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Match Reports

Forest v QPR

26 January 2016

Forest 0-0 QPR

Nottingham Forest were held to a goalless draw by Queens Park Rangers at The City Ground this evening as they stretched their unbeaten run to 13 matches.

Ben Osborn and Robert Tesche both hit the woodwork for Forest with Alejandro Faurlin doing likewise for Rangers as the two sides shared the spoils on a blustery night on Trentside.

Dougie Freedman made three changes to the side which beat Middlesbrough on Saturday. Gary Gardner, Jamie Ward and Oliver Burke all made way as Ryan Mendes started on the right of the midfield with Nelson Oliveira and Chris O'Grady in attack.

The game started in a disjointed fashion but it was the visitors who created the first chance of the night. Sebastian Polter teed the ball up for David Hoilett to strike from 20 yards but his low effort was turned around the post by a sprawling Dorus de Vries.

Rangers goalkeeper Alex Smithies then had to be at his acrobatic best to prevent Forest from taking the lead at the other end. Michael Mancienne met Robert Tesche's corner with a bullet header from close range but Smithies reached to the top corner to turn the ball over the crossbar.

Visibly upping the ante, Forest then came even closer to the opening goal of the night a minute later. A smart ball from Mendes found Ben Osborn inside the penalty area and although he beat Smithies with his effort, the ball came back off the post. O'Grady's follow-up shot was deflected behind off a Rangers man.

The woodwork came to the visitors' rescue once more on 24 minutes. Tesche hit a stunning half-volley from 30 yards out and Smithies could only watch helplessly as the ball bounced off the crossbar and away to safety.

Mendes became the first man to go into the referee's notebook ten minutes later as he made a cynical but necessary challenge on Leroy Fer as the midfielder led a counter-attack for the Hoops.

Despite Forest's dominance Rangers were still showing a threat at the other end and German striker Polter should have done better from Massimo Luongo's pinpoint cross but headed a yard wide of the target.

De Vries had to be alert with five minutes to go until half-time as he was forced to palm away a stinging half-volley from Hoilett before Oliveira tested Smithies at the other end with a low effort from close-range.

QPR were to have the last word of the first half and they almost hit the front in stoppage time. Polter was brought down on the edge of the Forest penalty area and although Faurlin curled the ball over the wall, de Vries was able to touch it onto the crossbar and away as the two teams went in level at the break.

The half-time break saw the rain begin to teem down at The City Ground and it was Forest who fashioned the first opportunity of the second period. O'Grady created some space on the left-hand side of the penalty area but his low shot was comfortably held by Smithies.

Freedman then made a double substitution on 55 minutes in an attempt to freshen things up as Burke and Ward replaced Mendes and O'Grady respectively.

The two substitutes almost combined in perfect fashion soon after coming on. Ward put Burke through on goal but the winger was forced wide and in the end Smithies was able to get down and push his shot behind for a corner.

Former Forest defender James Perch was cautioned on 71 minutes for a late challenge on Ben Osborn. The youngster lifted in the resulting free-kick but Jack Hobbs' header lacked power and Smithies gathered easily.

Burke was typically involved in the majority of Forest's attacking endeavours and he tried to break the deadlock again seven minutes later but after cutting in from the right-hand side he could only shoot wide from 20 yards out.

Forest made their final change with two minutes of normal time to play as Dexter Blackstock came on to replace Oliveira.

But there were to be no further chances on a rainy night at The City Ground as Forest were forced to settle for a point that both they and the visitors deserved from the night's proceedings.

Forest: De Vries, Lichaj, Hobbs, Mills (c), Jokic, Osborn, Mancienne, Tesche, Mendes (O.Burke 55'), O'Grady (Ward 55'), Oliveira (Blackstock 88')

Subs not used: Evtimov, Wilson, Cohen, Gardner

Booking: Mendes 34'

: Smithies, Perch, Hall, Onuoha, Konchesky, Phillips (QPRChery 90'), Faurlin, Luongo, Hoilett (Washington 62'), Fer, Polter

Subs not used: Ingram, Angella, Henry, Tozser, Mackie

Bookings: Perch 71', Luongo 85'

Referee: Paul Tierney

Attendance: 17,030 (349 away)

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