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Match Reports

Forest v Wolves

30 April 2016

Forest 1-1 Wolves

Nottingham Forest's home campaign came to an end with a 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers this afternoon.

Both goals came in the second half, Joe Mason putting the visitors ahead before Gary Gardner equalised with a deftly-executed free-kick.

Paul Williams named an unchanged side following the 3-1 win at Fulham last weekend.

That meant Dexter Blackstock continued as a lone striker supported by attacking midfielder Henri Lansbury, while Danny Fox continued his central-defensive partnership with Matt Mills.

Britt Assombalonga was named on the bench once again, accompanied by fellow strikers Chris O'Grady and Federico Macheda and young centre back Joe Worrall.

Forest's first sight of goal came on five minutes when Gardner tried a shot from 30 yards. The ball took a heavy deflection off Dominic Iorfa, leaving Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme stranded, but it dipped on to the roof of the net.

Wolves were looking assured in the opening stages of the game but Forest had another half-chance on 18 minutes when Bojan Jokic hung the ball up in the middle for Blackstock. The forward outleaped his marker but still had a lot to do with his header, and he could only nod the ball over.

The Reds came within inches of taking the lead a minute later after neatly working the ball infield from the right wing. Lansbury and Ben Osborn worked together to present Chris Cohen with a shooting chance 20 yards out and the midfielder fizzed the ball low and just wide of the post with his left foot.

Fox required treatment on 28 minutes but was deemed fit to continue, and he and his defensive team-mates were tested shortly afterwards when Jed Wallace worked the ball to Joe Mason on the edge of Forest's area. The latter could only blaze the ball wide.

Forest's response was almost immediate, Robert Tesche showing neat footwork down the right and finding Cohen inside the area. The midfielder crossed the ball to the back post, where Osborn was waiting to nod it down for the nearby Blackstock. The forward guided the ball into the centre but Wolves got to it first, clearing the danger.

One minute was added on at the end of the half and, just before the whistle, Forest came agonisingly close to making it 1-0. Lansbury's corner found Fox at the back post, who made excellent contact with his header. Ikeme could only parry the ball down to Gardner eight yards out but the Aston Villa loanee was unable to guide his shot through the crowd of bodies on the line.

The first action of the second half saw Mills booked for a foul on James Henry on 50 minutes. Henry claimed the half's first shot three minutes later, firing the ball well over from 20 yards.

Wolves were enjoying the better of the second half's early exchanges and defender Danny Batth had two chances in quick succession on 56 minutes. First he saw his shot blocked near the line by Lansbury, before he failed to turn the ball home at the back post when the ball was curled back into the centre.

But the visitors had the lead shortly afterwards when Mason shifted the ball on to his left foot before curling it low off the inside of the post from the edge of the area.

Williams made his first change as Wolves celebrated, Oliver Burke replacing Cohen down the right.

And the youngster made an immediate impact, racing down the right, cutting into the area and seeing his low shot turned behind for a corner.

It could, and perhaps should, have been 2-0 to Wolves on 64 minutes however. Osborn and Jokic conceded possession after failing to work the ball out of a tight situation, leaving Forest outnumbered deep in their own final third. Wolves worked the ball across to Henry who drove it low and just wide of the far post from just inside the area.

But Forest made the visitors pay four minutes later after Lansbury was fouled just outside the 'D'. Gardner took responsibility for the set piece, curling it over the wall and into the bottom corner. Ikea barely moved.

Assombalonga replaced Blackstock before play resumed, and Forest nearly completed the turnaround moments after the restart when Gardner lashed the ball just wide with a long-range half-volley.

Forest were in the ascendancy but finding Wolves a tough nut to crack in their pursuit of a winner. Tesche looped the ball over the top and Burke did well to take the ball in his stride down the right. He looked to square it for Assombalonga but Ikeme got down well to halt the ball's path. Moments later, Lansbury sent the ball over the bar with a 25-yard shot.

Burke's pace had provided Forest with another dimension and it nearly paid dividends with five minutes of normal time to play. The winger burst infield from the right and showed good close control to evade a defender. Unfortunately for him, he saw his shot blocked.

Wolves' Conor Coady went close with a 25-yard effort before four minutes of added time were indicated.

But neither side could muster a winner as Forest's home campaign ended in stalemate.

Forest: De Vries, Lichaj, Mills, Fox, Jokic, Cohen (O.Burke 59'), Gardner, Osborn, Tesche, Lansbury (c), Blackstock (Assombalonga 69')

Subs not used: Evtimov, Macheda, O'Grady, Grant, Worrall

Goal: Gardner 68'

Bookings: Mills 50', Lichaj 88', Tesche 89'

WolvesIkeme, Doherty, Iorfa, Batth (c), Deslandes (Hause 69'), Coady, Saville, Edwards, Henry, Wallace, Mason

Subs not used: Martinez, Price, Hunte, Byrne, Reid, Enobakhare

Goal: Mason 58'

Referee: Iain Williamson

Attendance: 22,291 (1,935 away)

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