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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

01 December 2018 Venue The City Ground Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Reports

Forest 2-0 Ipswich

1 December 2018

An assured display by Nottingham Forest saw them run out comfortable 2-0 winners against Ipswich Town at The City Ground.

Lewis Grabban's first-half brace proved to be enough for The Reds and they could have had more goals were they not denied by the woodwork on three separate occasions.

However a seventh game unbeaten and another three points on the board in front of a packed City Ground saw them climb up to fifth in the table as the busy festive period got underway.

Aitor Karanka made three changes to The Reds team which drew at Aston Villa in midweek, with Michael Hefele coming in for the suspended Tobias Figueiredo and Adlene Guedioura and Gil Dias replacing Claudio Yacob and Matty Cash respectively, both of whom dropped to the bench.

The Reds made a good start to the game and took a tenth-minute lead thanks to the in-form Grabban. Tendayi Darikwa had plenty of space 25 yards from goal and hit a vicious strike which proved too hot to handle for Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowski, and that man Grabban was on hand to tap home the loose ball for his 14th goal of the season.

Ipswich had a couple of chances to level through striker Kayden Jackson but the Town front man couldn't take them. On 15 minutes, Ipswich capitalised on a mistake by Jack Colback to launch an attack which Jackson shot wide of the target, and then on 25 the forward missed a glorious chance as he could only glance his header wide from inside the six-yard box following Grant Ward's teasing cross from the right.

After those chances came and went for the visitors, Forest could have doubled the lead on 31 minutes as they hit the post. Darikwa's superb cross from the right found an arriving Dias at the back post but his header back across goal from the corner of the six-yard box could only find the post as it then bounced to safety.

Seven minutes later however, it was two as Grabban was once again on hand to convert. Joao Carvalho played a delightful ball out to the right-hand side for Darikwa to deliver first time into the box, straight into the path of Grabban who tapped home at the far post to give Forest some breathing space.

A two-goal lead at the break and looking comfortable, it could have been three just minutes after the restart as Hefele's header from Carvalho's free kick hit the post and landed into the grateful arms of Bialkowski, then on 51 Grabban got in behind the Ipswich defence to square across the face of goal for Joe Lolley but his shot was blocked on the line.

Grabban came within inches of completing his hat-trick on 58 minutes with a fine bit of play. The forward chased down a long ball over the top and, despite looking second best, beat both Luke Chambers and the onrushing Bialkowski to the ball and curled an effort from the touchline over both and the covering defender on the line, only to see the ball flick off the top of the crossbar.

The Reds looked in control but Jack Lankester fired an effort just wide of the target on 70 minutes to give Forest a scare before Lolley weaved through the Ipswich defence only to see his shot well saved down low by Bialkowski.

Grabban, now wearing the captain's armband after Michael Dawson hobbled off, was denied a third by a superb block by Matthew Pennington as the game headed towards the closing stages, with Karim Ansarifard coming on to replace the two-goal man for the final minutes.

The Iranian almost had his first goal for the club moments later as Dias burst through the middle, played in Carvalho who then superbly squared for the unmarked forward but he could only drag his shot wide of the target.

Despite lacking the third goal which would have added gloss to an accomplished performance, The Reds secured a comfortable victory as they climbed to fifth in the Championship table.

Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Dawson (c) (Osborn 79'), Hefele, Robinson, Guedioura, Colback, Dias (Cash 90'), Carvalho, Lolley, Grabban (Ansarifard 87')

Unused subs: Steele, Murphy, Janko, Yacob

Goals: Grabban 10', 38'

Bookings: Hefele 54', Pantilimon 82'

Ipswich: Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers (c), Pennington, Knudsen, Skuse, Ward (Chalobah 59'), Bishop (Nolan 71'), Lankester, Sears, Jackson (Roberts 59')

Unused subs: Gerken, Donacien, Rowe, Dozzell

Booking: Skuse 45'

Referee: James Linington

Attendance: 27,873 (1,493 away)

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