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Match Report


Posted Sat 25 Feb 12 at 17:01 PM

Birmingham City 1 v 2 Nottingham Forest

A consistent team performance gave Nottingham Forest a well-deserved win against promotion contenders Birmingham City, who suffered their first home League defeat of the season.

Dexter Blackstock's first goal of the season gave Forest the lead in the first half and they continued to frustrate the home side through out the first 45 minutes.

Birmingham started the second half well and it wasn't long before they had the equalizer. But Forest reacted well and re-gained their lead just eight minutes later.

Both sides had chances throughout the half and it was a tense finish as the home side threatened a late equalizer but Forest held on for the win.

The early pressure came from Birmingham, although they were unable to fashion an opportunity from it and Forest gradually started to dominate play.

Forest's first chance came after ten minutes when Chris Gunter put in a cross to Marcus Tudgay who couldn't get good contact. The ball was cleared to Garath McCleary who fed the ball to Blackstock near the penalty spot, but he was unable to control the ball either.

Boaz Myhill was the first keeper to make a save when Guy Moussi's effort from 25 yards took a deflection, making it difficult for the Birmingham keeper to save.

Danny Higginbotham only played 23 minutes before going down off the ball with what looked like a hamstring and was replaced by Joel Lynch.

Blackstock's goal came from a good break by Tudgay and a great driven cross by McCleary to the near post where Blackstock dived in and stretched his leg out to put the ball into the top corner from the near post.

Good football from Forest saw them combine well to get the ball forward and Adlene Guedioura was only just wide from 25 yards out.

Forest continued to control play for the remainder of the half and thoroughly deserved to go in at the break with their one-goal lead.

Forest had a chance early in the second half when Guedioura did well to get the ball forward to Tudgay who chested it and it went up in the air, but as it came back down Jonathan Spector got in the challenge to clear the danger.

Birmingham finally put some pressure on Forest when the ball bounced into the penalty area where Marlon King got goal-side, but the ball came off Lee Camp and went out for a corner.

And the pressure continued from a succession of corners and as Forest struggled to clear King turned the ball back for Chris Burke to curl it into the top corner for the equaliser.

But Forest were soon back in the lead when Blackstock brought down McCleary's cross, turned and smashed it into the corner of the net from eight yards out, giving Myhill no chance.

There was a let-off for Forest when David Murphy found himself unmarked at the far post but put the ball high over the bar.

It was a tense closing few minutes with Birmingham putting more pressure on first with King turning Chambers and forcing Camp to parry away.

King then played a little ball back to Nathan Redmond who fired just wide from 25 yards. And Camp did well to punch away another effort from King.

But Forest finally got clear with a good break down the left by Tudgay who won a corner.

As the clock ticked down Guy Moussi had the keeper beaten but sent the ball into the side-netting from 25 yards out.

Birmingham again put pressure on the Forest goal until Andy Reid finally got the ball clear for Guedioura to make a break forward as the game went into stoppage time.

As the four minutes extra time began Scott Wootton came on for Reid, Paul Anderson having come on a few minutes earlier for McCleary.

Birmingham almost got the equalizer when Keith Fahey's curler crashed off the crossbar and came back for Curtis Davis sent the ball just wide of the target.

Nearly five minutes of stoppage time had been played before the referee finally blew his whistle to give Forest a valuable three points.

Nottingham Forest: Camp, Gunter, Chambers(C), Higginbotham(Lynch 23min), Elokobi, Moussi, Guedioura, McCleary(Anderson 86min), Reid(Wootton 90+1min), Tudgay, Blackstock
Subs not used: Smith(GK), McGugan
Bookings: Chambers 87min
Scorer: Blackstock 29min, 63min

Birmingham: Myhill, Murphy, Caldwell, Davies, Spector, Townsend(Redmond 82min), Burke, Fahey, Mutch, King, Zigic(Huseklep 68min)
Subs not used: Doyle, Ibanez, Gomis
Scorer: Burke 55min

Referee: Roger East
Attendance: 19,166 Away attn: 1,414

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