Hull 1-2 ForestOver 3,200 Forest fans witnessed their side claim a sixth successive win with a stunning victory at Hull’s KC Stadium this afternoon.
Lewis McGugan proved super sub yet again as he came off the bench to win the game in the 84th minute.
Darius Henderson had cancelled out George Boyd’s opener early in the second half.
Dexter Blackstock, who has been struggling with a hamstring problem, made the bench and Henderson completed his return from a knee injury by replacing him up front.
Half of the ground were up celebrating in the second minute when, after Adlene Guedioura had fouled Robbie Brady, the midfielder watched his free kick crash off the stanchion and nestle behind Darlow’s goal.
And it was Chris Cohen’s turn to be deceived six minutes later. Ahmed Elmohamady showed good skill to beat him at the byline and he continued his run all the way to the near post where his low cross was turned behind for a corner.
It came to nothing however and Forest went down the other end and carved out their first opportunity of the afternoon. Cohen’s cross was met by the head of Simon Cox but David Stockdale held on on his line.
It was Cox again on 14 minutes as he led a counter attack after a good spell of pressure by the hosts. He appeared to be tugged back as he shaped to shoot on the edge of the area but referee Graham Scott was unmoved after the striker pulled his shot wide.
Two minutes later Hull almost took a fortuitous lead. Henri Lansbury felled Brady on the edge of the area and Darlow could only palm Robert Koren’s free kick straight at Boyd. The ball bounced off him and over the bar for a goal kick.
It was quickly becoming an end-to-end encounter and The Reds had a golden opportunity to take the lead moments later.
Radi Majewski played a square ball to Adlene Guedioura who forced Stockdale into a good save low down. The Fulham loanee could only parry, however, and Cox was first to the loose ball in the area, but he could only flash his first-time effort over the crossbar.
The hosts were then twice denied by Darlow in quick succession.
The keeper did well to tip Jack Hobbs’ header over the bar before blocking Gedo’s header at his near post a minute later.
On 28 minutes The Tigers were forced into a change as Alex Bruce replaced Paul McShane, and as play resumed Majewski tricked his way into the area before stinging the palms of Stockdale at his near post.
With ten minutes to play in the half, Gedo latched on to a looping ball into the area to run through on goal. He scuffed his shot badly and it went hopelessly wide.
And Cox could have punished him shortly afterwards. Reid’s cross eventually found its way to the striker’s feet but he couldn’t keep his left-footed effort down.
It was to be a critical miss as the home side took the lead with seconds to play in the half.
Elliott Ward headed Stephen Quinn’s cross behind at the near post and the ball fell to Boyd after a scramble at the resultant corner. The former Peterborough man improvised to loop the ball over Darlow and into the net.
There were no changes at half-time and it was Hull who created the first opportunity of the second period.
Gedo won a foot race with Collins and cut it back for Boyd. Ward was perfectly placed to block his effort however.
And The Reds were level on 54 minutes.
Majewski’s precise cross with the outside of his right boot was met brilliantly by Cox. Cruelly, his volley hit the bar but the rebound was kind for Henderson who showed good composure to slot home from close range.
Billy Sharp replaced Reid after the celebrations subsided and Boyd was back on the goal hunt straight from the restart.
After he drew a parry from Darlow, Gedo shot over as the hosts looked to immediately restore their lead.
On 66 minutes, Brady fired a free-kick a couple of yards over the bar after Lansbury had fouled Koren 27 yards out.
A minute later it was Forest’s turn. Henderson’s header from Cohen’s set piece flashed across goal and Cox couldn’t quite connect at the back post.
Hull then went down the other end and Darlow produced an excellent save with his feet to deny Quinn.
The midfielder was then responsible for earning Henderson a booking after his run towards the edge of the area left the striker with no option but to haul him down. Brady’s free-kick went just wide.
McGugan then replaced Majewski before Henderson made way for Blackstock on 84 minutes.
And as soon as play resumed Forest had the lead.
Collins’ long ball forward was flicked on by Blackstock, Sharp layed it off to McGugan and he sent a low left-footed drive through Stockdale’s legs and into the net.
Brady came within inches of restoring immediate parity when his free-kick rattled the crossbar. The rebound fell to substitute Jay Simpson but Cohen was on hand to head his effort off the line.
Brady’s menace from set pieces reared its head again in the first of five added minutes. His cross appeared to have been headed home but Lansbury produced a miraculous goal line clearance to preserve The Reds’ lead.
And the visitors only had themselves to blame as, with the last kick of the game, Gedo smashed over with the goal at his mercy after Darlow had parried Boyd’s effort from outside the area.
Forest: Darlow, Jara Reyes, Ward, Collins (c), Cohen, Lansbury, Guedioura, Majewski (McGugan 72'), Reid (Sharp 55'), Cox, Henderson (Blackstock 84')
Subs not used: Evtimov, Hutchinson, Moussi, Halford
Scorers: Henderson 54', McGugan 84'
Bookings: Jara Reyes 35', Henderson 71', Lansbury 74', Cohen 75', Darlow 90'
Hull: Stockdale, Chester, Hobbs, Koren (c), McShane (Bruce 28'), Gedo, Elmohamady, Quinn (Simpson 78'), Brady (Proschwitz 90'), Meyler, Boyd
Subs not used: Jakupovic, Evans, Cairney, Faye
Scorer: Boyd 45'
Bookings: Gedo 40', Brady 90'
Referee: Graham Scott
Attendance: 19,848 (Away: 3,238)