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Match Reports

Birmingham 2-0 Forest

2 February 2019

A goal in each condemned Nottingham Forest to defeat as they were beaten 2-0 by Birmingham City at St Andrew's.

Garry Monk's side struck early through Jota and then again in second-half stoppage time as Che Adams converted a penalty following a deliberate handball by Yohan Benalouane which saw the Forest defender receive a red card.

Martin O’Neill made one change from last weekend’s 3-1 victory over Wigan as deadline-day signing Alexander Milosevic replaced the suspended Jack Colback in the starting 11.

The match started at a frantic pace with both sides looking for an early breakthrough and it was The Reds who came closest. Birmingham-born Joe Lolley cut in from the right-hand side only to see his shot come back off the post with Blues keeper Lee Camp completely wrong-footed by the effort.

Despite Forest's bright start it was Birmingham who took the lead after 13 minutes. Adams and Lukas Jutkiewicz teamed up to play in Jota whose shot beat Pantilimon from inside the Forest penalty area and nestled in the far corner of the net.

Forest, and Lolley in particular, continued to press despite going behind but as The Reds pressed in search of the equaliser, the hosts nearly doubled their lead just before the break. Jutkiewicz poked an effort towards Pantilimon’s right-hand side from inside the penalty area but the Romanian managed to parry the shot around the post. 

O'Neill's men started the second half brightly with efforts from Adlene Guedioura and Daryl Murphy but neither were able to trouble Camp in the hosts' goal. On the hour mark, the visitors introduced leading goalscorer Lewis Grabban and deadline-day loan recruit Leo Bonatini as Milosevic and Murphy respectively made way.

The Reds were now playing with two up top and it nearly brought an instant reward on 65 minutes. Bonatini laid the ball off for an unmarked Lolley inside the penalty area but the midfielder’s volley was straight at Camp. 

Forest were now dominating the match, controlling possession but unable to create any real clear-cut chances as the game entered the closing stages.

With five minutes left on the clock, Bonatini had Forest’s best opportunity. A deflected effort from Lolley fell perfectly for the striker inside the Birmingham penalty area but his fierce effort was deflected inches wide of the post.

That was to be the visitors' last opportunity to salvage something from the match as Birmingham converted a stoppage-time penalty to claim all three points. Adams was the man to strike the final blow as Benalouane saw red for a handball on the line which led to the spot-kick.

Forest: Pantilimon, Janko, Benalouane, Milosevic (Grabban 60'), Robinson, Watson, Cash, Guedioura (Carvalho 72'), Osborn, Lolley, Murphy (Bonatini 60')

Subs not used: Steele, Goncalves, Yacob, Pele

Bookings: Lolley 22', Benalouane 54'

Sent off: Benalouane 90'

Birmingham: Camp, Harding, Morrison, Dean, Colin, Maghoma (Mrabti 81'), Gardner, Kieftenbeld, Jota (C.Gardner 85'), Adams, Jutkiewicz (Vassell 78')

Subs not used: Trueman, Mahoney, Dacres-Cogley, Lubala

Goals: Jota 13', Adams (pen) 90'

Bookings: Kieftenbeld 79', Morrison 90'

Referee: David Webb

Attendance: 24,235 (3,074 away)


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