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Match Reports

Fulham v Forest

23 April 2016

Fulham 1-3 Forest

Nottingham Forest beat Fulham 3-1 at Craven Cottage this afternoon.

The Reds took a 2-0 lead into the break courtesy of a sweetly-struck Robert Tesche effort and a Henri Lansbury penalty.

Fulham pulled one back through substitute Matt Smith but Lansbury scored a delicate third to earn his side a convincing victory in the capital.

Paul Williams made one change to the side that drew with Blackburn on Tuesday night. Ryan Mendes dropped to the bench, Chris Cohen replacing him.

Britt Assombalonga, who made his return from a 14-month injury lay-off by coming on as a late substitute against Rovers, was named on the bench once again.

The first shot of the match went to Forest, Dexter Blackstock nodding the ball down for Lansbury just outside the area. The skipper stroked the ball goalwards with his left foot but keeper Marcus Bettinelli made a comfortable save.

Lansbury was involved again on 14 minutes, receiving a pull-back from Chris Cohen on the edge of the box but side-footing the ball wide.

Matt Mills was the first man in the book when he brought down Moussa Dembele in dangerous territory. Ross McCormack curled the ball low towards the near corner but Dorus de Vries got down to his right to push the free-kick behind.

Fredericks joined Mills in the book for scything down Lansbury - but the midfielder got his revenge in the best possible way two minutes later. After Blackstock was fouled near the corner flag, Lansbury played the subsequent free-kick to Tesche on the edge of the area and the German struck the ball sweetly first time, sending it beyond Bettinelli and into the net for his first goal of the season.

The Reds were in control and a sustained spell of pressure on 32 minutes resulted in an excellent Cohen cross which forced Bettinelli into some brave goalkeeping - getting to the ball just ahead of Blackstock and drawing a foul from the forward.

Bettinelli was at fault two minutes later however, miscuing his goal kick straight to Ben Osborn. Lansbury helped the ball to Tesche to his right but the midfielder cut across his shot too much, sending it wide from 20 yards.

Former Chelsea man Scott Parker diverted a Lansbury shot wide as half-time approached, but Forest's continued pressure told when Emerson Hyndman felled Tesche just inside the area with 44 minutes on the clock. Lansbury stroked the penalty low to Bettinelli's right and, despite the keeper's best efforts, doubled The Reds' lead.

Desperate to find a route back into the match before the break, Fulham burst into life. Dembele wriggled into the area and Mills blocked his shot. The ball came out to Tom Cairney and de Vries made an excellent save to tip the ball over.

Then, in first-half injury time, McCormack rattled the crossbar with a free-kick and Rohan Ince could only slice the ball straight to de Vries on the follow-up.

Fulham made two changes at half-time while Forest reemerged unchanged - and they nearly made it 3-0 within seven minutes of the restart. Osborn jinked his way into space down the left and hung the ball up at the back post. Blackstock did well to beat his man in the air but he could only head it wide.

It had been a reasonably quiet afternoon for de Vries but he was forced into an excellent save just after the hour, diving to his right to push Dembele's shot behind.

And, after Forest could only half-clear the resultant corner, substitute Smith outleapt Lichaj at the back post to nod the ball into the bottom corner.

Any fears that Fulham would take control of the game were soon quashed, however, as Forest restored their two-goal lead on 70 minutes. A nice exchange between Cohen and Tesche released Lichaj down the right. Lansbury made an excellent run to the near post to meet the American's cut-back and he stroked the ball beautifully into the far corner of the net.

De Vries had to stay alert to make an excellent save from Michael Madl's header, blocking the ball with his feet following McCormack's free-kick, before Mills made a crucial tackle to deny Dembele just as the striker was winding up to shoot from 10 yards.

Forest were still proving themselves to be a threat at the other end, however. Osborn crossed for Blackstock once more but, again, the forward was left with a difficult header that he was unable to convert.

Lansbury was on the hunt for a hat-trick and he had a brief opening after playing a one-two with Cohen, but his shot was diverted wide for a corner.

Five minutes were added on at the end of the match, during which McCormack lashed the ball over and Assombalonga replaced Blackstock.

The substitute found time for a tentative shot which was comfortably dealt with by Bettinelli but there was to be no further action as Forest claimed their first win at Fulham since 1975.

Forest: De Vries, Lichaj, Mills, Fox, Jokic, Osborn, Cohen, Tesche, Gardner, Lansbury (c), Blackstock (Assombalonga 90')

Subs not used: Evtimov, Mendes, Macheda, O'Grady, O.Burke, Worrall

Goals: Tesche 23', Lansbury (pen) 44', 70'

Booking: Mills 18'

: Bettinelli, Fredericks, Madl, Amorebieta, Ream, Cairney (FulhamSmith 46'), Parker (c) (Tunnicliffe 80'), Ince, Hyndman (Christensen 46'), McCormack, Dembele

Subs not used: Lonergan, Stearman, Baird, Woodrow

Goal: Smith 62'

Bookings: Fredericks 21', Smith 81'

Referee: Rob Lewis

Attendance: 18,253 (2,208 away)

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