Nottingham Forest 1-0 Blackburn Rovers (EFL Championship) 20.02.21
There’s something about Nottingham Forest in recent weeks that suggests Manager Chris Hughton is getting things right, after another clean sheet and a huge win at the City Ground today against Blackburn Rovers thanks to young Alex Mighten’s second of the season and indeed of his fledgling career.
Forest played well against Swansea City in defeat midweek and although the performance wasn’t better against Blackburn, the result certainly was to bounce back from the loss in Wales at the first time of asking, signs that this Nottingham Forest team assembled by Hughton is made of stern stuff with character and personality, the sort that was perhaps lacking when he first took charge.
It wasn’t without a scare, Forest didn’t have it all their own way, but a second 1-0 win against Blackburn this season at least takes six points from a side in twelfth, now only three points above Chris Hughton’s men who’s aim to get away from the relegation pack as quickly as possible is well on target.
The Reds started bright on an otherwise grey day Trentside and might have taken the lead on fourteen minutes when Knockaert played a one two with Murray before rounding the goalkeeper only for his target bound effort to be cleared off the line. On 25 however Forest got their reward for persistence in their positivity of play when Knockaert’s free kick was headed back to the edge of the area by Joe Worrall and Alex Mighten, in for Joe Lolley, struck a deflected shot past Kaminski in the Rovers goal.
On the half hour Forest nearly made it two as Murray dragged his shot inside the area wide of the post, the home side then saw Garner hit the bar on the edge of half time after glancing his header from a Knockaert free kick onto the top of the woodwork. A dominant 45 from the impressive men in red.
In the second half Blackburn evidently came out in search of an equaliser and ten minutes in, Armstrong forced Samba into a routine save but after some solid defensive work from the home side on 70 minutes an even bigger chance came for the away team when Samba brought down Nyambe to concede a penalty before saving Armstrong’s effort magnificently to keep his sides lead and his own clean-sheet intact.
That knocked the stuffing out of Rovers whilst buoying the Reds to see the game out. A 1-0 win that pulls Forest seven points away from the danger zone.
Nottingham Forest: Samba, Christie, Figueiredo, Worrall, Ribeiro, Cafu (Yates 69), Garner, Knockaert, Krovinovic, Mighten (Freeman 69), Murray (Taylor 59).
Blackburn Rovers: Kaminski, Nyambe (Bennett 89), Harwood-Bellis, Branthwaite, Bell, Travis (Rothwell 86), Davenport (Buckley 89), Gallagher (Dack 46), Elliott, Brereton (Dolan 64), Armstrong.
Venue: City Ground
*Main image @NFFC Anthony Knockaert goes close during another cracking performance by the Frenchman.