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Match Reports

Brentford 3-4 Forest

12 August 2017

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Nottingham Forest came out on top of a seven-goal thriller as they sealed three points on their first away outing of the season at Brentford.

Two stunning strikes from Andreas Bouchalakis were sandwiched in between goals from Daryl Murphy and Kieran Dowell to help The Reds to victory at Griffin Park.

John Egan had given the home side the lead and Andreas Bjelland and Neal Maupay threatened to pull it back for Brentford but Forest held out for the win.

Mark Warburton made nine changes from The Reds' 2-1 victory over Shrewsbury Town in the Carabao Cup last Tuesday as he faced his former club. Defender Matt Mills and summer signing Bouchalakis kept their places in the starting eleven, as The Reds opted for a 3-5-2 formation at Griffin Park.

There were chances for both sides in the opening quarter-of-an-hour with the home side going closest. Midfielder Florian Jozefzoon was first to try his luck but failed to keep his shot down after being played in by Jota.

The Bees looked dangerous breaking from the left and after a neat move on that side Lasse Vibe saw his close range effort saved well by Jordan Smith on 11 minutes.

It was the home side that broke the deadlock on 38 minutes when captain Egan rose highest to steer a header in off the post. Forest were slow to react to a short corner and the centre back climbed above Mills to put The Bees in front.

The joy for Brentford was short lived however as The Reds equalised minutes later and then went in front during a hectic three-minute period.

First Bouchalakis levelled the scores with a superb volley from the edge of the area. The ball fell to the Greek whose sweet right-footed strike left Brentford keeper Daniel Bentley rooted to the spot to score his first goal for the club.

Two minutes later and the visitors found themselves in front after Murphy pounced first to poke home from close range. Wing back Tendayi Darikwa found space in the penalty area and saw his left-footed effort rebound off the post into the path of Murphy who was on hand to slot home for his first goal for the club since signing from Newcastle United in the summer.

The visitors came out for the second half high on confidence and it showed. First, McKay's perfectly weighted cross found Worrall at the back post but the defender could only drag his left-footed shot across the face of the goal and wide.

Then a minute later midfielder Bouchalakis did manage to extend the visitors' lead with another superb effort this time on his stronger left foot. After patient build up play the Greek midfielder tried his luck from 30 yards and saw the ball fly into the top corner to put The Reds 3-1 up.

Forest were now flying and looked like scoring on every attack and they nearly did on 48 minutes when McKay raced through on goal only to see his shot well saved by the Brentford stopper Bentley.

The home side managed to come back into the match and nearly got a goal back through Florian Jozefzoon after the winger saw his free-kick from the edge of the area hit the outside of the post and go wide.

They did break through though on 77 as Bjelland found himself unmarked following another short corner to nod home despite the best efforts from Jordan Smith who nearly kept the ball out.

That set up a nervy final 10 minutes for the visitors who by this stage were hanging on to a slender one-goal lead. However as Brentford surged forward The Reds always posed a threat on the break and it was thanks to the good work of substitute Armand Traore that the visitors wrapped up the match.

The defender beat two Brentford men and saw his deflected shot fall to loanee Dowell who powered the ball past Bentley via a deflection to claim his first goal for The Reds.

Substitute Maupay managed to grab a consultation for the home side in injury time with his low shot from 18 yards but it wasn't enough as Forest held out for their third consecutive win of the season.

Forest: Smith, Darikwa, Worrall, Mancienne (c), Mills, Osborn, Vaughan, Bouchalakis (Traore 78’), Clough (Dowell 46’), McKay (Carayol 72’), Murphy

Unused subs: Evtimov, Lichaj, Brereton, Cummings

Goals: Bouchalakis 41’, 47’, Murphy 43’, Dowell 83’

Bookings: Bouchalakis 28’, Vaughan 82’, Mills 86’

Brentford: Bentley, Dalsgaard, Bjelland, Egan (c), Henry, Yennaris (Sawyers 58’), McEachran (Watkins 58’), Mokotjo, Jota, Jozefzoon (Maupay 69’), Vibe

Unused subs: Daniels, Colin, Dean, Barbet

Goals: Egan 38’, Bjelland 79’, Maupay 90’

Booking: Henry 81’

Attendance: 10,169 (Away 1,658)

Referee: James Linington

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