Middlesbrough 2-0 Nottingham Forest (EFL Championship) 26.12.21
A festive trip to the North-East was always going to be a tough ask especially with Middlesbrough in good form since Chris Wilder took charge of the hot seat and it was the home side at the Riverside who were too strong on the day as Forest faltered to just a second defeat since Steve Cooper became Head Coach.
Forest were behind in the seventeenth minute when Brice Samba played the ball out to Ryan Yates who turned on the edge of his box with nowhere to go, he then passed back blind to the goalkeeper who wasn’t in the centre of his goal, the home side given a boxing day Christmas present to put them ahead.
Boro were much the stronger of the two sides in the first half and hit the post whilst making Samba largely the busier of the two goalkeepers, Forest couldn’t get any rhythm going with Djed Spence a huge miss, sidelined unable to play whilst on loan against his parent club.
The Reds actually had their best spell of the game after half time and as they pressed for a leveller, it was Boro who took advantage slightly against the run of play. The ball crossed in and half cleared to Sporar who smashed home from close range.
As the game opened up, Boro could have inflicted more damage but Forest had chances themselves, Lumley half cleared against his defender which could have looped over him into the net, Carvalho missed from close range whilst Xande Silva hit a post when he should have done better.
Late on Brennan Johnson was denied a penalty after being brought down inside the box, which might of made things interesting in the final few moments had it been given, but despite the chances missed, and the opportunity to get back in the game turned down by Referee David Webb, Forest were largely second best and the best team on the day deservedly won, for the Reds a minor hiccup on what has been a road of promising performances of late, here’s to the City Ground and Huddersfield on Thursday where we hope for an immediate recovery.
Not the Christmas party we wanted in Boro, but the Reds will now get the chance to bounce back before the New Year is out.
Middlesbrough: Lumley, Dirjksteel, Fry, McNair, Jones (Peltier 84), Howson, Tavernier, Crooks, Taylor, Hernandez (Watmore 65), Sporar (Payero 90).
Nottingham Forest: Samba, Figueiredo (Carvalho 46), Worrall, McKenna, Back, Garner, Yates, Colback, Zinckernagel (Silva 62), Johnson, Grabban (Taylor 75).
Venue: Riverside Stadium
*Main image @NFFC Scott McKenna in action v Middlesbrough.