Nottingham Forest recorded their first win at home since late September by beating QPR 2-0, but a bizarre moment causing the second goal was the debate that overshadowed the match.
Forest started the game the strongest, showing their urge to claim a win at the City Ground, something they hadn’t done in the past five attempts.
Greg Halford, who was pushed upfront, had the first opportunity after neatly dribbling through the defence, but his shot was blocked by the advancing Robert Green.
After great work by Abdoun, Halford has his second chance but poked well over the bar from inside the box.
QPR looked calm and patient on the ball, and had their first effort – Assou-Ekotto’s drive from outside the box – well held by Darlow.
But it was Forest who looked the better side and they went in front after great determination to win back the ball by former QPR player Mackie.
He played the ball to Abdoun, who used his skill to get an inch perfect cross in for Greg Halford, who steered a header into the back of the net.
The visitors then went close through former Spurs man Kranjcar, whose curling effort went just wide.
The second half saw a different QPR, inspired by Johnson and Hoilett, their half time substitutions.
They brought pace and more width, causing a few problems. especially on the counter attack.
And QPR went close to equalising through Tottenham loanee Tom Carroll, whose effort was finely tipped over the bar by Darlow.
Kranjcar produced a teasing cross from a free kick, which went straight through the six yard box, only needing a touch to put it in but it evaded everyone.
Then former Reds midfielder Jenas had a fizzing effort well blocked by Henri Lansbury to clear any danger.
Forest could’ve finished the match off after 60 minutes when Mackie played a delicious ball into the six yard box. Halford, who was unmarked, managed to get on the end of it but his effort was straight at Green.
The Reds had another chance to finish the QPR off.
When a free kick wasn’t dealt with by Green, the ball eventually got to Hobbs whose effort was cleared off the line by Clint Hill.
Then came the bizarre moment that sealed the win for Forest after 80 minutes.
Abdoun’s long searching ball was aimed at Halford, who looked to attempt to flick it by his man, which if he did touch the ball would put the run of Reid into an offside position.
The ball bounced through the legs of Halfords’ marker, with Reid continuing his run and getting to the ball.
The Linesman raised his flag but Reid continued, however all of the QPR team stopped.
The Forest midfielder, completely unopposed, put the ball into the bottom right hand corner and to the visiting teams’ fury, referee Keith Stroud overruled the linesman and granted the goal.
QPR looked to get at least a consolation goal in the five minutes that were added on, but the Forest defence stayed firm.
Forest were also denied a third goal after a good stop by Green from Lansbury’s’ stinging effort.
Forest were by far the better side and should have had more. A great defensive display gave Forest their fourth clean sheet in a row and the Reds climb to fifth with this win.
A great three points for Forest and Leeds are their next opponents on Sunday.