Nottingham Forest picked up their second consecutive home win as they beat Brentford 2-1 in the Championship.
The Reds were looking to get back to winning ways after last weekend’s disappointing defeat against Birmingham. They got themselves off to a superb start as Lewis Grabban gave Martin O’Neill’s side the lead after just 16 minutes.
Despite the Bees largely dominating possession, the Reds were able to double their advantage with just over 10 minutes left to play. Molla Wagué scored just nine minutes after being introduced as a substitute.
However, as always, it wasn’t going to be that straightforward. Brentford pulled one back late on through Sergi Canos. It did create a nervy final few minutes at the City Ground but the Reds held on for three vital points.
In short, it was a much-improved performance from Forest. The Reds had failed to score in seven of their previous 10 matches. The reintroduction of Grabban to the side certainly helped in regards to putting that record right.
Brentford arguably came into this match as favourites. The Bees had built up a superb record against Forest since they’ve returned to the Championship. They had won at the City Ground on their last four visits prior to today’s game.
Thomas Frank will have been left disappointed that his side did not make more of their superior possession. Despite having 70% of the ball, it was Forest who created better chances throughout.
Return of Grabban provided a boost
Unsurprisingly, O’Neill’s starting line-up caused another stir on social media ahead of this game. Many supporters questioned the absence of João Carvalho, Claudio Yacob and new signing Pelé.
However, there were also a number of positive changes to the team. Both Grabban and Léo Bonatini were given the chance to shine from the start, whilst Ryan Yates was handed his first Championship start of the season.
Realistically, the scoreline should’ve been a lot more comfortable for the Reds. They had numerous clear chances either side of half-time which they should’ve taken. Diogo Gonçalves replaced Bonatini at half-time, and both were guilty of missing big chances.
Grabban could also have had more than just one goal. He missed a good opportunity at the beginning of the second-half, before seeing his penalty saved by Daniel Bentley just over 10 minutes later. Considering he hadn’t scored in his last nine appearances, he certainly didn’t appear short of confidence.
Could this be the start of something?
In this case, the key question is whether the Reds can go on a good run on the back of this win. There’s no doubt that Brentford are a very good footballing side and to get the better of them is a move in the right direction. However, it doesn’t get any easier for O’Neill’s men with a trip to West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.
Following the conclusion of today’s match, Seat Pitch rounded up exactly what Reds supporters had to say about the game.
Yates. Milo. Grabban. Come on down. Absolutely superb. Also thought Watson had a good game. Tough game Tuesday night. But it seems Martin is starting to get his style across more. Roll on. #nffc
— CityGroundShelfSide (@CityGroundShelf) February 9, 2019
Thought Yates showed today why he has always been rated so highly coming through the #nffc system. I think he is the kind of player Roy Keane could really help in his development
— NFFC Fans Voice (@nffcfansvoice) February 9, 2019
Thought Milosovic was brilliant today, not only his own play but martialling others too, can’t wait to have all #nffc central defence fit and ready to play now and I haven’t said that in years, Youhan. Milosovic, Dawson & Figs all look quality to choose from.
— Red Dog Macca (@halftimepies) February 9, 2019
Still not sold on MON, seems complete 180 from the Warbs/Kranky approach. Very much reminded me of a freedman set up and we’d be lauding that result under him. I hope as we move on we get a little more football thrown in to back up the work rate & commitment so fingers Xd #nffc
— David Dewar (@DJDewar_uk) February 9, 2019
Just got home from the match and seen the stats, A win is a win but we were the home side today … scary! Still three points #NFFC
— Daniel Lamb (@lambydan) February 9, 2019
Milosevic and Yates were brilliant today. Credit to Watson for coming back in and doing well. Grabban proving once again why he should be number 1 striker! #nffc
— Callum Chivers (@CallumChivers91) February 9, 2019