Bristol City 1-2 Nottingham Forest (EFL Championship) 19.10.21
It’s dreamland for Nottingham Forest who are riding on the crest of a wave under new Head Coach Steve Cooper, after a dramatic fourth straight victory and one very much from the brink of defeat helped pile more misery on Bristol City who are yet to win a home league game at Ashton Gate since January. Substitute Lyle Taylor scored two goals in the final minute of the match to turn things around and give the Reds all three points when it looked for long periods that they would be heading back north with nothing.
A frantic start to the first half saw Forest chances in the first few minutes for Johnson and Yates, the young Welshman’s early effort deflected straight to Robin’s goalkeeper Bentley before Ryan Yates strike was well blocked.
Wells at the other end looked to break in behind soon after but his run was matched by McKenna who stifled out any potential danger.
On 17 Joe Worrall blocked well from Dasilva as the home side began to stamp their authority in search of an opener, three minutes later a chance for Alex Scott went begging as his effort from inside the area was slashed wide.
Brennan Johnson then went close again for Forest on 33 minutes, hitting the post with a left footed effort which Bentley couldn’t get near, the opportunity of the half for the away side but then a goal for the home team, Scott firing in on the rebound after Samba was caught out in a poor position for the opener following a long ball which should have been dealt with better.
In search of a leveller, Forest dominated the early stages of the second half and Grabban had a goal chalked out for offside on 52, the flag correctly and quickly going up, but Steve Cooper’s men continued to press, James Garner blazing over from distance a minute later.
Bristol had their chances to wrap things up, Alex Scott going down inside the area not to the liking of the Referee before Nakhi Wells tried his luck from the half way line with an audacious chip just over the crossbar.
The former Huddersfield striker then went closest again to doubling the home sides advantage as his shot across the goal was tipped onto the post by Samba on 70.
Brennan Johnson then himself tested the official’s nerve after he was brought down inside the box with nothing given again, as City defended deeper, Forest aimed to carve out opportunities but chances were few and far between, until Johnson raced into the box in the final minute, tripped down, the Referee finally giving in to whistle for a spot kick.
Substitute Lyle Taylor calmly dispatched for what looked to be a share of the spoils, but then in the dramatic minutes that followed, the ball was chipped into the area by Lolley which was saved by the goalkeeper and the ball seemingly hit Taylor on the arm, the shoulder, or the midriff, falling nicely to the Montserrat international, he prodded home for a winning goal, sending the travelling army and those in hi-vis into raptures.
For long periods Forest dominated and looked comfortable on the ball against solid opposition who grew nervy, clutching onto a first win in 17 games at home, but the Reds pressure told, a slice of lady luck and a bit of quality, in which this side have lots, Forest now sitting in mid-table just four points from a playoff spot.
What a turn around it’s been. Long may it continue. Well done Steve Cooper, four league wins in a row, Forest had not done that since 2013.
Bristol City: Bentley, Kalas, Atkinson, Baker, Tanner, James, Scott (Palmer 77), Dasilva, Weimann, Wells (O’Dowda 83), Martin (Massengo 66).
Nottingham Forest: Samba, Worrall, Figueiredo (Mighten 66), McKenna, Spence, Yates, Garner, Lowe, Zinckernagel (Lolley 77), Johnson, Grabban (Taylor 81).
Venue: Ashton Gate
*Main image @NFFC the Forest players go wild in celebration after Taylor’s winning goal.