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Match Reports

Forest 0-0 Stoke

10 November 2018

Nottingham Forest played out a goalless draw against Stoke City in an evenly-fought match at The City Ground.

Chances came and went for both sides as the defences ultimately came out on top, with Forest picking up a point to head into the international break.

Aitor Karanka made one change to the side which defeated Sheffield United last weekend, with Jack Colback returning from suspension to replace Claudio Yacob in midfield.

It was a cagey opening half of the game with neither side able to create many clear-cut opportunities. James McClean had the game's first effort on five minutes from 25 yards out which Costel Pantilimon did well to parry away from danger.

The visitors were appealing for a big decision to be made by referee Oliver Langford on the half-hour mark as Benik Afobe raced clear before going down under the challenge of Pantilimon outside the area, but the man in the middle waved play on much to the frustration of Gary Rowett and The Potters' players.

Towards the end of the half Forest came forward, with Joe Lolley forcing Jack Butland into a low save on 41, Adlene Guedioura dragging an effort wide of the target from inside the area two minutes later and with the last kick of the half, Joao Carvalho saw an effort superbly blocked by Ryan Shawcross wide when well-placed in front of goal.

After a spell of possession for the visitors at the start of the second half, Forest got on top and created a few more openings as they went in search of the game's first goal.

A mistake by Butland gifted Forest possession on the edge of the Stoke penalty area but Lewis Grabban flashed his shot over the bar when he should have done better, then Carvalho forced Butland into a smart low save.

Matty Cash was next to have an attempt on goal just after the hour mark as he received Michael Dawson's superb raking pass on the left, cut inside but fired a venomous shot just over the crossbar.

The Reds had to be alert at the back too and a superb clearing header from Tendayi Darikwa prevented Mame Diouf from converting at the back post and Tom Edwards' low free kick was well saved by Pantilimon on 67.

Substitute Saido Berahino had a glorious chance to put Stoke ahead on 77 minutes but he headed Edwards' cross high and wide from six yards out then Forest almost took the lead with Lolley's fine curling effort on 84 but Butland produced an outstanding save to tip his shot around the post.

Butland was on hand again to deny The Reds as the game headed into injury time, this time as Grabban latched onto Cash's flicked header and the England international keeper blocked the Forest man's effort from point-blank range.

The final chance fell to Stoke as Peter Crouch's looping header looked to be heading into the net until Tobias Figueiredo cleared off the line, but both sides had to settle for a point an a well-contested match at The City Ground.

Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Dawson (c), Figueiredo, Robinson, Guedioura (Yacob 76'), Colback, Cash, Carvalho (Dias 86'), Lolley, Grabban

Unused subs: Steele, Osborn, Janko, Ansarifard, Hefele

Booking: Dawson 68'

Stoke: Butland, Edwards, Shawcross (c), Williams, Martins Indi, Woods, Allen, Etebo (Clucas 76'), Diouf (Berahino 70'), Afobe (Crouch 79'), McClean

Unused subs: Federici, Martina, Fletcher, Bojan

Referee: Oliver Langford

Attendance: 28,556 (2,000 away)

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