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Match Reports

Stoke 2-3 Forest

Reds top the Sky Bet Championship table with first victory at the bet365 Stadium

27 September 2019

Nottingham Forest moved to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table thanks to an exhilarating 3-2 victory at Stoke City.

Lee Gregory's early opener floored Forest but they responded superbly and turned the game on its head courtesy of strikes from Joe Lolley and Sammy Ameobi, the latter's first goal in the Garibaldi.

Lewis Grabban stretched The Reds' lead to 3-1 just after the hour mark and despite James McClean's late header, Sabri Lamouchi's men hung on to seal their third league win on the bounce.

Lamouchi made two changes from the league victory over Barnsley last weekend as The Reds made the short journey to the bet365 stadium.Ameobi and Jack Robinson replaced Tiago Silva and Yuri Ribeiro respectively.

The home side flew out of the blocks as they went in search of their first win of the season as Gregory made it third time lucky after seeing his previous two efforts denied. 

The warning signs were there for Forest as the former Millwall man saw a shot cleared off the line by Michael Dawson and a free-kick tipped over the bar by Brice Samba but he finally got the better of the Forest defence when he pounced on a loose ball inside the visitors' penalty area and volleyed home to put Stoke ahead.

Just after the half-hour mark, Lamouchi was forced into a change when skipper Dawson picked up an injury and had to be replaced by Chema Rodriguez, who was making his league debut since his summer move to The City Ground.

Forest, who had struggled to find any sort of rhythm in the match, found themselves level on 36 minutes through Lolley. After Jack Butland struggled to deal with a Matty Cash cross, Lolley latched onto the loose ball and fired home from six yards out to put Forest level.

As the half wore on, the visitors became more dominant and began to control possession. Cash was enjoying plenty of freedom on the right-hand side with Grabban always looking dangerous in and around the penalty area.

The Reds continued that momentum into the second half and were instantly rewarded. It was Cash again with the delivery from the right and Ameobi rose above the Stoke defence to power a header past Butland. The summer signing perfectly directed his header into the top left-hand corner for his first goal for The Reds.

Despite a brief fightback from the home side, Forest added a third on the hour mark through Grabban. Ameobi fought and pinched the ball from defender Tom Edwards deep inside the Stoke half and after his cross was played back into the area by Lolley, Grabban managed to turn and poke the ball into the net from inside the penalty area to make it five this season for the frontman.

With a two-goal cushion the visitors were now in full control as Stoke desperately searched for a way back into the match. With ten minutes left on the clock substitute Tyrese Campbell tried his luck from the edge of the visitors' penalty area but Samba comfortably gathered the ball safe from any danger. 

However, with five minutes remaining The Potters did grab themselves a lifeline when McClean flicked on a left-wing free-kick with his head and the ball found its way into the far corner of Samba's net to ensure it would be a nervy final few minutes for Forest.

The Reds superbly controlled the final stages of the contest and picked up another impressive victory on the road to ensure they would end a memorable Friday night at the summit of the Sky Bet Championship.

Forest: Samba; Cash, Worrall, Dawson (c) (Chema 34'), Robinson; Watson, Sow; Lolley (Adomah 77'), Carvalho (Silva 60'), Ameobi; Grabban

Subs not used: Muric, Ribeiro, Figueiredo, Johnson

Goals: Lolley 36', Ameobi 47', Grabban 61'

Bookings: Lolley 20', Dawson 23', Sow 38', Watson 70'

Stoke: Butland (c); Edwards, Carter-Vickers, Martins Indi, McClean; Ince, N'Diaye (Lindsay 51'), Powell (Vokes 68'), Etebo, Clucas; Gregory (Campbell 74')

Subs not used: Federici, Batth, Cousins, Duffy

Goals: Gregory 10', McClean 84'

Referee: Andrew Madley

Attendance: 23,800 (2,783 away)

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