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Forest 2-4 Odense

8 July 2015

Nottingham Forest were beaten 4-2 by Odense BK in their first pre-season friendly of the summer.

The Reds took the lead in the first half through Dexter Blackstock but were pegged back when Kenneth Zohore converted a penalty.

An almost fully-changed Forest side found themselves 3-1 down in the second half after goals from Rasmus Festersen and Zohore.

Jamie Paterson gave his team hope of snatching a draw with an excellent free-kick but Mathias Greve ensured victory went to the Danes.

Dougie Freedman selected the following players to begin the match:

De Vries, Lichaj, Riera, Wilson, McLaughlin, Lansbury (c), Tesche, Walker, Grant, Trialist, Blackstock

And his men started in positive fashion, Tyler Walker winning a corner which was taken short. Forest worked the ball to Lansbury on the edge of the area. The midfielder struck it well but couldn’t keep it down.

Three minutes later the former Arsenal man had another opportunity to score, this time running on to a through ball before miscuing his shot from just inside the area.

Danish Superliga side Odense are coming towards the end of their pre-season and they looked sharp on the break with 13 minutes on the clock. They worked the ball to Mikkel Desler, who raced into the area and sent it teasingly across goal and just wide of the far post.

And Desler turned provider two minutes later, slipping Zohore through on goal. The big striker could only find the side-netting with his shot.

Zohore was left to rue that missed opportunity as The Reds took the lead shortly afterwards. Jorge Grant’s dinked cross to the back post was met brilliantly by Blackstock who, under pressure from two defenders, managed to nod the ball home.

Forest were showing promising signs but Odense reminded Freedman’s men of their own threat with a piledriver from Emil Larsen which grazed the roof of Dorus de Vries’ net.

But The Reds had a golden opportunity to double their lead when one of their trialists was brought down in the penalty area on 35 minutes.

Lansbury stepped up to take it but saw his effort saved. The ball came back to him but he could only send it crashing off the bar, and Blackstock was unable to convert the rebound with his head.

Two minutes later in a cruel twist of fate, Odense had an equaliser courtesy of a penalty conceded by Lansbury. Zohore made no mistake from the spot.

Walker and Roger Riera were the only Forest players to return after the interval. Freedman’s second-half line-up was as follows:

Evtimov, Riera, Hobbs, Mancienne, Fox, Burke, Paterson, Osborn, Antonio, Walker, Trialist

Despite a torrential rainstorm Forest started the second period strongly and tested Odense’s keeper twice in quick succession.

Walker’s header from Danny Fox’s excellent cross was well saved before Paterson was denied after striking the ball sweetly from 22 yards.

But it was the Danes who next took the lead, Festersen firing the ball past Evtimov after neat build up by his team-mates.

And it was 3-1 two minutes later when Zohore’s fierce strike sent the ball skimming off Evtimov’s gloves and into the back of the net.

Grant was sent back into the fray on 67 minutes, replacing Riera.

Forest pegged the score back to 2-3 shortly afterwards, Paterson bending the ball into the far corner superbly with a free-kick on the edge of the area.

But Odense made it 4-2 with seven minutes to play as more neat build-up resulted in Greve stroking the ball home from six yards.

And that was how it finished on an eventful evening in the south of Sweden.

(Match photograph provided by Robert Wengler/Fyens Stifstidende)

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