Nottingham Forest 4 Blackburn Rovers 1: Forest march on towards promotion

A great attacking display saw Forest put four past Blackburn to ensure victory at The City Ground, and to make it ten consecutive games unbeaten.

The Reds were without key defenders Jack Hobbs, Jamaal Lascelles and Eric Lichaj for the clash with Blackburn, but the players filling in fitted in well and the team carried on their recent momentum to start brightly.

Loanee David Vaughan unleashed a swerving effort from long range that tested Eastwood in the Blackburn net after four minutes. Just a few minutes later, Paterson’s drilled cross after running to the by-line, was turned wide by Simon Cox who was under pressure from a Rovers defender. Lansbury was the next player to test the Rovers keeper, after his drilled effort from 25 yards was tipped round the post.

Forest’s period of domination was rewarded after 15 minutes, when Henri Lansbury was brought down in the box by Rovers defender Grant Hanley. The midfielder picked himself up to take the penalty himself, sending the ball down the middle of the goal, just squeezing underneath Eastwood to put Forest in front.

Blackburn started to get into the game more and had a good chance to equalise when Tom Cairney dribbled skilfully by the Forest defenders before being brought down outside the D, but his free kick went just over the bar.

However, Forest continued their pressure and got themselves a second after 34 minutes. The impressive Paterson raced through into the box before Adam Henley took him down. Lansbury stepped up again for the penalty, this time smashing it high into the middle of the goal.

Henri Lansbury celebrates his second goal from the spot

When you were beginning to think that the game might get away from the visitors, they soon got a lifeline of their own. After Forest failed to clear from a corner, the ball eventually found its way to Ben Marshall, who found the space to thump an effort past Darlow into the right hand side of the net.

The second half saw Blackburn apply the early pressure in search for a possible equaliser, something that should have come after 47 minutes. A Blackburn free kick aimed at the back post was headed back across the face of goal finding Spurr, his header looked destined for the top corner, but Darlow was on hand to tip the ball away.

Forest could have made it three after Paterson’s cross picked out an unmarked Simon Cox, who headed wide from six yards.
Forest had to withstand plenty of Blackburn pressure, facing long throw after long throw. Darlow was on hand to deny the visitors again, diving down low to stop King’s effort.

But it was the hosts who got the next goal to put the game beyond doubt. Reid played in the influential Paterson, who with confidence from his recent hat trick in the FA Cup, skilfully skipped by his markers and opened up space to send an angled shot from the right beyond Eastwood’s glove into the bottom left hand corner to make it 3-1.

Forest began to see out the game after an impressive performance, but there was still time for the skipper to put his name on the score sheet. Paterson turned provider this time when he teed up Andy Reid. The Irishman progressed unchallenged and beautifully struck the ball from twenty yards out into the top right hand corner, making it Forest 4 Blackburn 1.

The result leaves Forest in 5th position and right among the promotion pack. Even without three of their four main defenders, Forest convincingly beat fellow promotion chasers Blackburn, and carried on their unbeaten run.

The Reds attacking play was brilliant, as is the progress that Jamie Paterson has made recently. He looks to have fitted well into the Forest side, and his ability is definitely showing. His pace, skill and finishing abilities are causing problems for the opposition, and he could turn out to be a key player in helping Forest push for promotion.

Jamie Griffiths

@Jamiegriffo8

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