Nottingham Forest 4 – 0 Reading

A crowd of just under 23,000 lay witness at the City Ground as the home side plundered 4 unanswered goals over a young Reading XI. In truth the score was not flattering to The Reds who didn’t have to get above 1st gear to brush aside their opponents. The Royals are having to deal with financial constraints meaning this could well be a transitional season, although if performances like this and last weeks loss to manager-less Huddersfield continue for a sustained period, actions may well have to be taken.

Forest manager Stuart Pearce said afterwards that he wasn’t impressed with his side’s first half display, even though they took the lead in the 17th minute through Michail Antonio and had the lion’s share of possession. They did allow Reading chances on the break however, two of note falling to young debutant Aaron Kuhl and former Reds striker Simon Cox. The second half saw Forest really turning the screw though; Michail Antonio doubled the lead early on scoring his 4th in 5 games and then turned provider, crossing for Matty Fryatt to end the game as a contest. Record signing Britt Assombalonga capitalised on a goal mouth scramble to make it 4 but after this the game deteriorated along with the weather. Crosses from Jack Hunt, Chris Burke and Antonio were threatening all day and Reading’s back 4 will not look back on this game with fond memories.

Forest (top) line up vs Reading (bottom)

Forest (top) line up vs Reading (bottom)

Nottingham Forest

Karl Darlow Had very little to do, but showed great concentration and determination to preserve a clean sheet when saving from Blackman 6.5
Jack Hunt Not for the first time this season looked extremely impressive down the right along with Chris Burke, bagged his 3rd assist in 4 league games. 8.0
Michael Mancienne Was phenomenal at the back, winning every header despite his small stature, was always perfectly positioned and most impressively was fantastic on the ball with a first touch any player would be happy with 9.0
Danny Fox Similarly to Mancienne in his on ball ability and off ball positioning, especially impressive when you consider his is a natural left back. Made little of dealing with the task of former team mate Cox 8.5
Dan Harding Was subbed off at HT after not being awful but not contributing as much as his right flank counter part, and his replacement did have a larger impact on the match 5.0
Chris Burke Yet again a perfect wing display from Burke who looks to be a very good capture for Forest, assisting the opener with a precision cross to Antonio (the third time this combination has led to a goal) 8.0
Chris Cohen Does the less glamorous role of forests central midfield duo but still does it well, covers the back four and helps spread the ball Cohen today had little to do defensively 7.0
Andy Reid Without playing particularly poorly Reid did not deliver his usual contribution to the game in truth, passing the ball around and delivering a few good set pieces but did little else. 6.5
Michail Antonio Two goals and an assist speak for themselves Antonio gave Chris Gunter an incredibly tough time, showing his new found heading ability for Forest again in the 1st half. 9.0
Matty Fryatt Can be forgiven for a few clunky touches as he led the line very well and most importantly for a striker got on the score sheet 7.0
Britt Assombalonga The bookies new favourite for Championship top goalscorer got another one after a corner wasn’t cleared by Reading (his 4th in 3 games) and showed his new club’s supporters how he offers a whole range of traits, pace strength and that ever-important ability to be in the right place at the right time to get a goal 8.0

Substitutions

Eric Lichaj Looked an improvement after coming on for Dan Harding and playing the second half, his injury troubles look to be behind him. He also went very close to getting a rare goal after his long range effort was well saved 6.0
Jamie Paterson After his fantastic campaign last season it could be seen as a surprise that he can’t get a start but did his best to make a case when coming on, going close to scoring on a couple of occasions and looking lively as ever. 6.5
Ben Osborn Played out the last 15 minutes which were rather uneventful for Ben 5.0

Reading

Adam Federici Wasn’t helped by his defence but it could be said he did not have much of a presence in his area. He did pull off one save of note from Lichaj 5.0
Chris Gunter Had a torrid game, couldn’t mark Antonio from right wing Forest crosses. His defending for the Fryatt goal was poor to say the least 3.0
Michael Hector Looked like he had never played alongside Pearce before. The two lacked any sort of chemistry and any time a ball came in they panicked 4.0
Alex Pearce see above really, just a bad day all round for Reading’s back four 3.5
Shaun Cummings Tried to stick to his task and get forward a bit when his side had the ball, but 2 goals came down his side 5.0
Aaron Kuhl Making his first start and will have learned a lot of lessons. He did grow into the game as it went on though and was part of Reading’s best moments 6.0
Jake Taylor Packed the middle of the park well not allowing Cohen or Reid the space having 2 strikers can sometimes create 5.5
Ryan Edwards The young Aussie played well in the number ten role in the first half, so much so that Pearce changed his system at the break just to deal with him. It did work though and he was invisible second half 7.0
Nick Blackman Forced Darlow into making a rare save after a good one-two but besides this did not do a lot or track back enough 5.0
Simon Cox Failed to ‘prove people wrong’ after doing a lot of running and closing to no avail. He also missed one of Reading’s best chances pulling his angled shot wide 3.5
Jordan Obita Was Reading’s hero last year scoring the winner in a 3-2 victory, but did not have the same luck today playing poorly up against Forest’s impressive right flank 4.0

Substitutions

Oliver Norwood Did not have the desired impact on the game as his introduction led to more of the same for Forest as they walked to victory 5.0
Craig Tanner his half hour cameo will give him experience and aid development but in terms of his effect on the match he did little  4.0
Arron Tshibola another young player who is hardly a house hold name, Tshibola came on too late to do anything worth noting down 4.0 

Man of the Match

Michail Antonio: A hard decision to choose between him and Mancienne but due two his brilliant output of 2 goals and an assist it has to go to the 1.5m pound signing. Chris Gunter will still be having nightmares this time next week 9.0


About Author

Nottingham Forest supporter home and away, Andy Reid's left foot appreciator. 17 at college and hoping to go on to take Sports Journalism at uni.