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Match Reports

Forest 3-2 Stoke

26 September 2018

An enthralling Carabao Cup tie at The City Ground saw 10-man Nottingham Forest come out on top as they defeated Stoke City 3-2 this evening.

Goals from Ben Osborn, Daryl Murphy and Joe Lolley had give The Reds a comfortable lead, but Benik Afobe's strike reduced the arrears.

Diogo Goncalves's red card handed the momentum to the visitors who pulled a second goal back thorugh Saido Berahino but Aitor Karanka's men held firm to seal their place in the next round.

There was an entertaining start to the game with both sides looking to get on the front foot from the off. Bojan had the ball in the back of the net on 12 minutes after a lay-off from Peter Crouch, only to see the offside flag raised and then the Spaniard cleared the crossbar from 25 yards with a strike four minutes later.

Stoke keeper Adam Federici was called into action on 18 as he gathered a powerful strike from Gil Dias, but a minute later he was left with egg on his face as Osborn was gifted the opener.

After a one-two with Daryl Murphy, Osborn lost a 50-50 tackle and chased down the loose ball into the area, he arrived at the ball at the same time as Federici and defender Harry Souttar, and as all three players came together the ball bounced off Osborn and into the unguarded net.

The goal put Forest firmly in the ascendency as they looked to assert their dominance on the game.

Diogo Goncalves dragged an effort wide on 28 and after playing a one-two with the Portuguese winger, Joe Lolley saw an effort palmed away by Federici. Goncalves was again involved on 36 as he latched onto Murphy's pass but saw his effort saved again by the keeper, but Federici could do nothing to prevent the second goal on 40 minutes.

After some indecision in the Stoke midfield, Murphy latched onto the ball, saw his attempted through ball cut out but landed perfectly in his path and the Irishman raced through on goal to unerringly lash home an effort off the underside of the crossbar to double the advantage.

The Reds came out of the blocks at the start of the second half with Lolley forcing Federici into a smart low save but the Forest man got his goal on 50 minutes as he finished off a swift move, cutting inside from the right and finding the back of the net via a deflection and the inside of the right-hand post.

With the game seemingly in the bag, the introduction of Benik Afobe from the bench for the visitors changed the complexion and he reduced the arrears within five minutes, firing low past Luke Steele in the Forest goal.

On 69 he nearly grabbed his second goal as he hammered Bojan's cross against the bar from close range as The Reds lived dangerously. Down the other end the game should have been settled by Goncalves as he was played through by sub Lewis Grabban, only to be denied one-on-one by Federici.

The temperature of the game was rising as Stoke looked for a way back into it, and an innocuous looking challenge by Goncalves on halfway on Tom Edwards saw the Stoke bench up in arms and the referee brandished a red card for the Forest man to leave them battling with 10 men for the closing 10 minutes.

With seven minutes to play, Charlie Adam's cross-shot landed at the feet of Berahino who duly obliged to turn the ball home and set up a tense finale as the visitors laid siege on Steele's goal.

And it was just that as Berahino had a glorious opportunity to find the leveller on 88. A teasing ball to the back post found the unmarked forward and he powered a header agonisingly wide of the target.

Forest defended admirably, battering away everything Stoke had to throw at them in the six minutes of added time and they held firm to book their place in the fourth round.

Forest: Steele, Darikwa, Figueiredo, Dawson, Osborn, Bridcutt, Watson (c), Goncalves, Lolley (Fox 84'), Dias (Cash 72'), Murphy (Grabban 56')

Unused subs: Smith, Janko, Yacob, Appiah

Goals: Osborn 19', Murphy 40', Lolley 50'

Bookings: Lolley 63', Fox 90'

Sent off: Goncalves 77'

Stoke: Federici, Bauer (Ince 57'), Souttar, Williams, Martins Indi, Edwards (Campbell 83'), Fletcher (c), Adam, Berahino, Crouch (Afobe 55'), Bojan

Unused subs: Haugaard, Allen, Shawcross, Martina

Goals: Afobe 60', Berahino 83'

Bookings: Crouch 53', Adam 65'

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 12,915 (1,593 away)

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