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Match Reports

Bristol City 1-1 Forest

4 August 2018

Nottingham Forest began the 2018-19 season with a 1-1 draw against Bristol City at Ashton Gate this afternoon.

Daryl Murphy's fine second-half leveller ensured that Forest returned home with a point after Andreas Weimann had given the hosts an early lead.

After plenty of second-half pressure, Forest couldn't find a away through The Robins' defence and both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Aitor Karanka handed debuts to Gil Dias, Joao Carvalho and Diogo Goncalves, while Costel Pantilimon and Michael Dawson also started following their returns to the club this summer.

There was a lively atmosphere in side Ashton Gate as the game got underway, and it seemed to inspire the home side more as it took five minutes for them to take the lead.

A superb save from Pantilimon denied Callum O'Dowda from close range but as the second ball came into the box, Weimann won his battle to head goalwards and score via the crossbar.

Another cross into the box on 14 almost saw The Robins double the lead as Nathan Baker rose highest at the back post but the alert Ben Osborn was on hand to clear off the line.

Following that chance, there was a good response from The Reds – wearing the new white Macron away kit – as first Tendayi Darikwa made a great run down the right but saw his low cross cleared away from danger, and then Dias let fly from 30 yards on 18 minutes but his rasping drive fizzed over the crossbar.

The Reds were starting to dominate possession as Dias won the ball in midfield on 28 to launch a counter attack. The Portuguese winger drove towards the City penalty area before teeing up Daryl Murphy who saw his low shot deflect onto the outside of the post.

Forest finished the first half on top but couldn't find the break through, but it took less than two minutes of the second half for The Reds to find the back of the net.

A well-worked break forward eventually saw the ball find Adlene Guedioura on the left-hand side of the area. His chipped cross was superbly glanced into the far corner off the head of Murphy to send the sold-out away end into raptures.

Forest looked like they were going to add a second goal soon after as they had The Robins on the back foot. Guedioura saw a drive well saved by goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa, and then his fizzing effort was well blocked before Ben Watson's follow-up shot was also prevented from going goalwards by a Bristol City defender.

On 67 Murphy almost added his second as a swift counter attack ended up with him getting a header in on goal at the near post, but Maenpaa was equal to it, and at the other Pantilimon was called into action for the first time in the half to parry Joe Bryan's low strike.

The Reds went in search of the winning goal, with Lewis Grabban coming on for his debut. A smart turn inside the area by Carvalho saw him find half-a-yard of space on 78 but his left-footed effort was tame and easy for Maenpaa to gather, and the Finnish stopper was called into action again on 86 as substitute Joe Lolley hit a fine effort from 20 yards which the keeper parried away.

Ultimately though, a much better second-half performance from Forest saw them come away from Ashton Gate with a point as their season got up and running.

Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Dawson (Figueiredo 87'), Fox, Osborn, Guedioura, Watson (c), Dias (Lolley 80'), Carvalho, Goncalves, Murphy (Grabban 73')

Unused subs: Smith, Colback, Cash, Robinson

Goal: Murphy 46'

Bookings: Guedioura 50', Dias 60', Carvalho 81', Watson 90'

Bristol City: Maenpaa, Hunt, Webster, Baker, Bryan, Eliasson (Eisa 80'), Pack (c), Brownhill, O'Dowda (Smith 68'), Paterson (Taylor 68'), Weimann

Unused subs: O'Leary, Pisano, Walsh, Kelly

Goal: Weimann 5'

Referee: Darren Bond

Attendance: 22,395 (2,692 away)


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