clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Match Report: Nottingham Forest 3-0 Bolton Wanderers

A 3-0 defeat, goalkeeper sent off, best player injured and one shot on target. Brilliant.

Naughty boy: Ben Amos saw red and conceded a penalty against Nottingham Forest
Naughty boy: Ben Amos saw red and conceded a penalty against Nottingham Forest
Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Dougie Freedman once again came back to haunt Bolton Wanderers as his Nottingham Forest side sauntered to a 3-0 victory at the City Ground.

Bolton remained without Mark Davies, although he was an unused substitute, and the injured Zach Clough and Prince, and never even looked like posing problems for the hosts - only mustering one shot on target, in the last minute of the match.

Forest dominated early proceedings and got their noses in front after just 11 minutes from the penalty spot. Some comical Bolton 'defending' saw them unable to cope with a hopeful long ball, then simply allow Jamie Ward dash through the middle only to be brought down in the box by a hesitant Ben Amos. How much contact the goalkeeper made is dubious from TV pictures, plus Dean Moxey actually cleared the ball from Ward's heavy touch, but the referee unsurprisingly saw it as a sending off offence.

Josh Vela was mysteriously chosen as the lamb selected for sacrifice - and threw his jacket to the floor in disgust at being removed - to allow Paul Rachubka to make his debut, and the goalkeeper was unlucky to be beaten by a superbly placed penalty by Nelson Oliveira.

Just four minutes later the lead was doubled and it was well and truly game over. Ward walked past Rob Holding far too easily down the Forest left, then knocked in a floating cross that Moxey somehow got underneath but didn't jump to head it, which allowed youngster Oliver Burke a simple header to score from six yards.

So just 16 minutes into the match we're 2-0 down, reduced to ten men and stand absolutely no chance thanks to two diabolical pieces of 'defending.'

From that moment on it could have been a cricket score, with Wanderers not threatening and looking likely to concede at any given moment. Forest could have scored another four goals before half-time, with Ben Osborn shooting narrowly wide, then Ward going close twice in a minute as he saw a shot well saved by Rachubka then hit a superb dipping effort against the bar, and then Rachubka denied Gary Gardner just before the break.

Forest picked up where they ended the first half after the break, with Ward again going close not once but three times and shooting wide on each occasion. To make matters even worse for Bolton, David Wheater - our only half decent performer all season - was forced off by an injury after 20 minutes of the second half and is set to miss six weeks with a hamstring injury. That saw Neil Danns move to right back, with Holding moving into the middle of defence.

Forest eventually put an extra layer of gloss on the victory after 83 minutes, thanks to Darren Pratley gifting them possession on the edge of their own box with a very commendable impression of Bambi. Forest broke down the left, Ward making a run inside totally untracked, breaking into the box and hit a shot that looped off Holding's legs, over Rachubka and in off the underside of the bar.

Gary Madine had a shot on target in the last minute, which was duly applauded ironically by the brave travelling 542 fans.

It was yet another away day to forget for Wanderers, who haven't won on the road since 6th April. Not only that, they now have just one victory in their last 22 league matches and 2 wins in 29 matches in all competitions this season. Even more worryingly, we now go into Tuesday night's FA Cup replay with Eastleigh without arguably our three best players Ben Amos, David Wheater and Zach Clough.