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Match Reports

Forest 2-1 Girona FC

25 July 2017

Apostolos Vellios came off the bench to hit a brace as Nottingham Forest came from behind to beat Girona FC 2-1 at The City Ground.

Andres gave the Spaniards a half-time lead, finishing off a neat move, before Vellios’s two goals inside three second-half minutes gave The Reds their third pre-season win.

Mark Warburton’s men lined up in a 3-4-1-2 formation, with Jamie Ward partnering Jason Cummings up front while new signing Daryl Murphy took his place on the substitutes’ bench.

Aday Benitez had the game’s first chance on four minutes as he drifted in from the left flank and shot narrowly wide of Jordan Smith’s post via a deflection.

In a quiet opening to the match, The Reds dominated the possession without creating any clear-cut openings. Cummings was nearly played through by Ward on eight minutes but Girona keeper Iraizoz just beat him to the ball and Ben Brereton, playing from the right, looked like Forest’s biggest attacking threat.

Jamie Ward was the first to test the experienced Spanish goalkeeper on 26 minutes when he hit a half-volley towards the top corner, but the former Athletic Bilbao man was equal to it to palm it away.

A string of early changes by the visitors just after the half-hour mark turned the game in their favour. Former Middlesbrough striker Cristhian Stuani fluffed his lines following good work from Benitez on 37 and then two of the substitutes linked up to give Girona the lead on 40 minutes.

Captain Eloi Amagat turned neatly on the edge of the area before slipping in Portu down the right. His dinked cross to the back post was met by the arriving Andres who powered a header past the dive of Smith.

Forest started the second half the stronger side and Ward had a sighter of goal on 55 minutes before the introduction of seven players from the Reds’ bench turned the game in their favour just after the hour mark.

A lofted ball over the Girona defence found Matty Cash in space on the right-hand side. Cash, playing at right wing-back, played a first-time volleyed cross across the face of goal where Vellios arrived to emphatically smash it into the net on 65.

Three minutes later and Vellios doubled his tally from the penalty spot. The Greek forward was brought down in the area and he dusted himself down to confidently plant the ball to the keeper’s left to turn the game on its head.

There was then a blow for Forest on 74 minutes as Cash, who had looked lively since his introduction, had to leave the field after picking up an injury, leaving Forest to play the closing stages with ten men.

Daryl Murphy had his first run out in a red shirt and showed a few good touches, holding the ball up well as he brings himself up to full match sharpness.

Girona tried to muster an equaliser in the closing stages but couldn’t break down The Reds’ defence as Mark Warburton’s side made it three wins out of three in pre-season.

Forest: Smith, Mancienne, Worrall, Traore, Ward, Cohen (c), Vaughan, Osborn, Cummings, Brereton, Clough

Subs: Evtimov, Murphy, McKay, Hobbs, Lam, Vellios, Cash

Girona: Iraizoz, Olivas, Alcala, Granell, Pere Pons, Amagat (c), Benitez, Garcia, Bernardo, Maxi, Stuani

Subs: Bono, Aurelio, Portu, Juanpe, Ramalho, Carles Planas, Andres, Clotet, Alamo

Attendance: 4,417

Referee: Oliver Langford

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