Nottingham Forest were left to rue a host of defensive errors as they were beaten 4-2 at Ipswich Town this afternoon.
The Reds twice fought back from going behind in the first half as goals from Kieran Dowell and Tyler Walker levelled the game up after strikes from Callum Connolly and Dominic Iorfa had put Ipswich in front.
After the interval, the home side capitalised on two slip-ups in the Forest back four and Martyn Waghorn and Bersant Celina took advantage to give The Tractor Boys all three points.
Mark Warburton made one change to the side beaten by Cardiff City last weekend as Liam Bridcutt returned from suspension to take the place of Barrie McKay. The winger dropped to the bench alongside Jason Cummings who replaced Matty Cash in the matchday squad.
Forest found themselves behind early on as they conceded a soft goal from a set piece. Waghorn hit a speculative long-range free kick which Jordan Smith parried, but only into the path of Connolly who stroked home from inside the six-yard box.
After the shaky start, Forest looked to take control of the ball and were passing it around well and they were almost level on 17 when a flurry of chances in quick succession evaded the back of the net.
Firstly, Daryl Murphy was denied by Bartosz Bialkowski from 12 yards following good work by Dowell, with Tyler Walker’s follow-up effort somehow not crossing the line after taking a deflection. Eric Lichaj then smashed a ferocious effort narrowly wide from the edge of the box as The Reds went in search of an immediate response.
Forest were dominating possession and on 29 were level through a moment of brilliance from Dowell. Both Walker and Ben Osborn were involved with the set-up of the free kick, teeing it up for Dowell to bend an effort over the wall and into the far corner of the net.
Despite all of Forest’s good play though, The Tractor Boys retook the lead on 37 minutes through Iorfa. A cross was stood up to the back post by Jonas Knudsen and Town’s other full back was there to rise highest and nod past Smith.
Once again, Forest responded well and on the stroke of half time were level thanks to Walker’s fourth goal of the season. Bridcutt chipped a ball over the Ipswich defence and into the path of Walker who superbly hooked the ball towards goal and into the roof of the net to give Bialkowski no chance.
There was a positive start to the second half for Forest, with Murphy keen to get on the scoresheet against his former side. The Irishman skipped past a challenge inside the Ipswich penalty area on 51 but saw his shot tipped over the bar by Bialkowski.
But some poor defending proved costly again for The Reds as they found themselves behind two minutes later. Michael Mancienne appeared to have the situation under control as he looked to pass back to Smith but he miscued his kick, allowing Waghorn to race onto the ball and fire past the Forest goalkeeper.
Armand Traore tested Bialkowski from close range and Murphy also had an effort saved by the Town stopper but Forest found themselves two behind on 67 minutes.
Waghorn got in behind the defence and squared across goal for and unmarked Celina to tap home from close range.
Forest probed for a way back into the game, but came up against a resolute Ipswich defence who held firm in the closing stages. Murphy hit a towering header against the crossbar in added time but it wasn’t to be for The Reds as Town claimed the three points.
Forest: Smith; Lichaj, Worrall, Mancienne (c), Traore; Bridcutt, Vaughan (Bouchalakis 68’); Walker (McKay 81’), Dowell, Osborn (Carayol 68’); Murphy
Subs not used: Henderson, Mills, Clough, Cummings
Goals: Dowell 29’, Walker 43’
Bookings: Dowell 45’, Bridcutt 90’
Ipswich: Bialkowski; Iorfa, Webster, Spence, Knudsen; Connolly, Skuse (c); Huws (Bru 70’), Ward, Celina; Waghorn (Sears 84’)
Subs not used: Gerken, Bishop, Nydam, Kenlock, Morris
Goals: Connolly 7’, Iorfa 37’, Waghorn 53’, Celina 67’
Bookings: Waghorn 82’, Connolly 86’
Referee: Darren Bond
Attendance: 16,808 (1,124 away)