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Match Reports

Forest 2-1 Brentford

9 February 2019

Molla Wague scored on his debut as Nottingham Forest clinched all three points with a 2-1 win against Brentford this afternoon.

Lewis Grabban had put Forest into a half-time lead before Wague came off the bench to head home on his City Ground bow. Sergi Canos's goal late on set up a nervy finish to the game but The Reds came out on top against the in-form Bees.

Martin O'Neill handed home debuts to Alex Milosevic in defence and Leo Bonatini up front, while Ryan Yates made his first Championship start in the heart of the midfield.

There was an even start to proceedings but the first effort of the game fell to the visitors on 12 minutes, with Costel Pantilimon parrying away a fierce strike by Said Benrahma.

The Reds slowly looked more confident as they worked their way into the match and found themselves in front on 16 thanks to Grabban's strike.

A long ball over the Brentford defence by Milosevic saw Grabban react quickest and hold off the challenge of Julian Jeanvier to get an effort on goal. His attempt was saved by Daniel Bentley but the keeper could do nothing to prevent Grabban from converting the loose ball for his 16th goal of the season.

The visitors responded well to the set back as they tested Pantilimon again, this time forcing the Forest stopper into a superb save on 22 from Yoann Barbet's venomous free kick.

Back came Forest, however, as Joe Lolley fired wide from Matty Cash's long throw on 25 and a minute later some fine work from Lolley set up Bonatini who sliced wide from the penalty spot when he looked set to score his first goal for the club.

Bonatini was replaced at half-time by Diogo Goncalves and he had a great chance to double the lead on 51 minutes. Lolley played a wonderful reverse pass to play him in on goal, the Portuguese rounded Bentley but saw his shot cleared off the line by Kamohelo Mokotjo.

Two minutes later and Grabban should have grabbed his second, this time Ben Osborn chipping a ball over the Bees defence only for Grabban to prod wide of the target with Bentley beaten.

The Reds were nearly made to pay for those missed opportunities just after the hour mark as Romaine Sawyers rattled a deflected effort off the inside of the post before Bentley produced a fine double save on 67.

Grabban, after a 30-yard run, was brought down inside the area by Jeanvier for a Forest penalty. The frontman dusted himself down to take the kick, only to see Bentley save his low effort and then somehow keep out Ben Watson's follow-up header too.

The visitors poured forward in search of the leveller, with substitute Sergi Canos firing over from 25 yards and Pantilimon having to be alert to deny Neal Maupay from close range.

But with 10 minutes to go, Forest found the crucial second goal as Wague netted on his Reds debut. Having come off the bench to replace Cash, Wague rose highest from Lolley's right-wing corner to beat Bentley to the ball and head into the unguarded net.

The Bees gave themselves hope going into the closing stages as Canos wrong-footed Pantilimon as he slotted into the corner of the net on 89 minutes and as much as they knocked on the door, Brentford couldn't find the leveller as The Reds held on to a vital three points.

Forest: Pantilimon, Janko, Milosevic, Robinson, Osborn, Watson (c), Yates, Cash (Wague 71'), Lolley, Bonatini (Goncalves 46'), Grabban (Ansarifard 87')

Unused subs: Steele, Murphy, Carvalho, Yacob

Goals: Grabban 16', Wague 79'

Booking: Yates 62'

Brentford: Bentley, Dalsgaard, Konsa (Forss 90'), Jeanvier, Barbet, Odubajo, Mokotjo (McEachran 71'), Sawyers, Watkins, Maupay, Benrahma (Canos 63')

Unused subs: Daniels, Dasilva, Ogbene, Sorensen

Goal: Canos 89'

Booking: Odubajo 58'

Referee: Robert Jones

Attendance: 27,829 (1,182 away)

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