defeat that leaves them with a serious concern of getting drawn in to a relegation scrap.
Nottingham Forest: Samba, Christie, Figueiredo, McKenna, Ribeiro, Yates, Colback (Arter 36), Knockaert, Guerrero (Lolley 53), Ameobi (Swan 76), Taylor.
Swansea City: Woodman, Naughton, Bennett, Guehi, Roberts, Smith, Fulton, Bidwell, Grimes, Lowe (Routledge 80), Ayew.
Venue: City Ground
*Main image @NFFC Lyle Taylor goes agonisingly close early doors.