Play-off agony for Forest

Leicester City came out on top in a thrilling encounter at the City Ground to book their place in the Championship Play-off Semi-Finals.

A win for the Reds could have secured 6th place but a last gasp Anthony Knockaert winner sent Leicester into the final play-off place.

The match begun as anticipated with a fast tempo and both teams going all out to grab the much needed three points. Forest were attacking from the off, winning a free kick on the edge of the ‘D’, but Reid’s effort curled just over the crossbar. The Red’s quick start was rewarded soon after when a Reid cross caused a scramble at the back post, the Leicester defenders failed to clear and Simon Cox took full advantage to fire home past Schmeichel after four minutes sending the Forest fans wild.

Leicester started to add pressure and came close through Anthony Knockaert, as he skilfully found his way through a couple of Red’s defenders and curled an effort that skimmed the top of the crossbar. Their equaliser came after a corner on 23 minutes which was played short and found its way to Matty James, whose effort was deflected past a diving Darlow by Elliot Ward. Forest could have responded soon after, as a nice Red’s passing move and good play from Guedioura led to Lansbury finding room, but his shot was saved and pushed away by the keeper.

Knockaert’s 90th minute winner ended Forest’s play-off charge

Forest had Darlow to thank on numerous occasions after a series of fine saves keeping the scores level, but he was beaten just before half time when Knockaert kept the ball in play and swung a cross in that went over Darlow to an unmarked Andy King who headed in from a couple of yards, to make it 2-1 to Leicester. Forest nearly responded straight away as a couple of corners caused scrambles in the box before being cleared off the line and a shot being fired just over the bar.

Forest was strong after the break and a Reid free-kick which found Ward, who rose higher than everyone to head past Schmeichel, levelled matters on 49 minutes. The game was open and end-to-end as both teams went out for the win. Forest had a chance to go in front again after neat passing play between Reid and Majewski, but the resulting shot from Lansbury was straight at the keeper. Leicester City’s Chris Wood came close on a couple of occasions with a couple of free headers that just went wide of the post.

The match ended in dramatic fashion, Forest broke and pushed forward, but it was intercepted and Knockaert countered and was now 4 on 1 with the Forest defence. His pass found Wood who with and advancing Darlow, passed back to an unmarked Knockaert who put the ball into an empty net to give Leicester a 3-2 lead in the dying minutes. Forest had chances late on, but a Majewski effort was saved well and a Ward shot hit the side netting.

The result pushed Leicester into sixth spot, as Bolton drew against Blackpool, where they will now face Watford in the play-offs. Although the result ended Forests hopes of a potential promotion push, this season has been a fairly successful one for The Reds, despite an inconsistent start on and off the field, and they will now look to next season where they will begin again.

Jamie Griffiths 

Written By