Nottingham Forest rounded off their pre-season trip to Portugal with a strong second-half showing in a 1-0 defeat against Primeira Liga side Rio Ave.The Reds struggled to trouble their hosts in the opening 45 minutes but Radoslaw Majewski, Lars Veldwijk and Louis Laing all had chances to score on a pleasant evening on the Portuguese west coast.
Dorus de Vries started in goal, with Dan Harding at right back. Danny Fox occupied the other full back slot, while Danny Collins and Louis Laing played at centre back. Jamie Mackie started on the right wing, Stephen McLaughlin his opposite, while Henri Lansbury and Ben Osborn occupied the two central slots. Matty Fryatt partnered Lars Veldwijk up front.
Rio Ave began on the front foot and tested de Vries twice within the opening seven minutes. Pedro Moreira drew an acrobatic stop from the Dutchman before de Vries had to stoop low to block Tarantini’s effort.
There was concern for Lansbury on 12 minutes when the midfielder called for treatment immediately after clashing with Rio Ave’s Filipe Augusto. Lansbury managed to hobble off the field, being replaced my Radi Majewski, and assistant manager Steve Wigley told Forest Player after the match that Lansbury will be assessed once swelling to his knee has reduced.
De Vries was in action again on 26 minutes, making a good save low down after Ukra had broken into the box, and nine minutes later Hassan scuffed the ball across goal and wide after receiving a cross from the left.
There were no changes for Forest at the break, but they appeared to have upped their tempo when Majewski received the ball from Osborn before stinging the palms of Cassio with a low drive.
Sensing blood, Forest pressed again. Veldwijk raced on to a ball over the top and looped it over the goalkeeper. The ball bounced wide and, despite claims for a penalty after Veldwijk was clattered by the keeper, a goal kick was given.
Despite their dominance after the break, Stuart Pearce’s men had to remain resolute defensively. Collins led by example when he produced a fantastic last-ditch tackle to halt Esmael in the area.
The hosts, who by this time had made a number of substitutions, were coming back into it and came within inches of taking the lead when Roderick rattled the bar from a free-kick.
Forest’s first wave of substitutes followed as Greg Halford, Tyler Walker and Simon Cox replaced Collins, Veldwijk and Fryatt.
But the trio were helpless to prevent Rio Ave from taking the lead shortly afterwards. Esmael led a pacey break down the right and managed to maintain his balance just enough to pick out Diego Lopes with a cross from the right. The striker took the ball in his stride before finishing smartly beyond de Vries.
The Reds had a half-chance to level the scores almost immediately but Laing could only head the ball wide from Majewski’s corner. David Vaughan, Jorge Grant and Jamie Paterson replaced Osborn, McLaughlin and Mackie before the last action of the game saw the hosts strike a post from a corner.
Forest will travel back from their training camp tomorrow before facing Rotherham in their next friendly on Wednesday night.