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Match Reports

Forest 0-2 Hull

10 February 2018

Nottingham Forest suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Hull City on a frustrating afternoon at The City Ground.

A penalty save from Costel Pantilimon kept The Tigers at bay but they soon scored when Jon Toral, who missed the spot-kick, headed home from a corner moments after.

The away side then doubled their lead through Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson when he tapped home a cross from close range.

Forest boss Aitor Karanka made just one change to the side that lined up in The Reds’ 2-0 defeat at Fulham last weekend with Apostolos Vellios coming into the side to replace Ben Brereton. There were also places on the bench for Ben Watson, Tobias Figueiredo, Lee Tomlin and Joe Lolley.

Forest made a strong start to the contest with new signing Adlene Guedioura already at the heart of everything as The City Ground got behind the new players. But it was Hull with the biggest chance to take the lead when the referee awarded them a penalty.  Wilson was deemed to have been tripped in the box by Eric Lichaj, Toral stepped up to take the penalty but fired it straight at Pantilimon in the Forest goal.

However, from the resultant corner, Toral made up for his earlier penalty miss when he was free at the corner to head home and silence the City Ground faithful. Vellios looked for a quick response when he took the ball down 35 yards out and lashed an effort goalwards but it whistled past the post.

Matty Cash came inches away from levelling the scores on 18 minutes after his mazy run forward. The young winger raced through the Hull defence with ease but his low shot cannoned off the post as The Reds pushed for an equaliser. But frustrations began to grow as The Tigers continued to nullify Forest's attacking threat.

Frustrations were made even worse when the visitors doubled their lead in the 38th minute. A quick counter-attack led by Jarrod Bowen brought the away side forward before a low cross in front of goal was met at the back stick by Wilson who had the easy job of tapping home to put his side 2-0 up.

Hull were close to making it three when Forest’s defence went missing, leaving Will Keane free in the box to fire towards goal, but Pantilimon pushed it away to keep his side in it. A rather miserable half would end 2-0 to the visitors with The Reds having it all to do.

Lee Tomlin replaced Lichaj at the break with Karanka changing the formation to three at the back for the second half and Tomlin nearly made an immediate impact. The Cardiff loanee danced his way down the left side before playing a sumptuous through ball towards Vellios and Guedioura in the box, but they both failed to connect. Moments later, Vellios was inches away from turning home Matty Cash’s cross as The Reds tried to build some momentum.

Forest thought they had found a goal back when Hull failed to clear the ball, allowing Osborn to pick it up, but he couldn’t get the shot away allowing the visitors to clear. But Hull nearly ended the contest when they came extremely close to extending their lead. A teasing ball across the face of goal by Seb Larsson avoided everyone with Bowen eventually getting a shot away that he fired over.

Next it was Larsson who went into the book when he cynically brought down Cash as he charged forward with intent. Kieran Dowell was unlucky with his effort when his rasping volley flew over the bar before Daryl Murphy was then introduced on the hour mark as he replaced Vellios.

Forest huffed and puffed but The Tigers remained resolute with 20 minutes remaining as the home side struggled to break through their defence. New signing Lolley was brought on to change that on 77 minutes when he replaced Guedioura and he nearly made a difference when he collected the ball and ran inside the box before firing a shot away at goal which Ola Aina had to clear off the line.

The referee added three minutes on but Hull were comfortable with Karanka’s side showing no real threat of scoring. Murphy’s glancing header from Osborn’s cross was the closest they came in the final stages as Hull ran out 2-0 winners.

Forest: Pantilimon, Lichaj (Tomlin 46'), Worrall, Mancienne (c), Fox, Colback, Cash, Guedioura (Lolley 77'), Osborn, Dowell, Vellios (Murphy 61')

Unused subs: Smith, Figueiredo, Darikwa, Watson

Booking: Fox 41'

Hull: McGregor, Aina, Hector, MacDonald, Clark, Irvine, Larsson (c), Bowen, Toral (Stewart 52'), Wilson (Diomande 71'), Keane (Campbell 75')

Unused subs: Marshall, Dicko, Evandro, Tomori

Goals: Toral 9', Wilson 38'

Booking: Larsson 60'

Referee: Oliver Langford

Attendance: 23,098 (943 away)

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