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Forest 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday

18 February 2017

Nottingham Forest's unbeaten run at The City Ground came to an end as Sheffield Wednesday took all three points with a 2-1 win.

Almen Abdi's stunning volley put Wednesday in front in the first half after Ross McCormack had a penalty saved and Fernando Forestieri doubled the advantage after the break. Ben Osborn finished off a neat move to give The Reds hope but it wasn't enough as the visitors left Trentside with all three points. 

Gary Brazil made four changes to the side that lost against Fulham on Tuesday night. Jordan Smith took his place in goal for his full debut and Eric Lichaj returned from suspension to captain the side. David Vaughan and Jamie Ward were also recalled to the starting line-up and The Reds started the game brightly.

Applying pressure on the Wednesday defence in their own half, Forest created a couple of good chances inside the opening 10 minutes. Firstly, some superb control by Ben Brereton plucked a pass from Ben Osborn out of the air on six minutes and his lay-off found Jamie Ward running onto the ball 20 yards from goal and his thunderous half-volley crashed against the crossbar with Keiren Westwood beaten. Brereton was again involved two minutes later as he picked up Matty Cash's knockdown to fire just wide of the post from 25 yards.

Wednesday looked threatening going forwards themselves as Abdi turned brilliantly on the box before shooting wide via a deflection and Smith, who looked very assured and confident on his first appearance at The City Ground, showed what he could do by denying Jordan Rhodes from close range.

The Reds had a fantastic opportunity to take the lead as Brereton was brought down in the box for a penalty on 24. McCormack slipped the front man in on goal and he rounded Westwood who brought him down. A yellow card for the goalkeeper due to the double-jeopardy rule as the Forest fans were baying for a red card, but the Irish stopper dusted himself down and denied McCormack from the spot.

A few minutes later and The Reds were left to rue the missed chance as Abdi struck a stunning volley and Forest found themselves behind to yet another goal of the month contender. Forest failed to clear the ball and it was bouncing around on the edge of the box and it fell to Abdi who hit a sweet volley past Smith and into the top corner.

Forest probed to find a way back into the match but it was the visitors who carved out the next goalscoring opportunity on 42. A flicked header by Jordan Rhodes played Forestieri in on goal but Smith did brilliantly to spread his body and make a superb stop to deny the Wednesday forward. 

Wednesday started the second half well and doubled their lead on 52 through Forestieri. A corner from the left wasn't cleared and the Italian forward juggled the ball on the edge of the six-yard box before volleying high past Smith. 

The Reds responded well to that setback. Cash forced Westwood into a save from long-range before Osborn equalised after some good work from Brereton. The 17-year-old didn't give up on the ball as Vincent Sasso looked to shepherd the ball out of play, he nicked it and squared to Osborn as Westwood came out of his goal to close him down, and Osborn fired past three Wednesday players on the line to make it 2-1. 

A few minutes later and Brereton glanced a header just wide after good play by substitute Mustapha Carayol but The Reds couldn't find a way through the Sheffield Wednesday rearguard as the visitors held out for the three points and end Forest's run of victories at The City Ground.

Forest: Smith, Lichaj (c), Pinillos, Worrall, Fox, Vaughan, Osborn, Cash (Kasami 74'), Ward (Assombalonga 58'), Brereton, McCormack (Carayol 58')

Unused subs: Stojkovic, Clough, Lam, Ahmedhodzic

Goal: Osborn 60'

Bookings: Lichaj 32', Ward 57', Fox 90'

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt, Loovens, Sasso, Pudil, Abdi (Wallace 75'), Hutchinson, Bannan, Reach, Rhodes (Fletcher 82'), Forestieri (Winnall 88')

Unused subs: Wildsmith, Jones, McManaman, Palmer

Goals: Abdi 28', Forestieri 52'

Bookings: Westwood 24', Abdi 30', Forestieri 53', Hunt 78'

Referee: Andrew Madley

Attendance: 20,164 (Away 1,922)

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