Nottingham Forest enjoyed a large slice of good fortune for the second successive weekend as they overcame Sheffield Wednesday at The City Ground.Seven days after getting lucky at Leicester by being awarded a controversial penalty, they claimed their first win in four outings thanks to an own goal.
Miguel Llera unwittingly headed past his own goalkeeper in a dramatic finale to settle the nerves of the majority of Forest’s second biggest crowd of the season.
It had looked like being an afternoon of frustration for The Reds as they failed to capitalise on a number of goal-scoring opportunities - but Llera sent Forest’s fans home happy.
Sean O’Driscoll handed Jermaine Jenas his first start since returning to The City Ground on loan as he made two changes to his starting line-up.
Jenas replaced Adlene Guedioura in midfield, while Dexter Blackstock was preferred to Simon Cox in attack alongside Billy Sharp.
Cox was fit enough to be named among the substitutes, despite picking up a foot injury while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland in midweek.
The visitors started brightly and there were just three minutes on the clock when Lee Camp was forced to make his first save of the game, a sprawling effort to keep out a long range shot from Gary Madine.
Forest’s No.1 came to his side’s rescue again moments later as he denied Jay Bothroyd after Michail Antonio had found the England striker in acres of space in the penalty area.
The Reds’ first foray into the Wednesday area almost resulted in the opening goal – Andy Reid found himself one-on-one with Chris Kirkland after playing a neat one-two with Billy Sharp but the ‘keeper was quickly off his line to block.
Wednesday front man Gary Madine headed wide of the target from Antonio’s long throw midway through the first half as the visitors pushed for the opening goal in front of their 4,000-plus fans in the Lower Bridgford Stand.
Jenas squandered Forest’s best opportunity of the opening half when he headed wide after Chris Cohen had picked him out in the six yard box with a cross from the right-hand side.
Wednesday were just as wasteful on the stroke of half-time as Nejc Pecnik blazed over the bar from an unmarked position 12 yards out after Miguel Llera had found him with a knock-down from a corner.
Forest were forced to make a change just five minutes into the second half as Henri Lansbury replaced Reid, who appeared to be carrying a hamstring problem.
And the Irishman was quickly followed into the treatment room by Jenas, who was replaced by Guedioura.
Lansbury wasted little time in making an impression as he tried his luck with a shot from 25 yards out that Kirkland failed to hold but grabbed at the second attempt.
It was Forest’s turn to live dangerously and only a headed goal-line clearance by Collins denied Bothroyd after substitute Jermaine Johnson’s initial shot had been spilled by Camp.
More hesitant defending on Forest’s part gifted Johnson a gilt-edged chance eight yards out but he blazed high and wide to the relief of the home support.
Lansbury went close to giving the majority of the crowd of 24,584 something to celebrate as he fired just over after breaking quickly into the Wednesday area and getting on the end of a return pass from Blackstock.
But the breakthrough finally came 16 minutes from time as the unfortunate Llera only succeeded in diverting Cohen’s cross from the right-edge of the area past Kirkland as he attempted to clear.
Cohen went close to bagging a second in the dying seconds of the game but side-footed narrowly wide from the edge of the area.
Forest: Camp, Halford, Collins (c), Moloney, Ward; Gillett, Reid (Lansbury 50'), Cohen, Jenas (Guedioura 55'); Sharp, Blackstock.
Subs not used: Darlow, McGugan, Cox, Coppinger, Ayala.
Scorer: Llera (og) 75'
Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton, Jones (Mayor 82'), Llera, Gardner (c), Barkley, Semedo, Madine, Antonio, Bothroyd, Pecnik (Johnson 52').
Subs not used: Bywater, Taylor, Mattock, McCabe, Rodri.
Booking: Llera 90'
Referee: Andy Woolmer
Attendance: 24,584 (Away: 4,405)