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Match Reports

Forest 0-0 Bristol City

28 April 2018

Nottingham Forest and Bristol City played out a goalless draw at The City Ground as The Reds ended their home campaign with a point.

In a game where Forest looked the more likely to break the deadlock, Lee Tomlin saw a second-half penalty saved as ultimately the defences came out on top.

The biggest cheer of the game was saved for the final five minutes, however, as Chris Cohen came on as a late substitute.

Aitor Karanka handed starts to Andreas Bouchalakis and Daryl Murphy as he made six changes to the side which defeated Barnsley on Tuesday night.

The visitors dominated possession early on in the game but it was Forest who had the game's first attempt on goal on four minutes. Lee Tomlin drove forward down the left-hand side and cut onto his right foot but his low effort was well saved by City keeper Frank Fielding.

There was a lengthy break in play on seven minutes though as Joe Lolley's thunderous shot was blocked by Nathan Baker, who was being attended to by medical staff from both teams before being stretchered from the pitch.

Lolley was at the heart of everything going forward for The Reds and he forced substitute Callum O'Dowda to clear as far as Tomlin on 17, but the former Bristol City man could only fire his half-volley wide of the target before Lolley and Bouchalakis both had efforts drift over the bar as Forest looked the more likely side to find a breakthrough.

On 27 minutes though, a dangerous low cross by Famara Diedhiou went across the face of goal and an alert Ben Osborn was on hand to turn the ball behind for a corner with former Red Jamie Paterson lurking at the back post, and a minute later Marlon Pack fired wide from the edge of the box after Forest failed to clear a long throw.

The best chance of the opening half hour landed on the head of Bouchalakis though, as he met Lolley's lovely delivery from the right but could only glance an effort over the bar from six yards out.

Lolley tested Fielding again on 32, Diedhiou curled a shot just wide on 36 before Tomlin had another effort parried minutes later as the chances kept coming.

On the stroke of half-time, Adlene Guedioura should have done better as he met Osborn's cross in the middle but he skewed an effort wide then Lolley came agonisingly close to finding the corner of the net with a curling effort in first-half injury time but it deflected just past the far post.

After Forest's dominance in the first half, the second half began fairly evenly without many clear-cut openings. However, on 64 minutes The Reds had the perfect chance to take the lead from the penalty spot.

A super pass by Bouchalakis found Osborn in the area, who beat sub Eros Pisano to the ball and was hauled down by keeper Fielding, but the stopper made amends as he guessed the right way to keep out Tomlin's spot kick.

That sparked the action into life as City thought they had taken the lead a minute later, with Diedhiou pouncing on a mistake by Michael Mancienne to round Stefanos Kapino and put the ball into the net, only to see the offside flag raised.

The rest of the second half proved to be lacking in goalscoring opportunities as the game seemed destined for a draw.

But the sight of Chris Cohen on the pitch again for The Reds brought The City Ground to their feet as they welcomed the long-serving midfielder back into the fray.

Forest: Kapino, Darikwa, Mancienne, Fox (c), Osborn, Bouchalakis (Cash 79'), Colback, Guedioura (Bridcutt 71'), Lolley, Tomlin (Cohen 89'), Murphy

Unused subs: Smith, Lichaj, Brereton, Vellios

Booking: Colback 45'

Bristol City: Fielding, Smith (c), Flint, Baker (O'Dowda 13'), Kelly, Paterson, Pack, Walsh (Pisano 63'), Bryan, Reid, Diedhiou (Brownhill 69')

Unused subs: Steele, Taylor, Eliasson, Djuric

Booking: Fielding 64'

Referee: Jeremy Simpson

Attendance: 24,722 (1,459 away)

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