Nottingham Forest 1 – 3 Blackburn Rovers
A second half fight back from Gary Bowyer’s Blackburn sent the 3 points back up the road to Lancashire, a result which seemed unlikely at half time. Rovers fielded a solid starting XI, with Jordan Rhodes the sole striker. Forest, needing a win after none in their last 7, went for a positive, attack-minded side; Matty Fryatt re-introduced in a 4-4-2 formation with Henri Lansbury only making the bench after finishing his suspension.
A more then competent start to the match eventually culminated in the home side taking a deserved lead, Britt Assombalonga saw his shot bounce back off the post only for it to be bundled in by Fryatt from a few yards out. Forest looked to build on this, having several long spells of possession but frustratingly didn’t cause much more danger to Jason Steele’s goal.
As half time came, few would have guessed what the next hour would bring. From around the sixty-minute mark, some shabby defending, tactical changes and awful ball retention from the Reds allowed Blackburn to put Forest under serious pressure for the first time in the match. The away side were then rewarded for persistent attacking when Darlow failed to deal with a ball in allowing, one of the two Nottingham born players in the Rovers XI, Alex Baptiste, to level the score. Rudy Gestede came on in the 63rd minute and had made his side look a lot more threatening. Forest had responded to falling behind though, going close twice, but it took the Benin international Gestede just 12 minutes to make it 2-1, heading in a Lee Williamson cross following a quick counter attacking move. This goal deflated the home side, who did not put up much of a fight after this, their situation becoming worse when Rhodes effectively ended the match, capitalizing on a rare Michael Mancienne error.
3 goals in 12 second half minutes earning Rovers 3 great away points moving them up to 8th. As for Forest, they will need to respond, with this awful run almost undoing their great start to life under Stuart Pearce.
|Karl Darlow Played heroically on Tuesday night but undid it in this match, at fault for the first goal and some would say the third. Did pull out a few good saves in the latter stages of the match||3.5|
|Jack Hunt Played well when Forest were on top with some positive runs, absent when under the cosh though and should have done better to stop the cross leading to the equaliser||4.5|
|Michael Mancienne Probably had his worst game in a red shirt, mistake directly lead to Rhodes’ goal, overall game wasn’t abysmal though||4.0|
|Kelvin Wilson Never looked confident and awful distribution, invited pressure on the home side||3.5|
|Dan Harding Made some good runs all match, lost Baptiste for the first goal||5.0|
|Chris Burke Seems to have everything but a good final ball, should have done better when Forest were on top||5.0|
|Robert Tesche One of the few players who had a decent game for the full 90||7.0|
|David Vaughan Was the best player on the pitch for the first hour, was at the center of anything Forest were doing well. Sold Harding short in midfield for the eventual winning goal for Blackburn||7.0|
|Michail Antonio Always looked threatening but it didn’t happen for Antonio today||6.0|
|Matty Fryatt Got a goal but once again showed a lacking first touch, his removal from the game coincided with Forest seemingly giving in though||6.5|
|Britt Assombalonga Almost scored what would have been a spectacular goal, only for to to hit the post letting Matty Fryatt score the opener. Couldn’t, and shouldn’t have been expected too, hold up the ball but missed one good chance||6.5|
|Henri Lansbury Was brought on for a striker in what was a hold what we’ve got move, which only had the opposite effect as he lacked work rate in the middle of the park and made Forest look weaker. Did however come close to scoring with a curling effort hitting the post||5.0|
|Jamie Paterson Looked very low on confidence just hitting poor crosses when confronted with a defender, rather then attempting to beat him like he was doing a few months ago||4.5|
|Jason Steele Couldn’t do anything about the goal he conceded and besides that didn’t have a whole lot to do||6.0|
|Alex Baptiste Got on the score sheet which, as a boyhood Forest fan, he seemed to enjoy, and for the most part dealt with the dangerous Antonio well||7.5|
|Grant Hanley Won any long balls the Forest defence pumped up to Fryatt and Assombalonga, was under pressure for the whole first half and did all to keep his side in it||7.0|
|Shane Duffy The on-loan Everton man was a star performer for Yeovil last season and looks to be continuing that form, like Hanley, contributed to keeping Forest at bay in the first 45||7.0|
|Markus Olsson Got fooled a few times by Chris Burke and was lucky they didn’t lead to anything||5.0|
|Lee Williamson Picked out Gestede well for the eventual winning goal||6.5|
|Corry Evans The Northenrn Irishman may have allowed Forests attacking midfielders too much space in the first half but didn’t in the second, something which contributed to lack burns better performance||6.0|
|Ryan Tunnicliffe Didn’t do a whole lot offensively but tracked back dealing with full backs runs well||5.5|
|Ben Marshall Looked dangerous whenever the ball was at his feet, providing the cross leading the Baptiste’s goal, continuing his fine form of late||7.5|
|Tom Cairney Blackburn’s most creative player had a quiet first half but was then involved in everything they did in the second||8.0|
|Jordan Rhodes Didn’t really get a grip of the game until he scored, failed to hold up the ball and helped Forest get the upper hand, in the first half||7.0|
|Rudy Gestede Completely changed the game, his introduction and a change to two strikers proved to be too much for Forest’s defence||8.5|
|Craig Conway The skill full winger came on when the game was all but won, and didn’t do much of note||6.0|
|Luke Varney Intorduced in the 88th minute, not really long enough to make an impact||4.0|