Nottingham Forest’s excellent unbeaten run came to an end at The DW Stadium this afternoon with a 2-1 defeat to Wigan Athletic.Andy Reid had given Forest the lead with a stunning free-kick but a Shaun Maloney penalty and a Jordi Gomez tap in were enough to inflict Forest’s first loss of the season.
After making 11 changes for the Capital One Cup win over Millwall in midweek, Billy Davies reverted back to the side which earned an excellent point at Watford last Sunday.
That meant Man of the Match Jamie Paterson returned to The Reds’ bench, along with Simon Cox who was an unused sub at Vicarage Road.
Forest had been making something of a habit of scoring early goals this season and, in their second successive league match, Reid handed them another on seven minutes.
Ben Watson had fouled Radoslaw Majewski near the ‘D’ and Reid took responsibility for the set-piece. His left-footed, curled effort was perfectly executed - it soared over the wall and kissed the woodwork on its way into the back of the net.
The hosts had started the game brightly despite conceding and on 14 minutes had their equaliser.
Marc-Antoine Fortune’s nutmeg on Adlene Guedioura took the former Celtic striker into the Forest area, where he was tripped by Jack Hobbs. Karl Darlow got a hand to Maloney’s penalty, but it wasn’t enough to divert it away from his net.
Forest quickly set about restoring their lead and Chris Cohen headed a Henri Lansbury corner just over shortly after play resumed.
Lansbury was then harshly booked for a push on Roger Espinoza and was joined by Eric Lichaj in the book after he felled Moloney as the goalscorer tricked his way towards the byline.
Shortly afterwards Majewski sent a low left-footed effort a couple of yards wide after good link up between Greg Halford, again in a striker’s role, and Guedioura.
But it was the home side who next had the net bulging as they took a 34th-minute lead.
Darlow did brilliantly to tip Fortune’s effort onto the bar, but Gomez reacted quickest to slide it home before the goalkeeper could get back to block the angle.
Wigan had made life difficult for The Reds at times in the first half but Forest always maintained a hint of a threat to The Latics’ back four.
They carved out an opening on the stroke of half-time - Halford’s shot from inside the area was blocked after Lichaj and Jamie Mackie had linked up down the right and the teams went in at 2-1.
Harding replaced Guedioura at the break, with Cohen heading in to midfield and Lansbury dropping in to a holding midfield role.
And Cohen could have scored the equaliser within a minute of the restart when he drifted into Wigan’s area unmarked. Reid’s cross from the left was excellent but the skipper didn’t catch his header right and it sailed harmlessly wide.
And on 57 minutes it was Reid’s turn to miss with his head. Lichaj’s deep cross dipped over everyone and found the Irishman waiting at the back post. He had to stoop slightly to meet it and could only send it flying over the bar.
And the pair linked up in similar circumstances once again moments later - this time Reid ran towards the near post and couldn’t quite generate the power on his header to trouble Carson.
Forest were completely dominating proceedings and had a shout for a penalty on the hour as Cohen tripped over Espinoza in the area. The Honduran was already on the floor and referee Craig Pawson was unmoved.
Wigan had to do something to reassert themselves and they sent on James McArthur in place of Espinoza on 65 minutes.
Forest were still largely in control and on 73 minutes made a change of their own as Majewski was replaced by Paterson, before Halford made way for Ishmael Miller and Wigan’s Ben Watson was replaced by Chris McCann six minutes later.
But despite a strong second-half performance, Forest couldn’t find an equaliser and tasted defeat for the first time in the 2013-14 season.
Forest: Darlow, Lichaj, Hobbs, Wilson, Cohen (c), Guedioura (Harding 46'), Lansbury, Majewski (Paterson 73'), Reid, Mackie, Halford (Miller 77')
Subs not used: De Vries, Collins, Derbyshire, Cox
Scorer: Reid 8'
Bookings: Lansbury 24', Lichaj 30'
Wigan: Carson, McCarthy, Rogne, Watson (McCann 77'), Maloney, Gomez, Boyce (c), Espinoza (McArthur 65'), Beausejour, Barnett, Fortune (McClean 86')
Subs not used: Nicholls, Crainey, Dicko, Perch
Scorers: Maloney (pen) 14', Gomez 34'
Booking: Beausejour 88'
Referee: Craig Pawson
Attendance: 16,270 (Away: 3,979)