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Match Reports

Forest 1-3 Fulham

26 September 2017

Nottingham Forest suffered a fifth league defeat in six matches as they were beaten 3-1 by Fulham at The City Ground this evening.

Daryl Murphy's sixth goal of the season cancelled out Aboubakar Kamara's first-half opener for the visitors but Stefan Johansen and Neeskens Kebano struck after the break to send the points back to Craven Cottage.

Forest made three changes from the side beaten by Aston Villa at the weekend. Michael Mancienne came in to captain the side with Ben Osborn and Jason Cummings the other additions.

The home side were on the front foot from the start with Murphy testing David Button inside the opening five minutes. The striker cut inside from the right and attempted to curl the ball into the far corner but Button was equal to the challenge.

Despite Forest's early dominance it was the visitors who broke the deadlock after 13 minutes. Kamara raced on to a through-ball and finished confidently past Jordan Smith as The Reds' defence protested for offside.

That setback didn't dent the home side's confidence as they continued to drive forward at every opportunity. Murphy in particular was causing the visitors problems and the Irishman's neat turn inside the penalty area created a goalscoring opportunity but he failed to keep his effort down.

Forest and Murphy did eventually get their reward on 33 minutes. Cummings drifted into Fulham's half before finding Armand Traore out wide on the left. The Frenchman picked out Murphy at the back post and he directed his powerful header across Button's goal to level the scores.

The home side began the second half in the same positive mentality with which they ended the first. Murphy and Cummings were linking up well with the latter going close early on. The Scotsman found himself on the receiving end of a cut-back from Kieran Dowell but was unable to keep his shot down.

Despite the home side's dominance the visitors always looked dangerous on the break, Kamara in particular. The powerful striker nearly put Fulham ahead on 65 minutes after racing clear but his shot came back off the post.

The warning signs were there for Forest and the second goal came for Fulham shortly after that. Johansen curled in a spectacular free-kick from the edge of the penalty box leaving Jordan Smith with no chance.

The home side were running out of time as they went in search of a second equaliser, and it nearly came through Murphy on 83 minutes. Substitute Zach Clough played the striker through on goal but the number nine saw his effort roll agonisingly past the far  post.

By this stage Forest were throwing everything at Fulham without managing to find a breakthrough. The more the home side pressed the more exposed they were at the back.

Kebano exploited that space with a minute to go to destroy any hopes of a Forest comeback. The substitute calmly finished past Smith after he latched on to a ball through from Yohan Mollo as the spoils went back to West London.

Forest: Smith; Worrall, Mills, Mancienne (c) (Carayol 84'); Darikwa, Bridcutt, Osborn, Traore; Dowell (Clough 70'); Cummings (Brereton 70'), Murphy

Subs not used: Henderson, Lichaj, McKay, Bouchalakis

Goal: Murphy 33'

Bookings: Worrall 55', Mills 71'

Fulham: Button; Fredericks, Kalas, Ream, Odoi (Norwood 46'); McDonald (c), Johansen; Sessegnon, Fonte (Mollo 68'), Ojo (Kebano 59'); Kamara

Subs not used: Bettinelli, Graham, Djalo, Cisse

Goals: Kamara 13', Johansen 72', Mollo 89'

Referee: Scott Duncan

Attendance: 21,208 (531 away)


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