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Reading 2-0 Forest

29 October 2016

Nottingham Forest's winless record away from home this season continued as they were beaten by Jaap Stam's Reading at the Madejski Stadium.

Two former Forest men in Garath McCleary and Chris Gunter scored in each half to condemn The Reds to their third consecutive defeat.

Head coach Philippe Montanier made two changes from the side that were beaten by Cardiff City at The City Ground last weekend. Defender Joe Worrall came in to make his first senior appearance for The Reds, with Matt Mills also coming into the side in place of the suspended Thomas Lam.

It took just 10 minutes for former Forest man McCleary to put the home side ahead when he was the first to react after a save from Vladimir Stojkovic. Midfielder John Swift found himself space deep inside the visitors half and let fly with a long-range effort which Stojkovic could only parry, leaving McCleary to finish off.

Despite the early set back the visitors responded well and if it wasn't for a string of fine saves from Ali Al Hasbi in The Royals' goal, Forest could have found themselves level going into the break.

On the half-hour mark after a neat one-two with Ben Osborn, Pajtim Kasami managed to direct a header towards the goal but the former Wigan goalkeeper was on hand to gather comfortably.

The Swiss international went even closer later on in the half when, after a ball forward from Armand Traore, he found himself inside the penalty area with just the keeper to beat. However Al Habsi produced a wonderful save to deny Kasami from close range.

Reds defender Eric Lichaj was next to try his luck as the first half entered stoppage time. The former American international turned on the edge of the area and unleashed a powerful left-footed strike but again Al Habsi managed to turn the ball behind for a corner with an excellent save.

The second half started in similar fashion to the end of the first with the visitors dominating possession and looking most likely to score. Lichaj again went close on 58 minutes after good work by Osborn. Forest's number 11 outmuscled Liam Moore in the Reading defence and laid the ball on to an advancing Lichaj but he dragged his shot wide of Al Habsi's far post.

However despite all the pressure and chances created by the visitors it was the home side who doubled their lead four minutes later. Danny Williams broke down the right and managed to pull the ball back to a onrushing Gunter who finished past Stojkovic from close range.

That goal seemed to deflate the visitors who had looked in charge despite the early set back. Montanier brought on Britt Assombalonga in an attempt to revive a comeback but The Reds failed to create any real chances as the half wore on.

Debutant Worrall did go close with five minutes left on the clock after a free-kick was swung in from the right by Lansbury, but the academy graduate could not get enough on his header to trouble Al Habsi. 

In stoppage time Assombalonga looked like he had grabbed a late consolation for the visitors as he produced a smart finish from Ben Osborn's cross but the assistant referee flagged for offside to crown a disappointing afternoon for Forest.

Forest: Stojkovic; Lichaj, Mills, Perquis, J.Worrall, Traore (Fox 60'); Lansbury, Kasami, Cohen (Dumitru-Cardoso 84'), Osborn; Vellios (Assombalonga 58')

Subs not used: Henderson, Lica, Grant, Edser

Bookings: Traore 36', Lansbury 51'

ReadingAl-Habsi, Gunter, Blackett, McShane (c), L.Moore, Van den Berg (Evans 54'), Swift, Williams, Beerens (Harriott 75'), McCleary (Obita 90'), Kermorgant

Subs not used: S.Moore, Samuel, Watson, Kelly

Goals: McCleary 10', Gunter 62,

Bookings: L.Moore 26', Van den Berg 52', Williams 83'

Referee: Andy Davies

Attendance: 17,093 (1,805 away)

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