Adlene Guedioura returned to haunt his former club as he fired Nottingham Forest to an fantastic away day success at Wolves.The midfielder marked his first return to Molineux since his cross-Midlands switch in the summer with a spectacular long-range winner.
Guedioura’s second half super strike capped another spirited fight back by The Reds, who fell behind early on to a Bjorn Sigurdarson goal.
Billy Sharp levelled matters in the first half but Guedioura stole the limelight on his old stamping ground.
Forest’s victory was, however, overshadowed by a serious looking injury sustained by Simon Cox, who was stretchered off in the second half.
The re-introduction of Guedioura was one of five changes Sean O’Driscoll made to his starting line-up for the game against his home town club and the team he supported as a boy.
New loan signing Alan Hutton was handed his debut at right back, while Dan Harding, Cox and Henri Lansbury were also recalled.
Brendan Moloney and Dexter Blackstock were relegated to the bench, while Greg Halford, Andy Reid and Jermaine Jenas missed out through injury.
Wolves included Nottingham-born Jermaine Pennant in their starting line-up and he played a pivotal role as the home side opened the scoring after just six minutes.
Pennant, on loan from Stoke, caught Forest’s back four flat-footed and when he played in Bjorn Sigurdarson, the Icelandic international made no mistake with a tidy finish past Lee Camp.
But Forest were only behind for nine minutes. Lansbury found Sharp on the edge of the Wolves area and once the striker had slipped the attention of his marker with a superb first touch, he beat Carl Ikeme with an excellent finish.
Sharp’s strike partner Cox went close to giving Forest the lead when he fired narrowly wide after cutting in from the left and leaving Roger Johnson for dead.
Lansbury tried his luck with a shot from distance that failed to trouble Ikeme, while at the other end Bakary Sako fired over the bar from the edge of the area after Kevin Doyle had broken quickly down the Wolves right.
Sharp squandered an opportunity to bag his second of the afternoon when he side-footed over after a quick break by Cox, who did likewise moments later after Guedioura and Sharp had combined.
Only an outstanding block by Danny Collins denied Wolves a second goal five minutes before the break – The Reds skipper throwing himself at Dave Edwards shot after Camp had parried Sako’s cross from the left.
Camp made an excellent save with his legs to keep out Sigurdarson, while a long-range shot by Lansbury that took a wicked deflection had Ikeme scrambling in the Wolves goal.
Forest started the second half brightly and good work by Chris Cohen and Sharp created a half-chance for Cox after Wolves had conceded possession in a dangerous area but the Republic of Ireland international fired straight at Ikeme.
The Wolves ‘keeper had no chance in the 57th minute as Guedioura blasted Forest in front with a trademark pile-driver from 25 yards out.
The Algerian international sparked wild celebrations among Forest’s 2,000-plus travelling support but the low key nature of his celebration drew applause from his former club’s fans.
Delight turned to despair for Forest eight minutes later as Cox’s afternoon came to an abrupt end as he picked up an injury to his left leg in a collision with Kevin Foley. Blackstock joined the action as his replacement.
Forest were largely untroubled for the remainder of the game – much to the intense frustration of the home supporters among the crowd of 22,527.
There was one heart-in-the-mouth moment six minutes from time as Sako fired in a low inviting cross after getting the better of Elliott Ward but Wolves could not get anyone on the end of it.
Forest: Camp, Harding, Collins (c), Ward, Hutton, Gillett, Guedioura, Lansbury (Moussi 88'), Cohen, Cox (Blackstock 65'), Sharp (Moloney 90').
Subs not used: Darlow, McGugan, Coppinger, Ayala.
Scorers: Sharp 16', Guedioura 57'
Booking: Lansbury 42'
Wolves: Ikeme, Edwards, Sako, Ward, Johnson, Sigurdarson, Berra, Pennant (Ebanks-Blake 75'), Doumbia (Davis 75'), Doyle (c), Foley (Forde 89').
Subs not used: De Vries, Stearman, Nouble, Batth.
Scorer: Sigurdarson 6'
Booking: Doyle 39'
Referee: Roger East