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Match Reports

Forest 0-1 Sunderland

30 December 2017

Nottingham Forest finished the calendar year with a defeat as Sunderland left The City Ground with a 1-0 win.

Despite dominating the majority of the game, Forest couldn't find a way through The Black Cats' rearguard as Aiden McGeady's first-half header was enough to settle the contest.

Mark Warburton made two changes to the side beaten by Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day, with the experience of David Vaughan and Daryl Murphy coming in to the side to face their former club.

It was a fairly tense opening to the game with neither side creating too much in the way of chances, but on 14 minutes a golden opportunity was presented to Murphy following Joe Worrall's long clearance.

The ball was misjudged by Sunderland defender Marc Wilson and Murphy latched onto it and held of the challenge, but goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter stuck a leg out to block his flicked effort on goal.

Murphy set his sighters again on 18 minutes, this time finding space 25 yards out and curling an effort just wide of the post with Ruiter beaten and he could only direct his header wide of the post following Eric Lichaj's cross on 29.

A great cross from the left by Ben Osborn was met in the middle by Murphy again who couldn't divert his header on target and Kieran Dowell tried a speculative effort from the halfway line to try and catch Ruiter out but it drifted wide.

For all their chances, Forest were made to pay again as Sunderland went in front through McGeady on 40 minutes. Adam Matthews' cross from the left was met perfectly by the Irishman on the penalty spot who powered a header into the corner of Jordan Smith's net.

The Reds came out with plenty of intent in the second half, with the introduction of Armand Traore allowing Osborn to push forward into midfield, but struggled to create any clear openings.

Dowell's effort from a free kick stung the palms of Ruiter and Murphy tried to catch the keeper out with a chipped effort but the Dutchman saved well.

Jason Cummings replaced the injured Murphy and it was the Scotsman's cross which carved a half-chance for Forest, with Ben Brereton flicking his delivery just wide of the target with five minutes to go.

The best chance arrived with virtually the last kick of the game as Dowell flicked the ball through for Eric Lichaj, who turned in the area and fired a left-footed effort against the foot of the post.

Forest: Smith, Lichaj, Worrall, Mancienne (c), Osborn, D. Vaughan, Bouchalakis (Traore 46'), Brereton, Dowell, McKay (Carayol 61'), Murphy (Cummings 69')

Unused subs: Henderson, Cash, Clough, Walker

Booking: Traore 82'

Sunderland: Ruiter, Browning, O'Shea (c), Wilson, Love, Gibson, Honeyman, Matthews, McGeady (Oviedo 83'), Maja (J. Vaughan 65'), McManaman (Gooch 70')

Unused subs: Steele, Jones, Asoro, Embleton

Goal: McGeady 40'

Attendance: 26,830 (1,990 away)

Referee: Darren Bond


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