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Match Reports

Brentford 2-1 Forest

1 September 2018

Nottingham Forest's unbeaten start to the Sky Bet Championship season was brought to an end by a 2-1 defeat to Brentford at Griffin Park.

Goals in each half from Lewis Macleod and Ollie Watkins proved to be the difference as Matty Cash's second-half strike couldn't prevent The Reds from falling to defeat.

Aitor Karanka made three changes from his side's midweek victory over Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup at The City Ground.

Costel Pantilimon replaced Luke Steele in goal while Jack Colback and Tendayi Darikwa came in for Liam Bridcutt and Sam Bryam respectively. 

The home side enjoyed the majority of the possession during the opening 10 minutes and The Bees' defender Yoann Barbet nearly made it count. A free-kick from the left was seized upon by the Frenchman however his glancing touch drifted wide of the far post.

Watkins was next to try his luck for the home side on 20 minutes but his effort from the edge of the Forest penalty area was tame and easily gathered by Pantilimon.

The tempo of the match changed shortly after the half-hour mark after Macleod was shown a yellow card for diving in The Reds' penalty area. Michael Hefele and Barbet were also booked in the aftermath but the frantic tempo now suited Brentford who continued to dominate play. 

Spanish midfielder Sergi Canos failed to keep his header down for the home side in the closing minutes of the half after Romaine Sawyers had chipped a clever ball into the visitors' penalty area. 

The Bees were rewarded for their possession in injury-time when Macleod nodded the ball home after good work by Benrahma. The forward swung in a perfect delivery from the right and picked out an unmarked Macleod who glanced the ball past Pantilimon. 

Forest made a double substitution at the break with Cash coming on for Joe Lolley and Gil Dias being replaced by Ben Osborn.

The home side continued to press from the restart with defender Chris Mepham hitting the post from close range. Benrahma again with the delivery from the left, but the Welshman could only clip the ball with his left foot onto the post. 

Forest managed their first real effort on goal on 55 minutes when, after good build-up play by Cash and Joao Carvalho, the ball was played into Osborn and he powered a right-footed effort from just outside the penalty area which cleared the bar by inches.

The visitors were encouraged by this attack and eight minutes later they were level. Daryl Murphy laid the ball to Cash who tried his luck from range and after a heavy deflection the ball trickled past Daniel Bentley in the hosts' goal. It was Cash’s fourth goal of the season and second in as many games.

Lewis Grabban was introduced with 20 minutes of the match remaining replacing Murphy in attack as The Reds went in search of a second.

Yet it was Brentford who found the winning goal through Watkins with six minutes remaining. The Bees' frontman pounced on a cross from the left and nodded the ball past Pantilimon from inside the six-yard box to claim all three points for the hosts.

Brentford: Bentley, Macleod (Yennaris 76'), Mepham, Canos (Judge 71'), McEachran (Mokotjo 71'), Watkins, Sawyers, Benrahma, Dalsgaard, Konsa, Barbet

Subs not used: Daniels, Clarke, Jeanvier, Forss

Goals: Macleod 45', Watkins 84'

Bookings: Konsa 18', Macleod 35', Barbet 35', Sawyers 90', Benrahma 90'

Forest: Pantilimon, Darikwa, Hefele, Fox, Robinson, Colback, Watson (c), Lolley (Cash 46'),  Carvalho, Dias (Osborn 46'), Murphy (Grabban 73')

Subs not used: Steele, Figueiredo, Goncalves, Bridcutt

Goal: Cash 62'

Bookings: Lolley 31', Hefele 35, Osborn 54', Fox 55', Watson 74', Robinson 90', Grabban 90'

Attendance: 10,186 (1,654 away)

Referee: Peter Bankes

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