Nottingham Forest 3 Bolton 0 match report: Jamie Mackie, Andy Reid and Henri Lansbury send Forest top
Billy Davies' side continue impressive start to the season with comprehensive win against promotion rivals
Saturday 17 August 2013
Nottingham Forest's start to the season went from solid to spectacular as they notched up their third consecutive Sky Bet Championship win with a 3-0 drubbing of fellow promotion hopefuls Bolton.
Billy Davies' side had claimed 1-0 victories over Huddersfield and Blackburn but goals from Jamie Mackie, Andy Reid and Henri Lansbury steered them to a rather more emphatic success over Wanderers, who played much of the second half with 10 men after Darren Pratley had been shown a second yellow card.
Having collected nine points from three games, it is the best start Forest have made in the Championship since 1997, following a summer when owner Fawaz Al Hasawi has financed nine new additions at the City Ground, at a cost of more than £5million.
Forest were without three strikers through injury, with Darius Henderson joining Simon Cox and Dexter Blackstock in the treatment room, and it left defender Greg Halford to be drafted in to an unfamiliar role as a target man up front.
But the situation did little to dent the hosts' firepower, as they made a storming start that saw them take the lead after only two minutes and go on to claim a comfortable win.
Radoslaw Majewski's clever pass was matched by an equally confident finish from Mackie, the £1million summer addition from QPR, who swept a shot beyond the advancing Adam Bogdan and inside the far post.
Forest were getting plenty of space to threaten in wide positions, with both full-backs coming close. Chris Cohen saw Bogdan get down well at his near post to claim his cross-shot, while Eric Lichaj had the goalkeeper looking on nervously as his clever, curling effort narrowly cleared the bar at the far post.
Craig Davies came close with a diving header for Bolton, David Wheater had a powerful header, which bounced down onto the line off the crossbar, ruled out for offside and Rob Hall flashed a shot wide.
But it was referee Mark Haywood who was to take centre stage as he failed to send off Mohamed Kamara for a two-footed tackle on Reid, opting instead to show a lenient yellow card.
Haywood also cautioned Pratley for an elbow on Adlene Guedioura and, when the referee failed to give a free-kick for Forest when Marc Tierney had clearly hauled back Reid, it was too much for the Irishman, who reacted with an angry challenge of his own on Kamara.
Reid could himself easily have been sent off, as harsh as that might have been given what had gone before, but he was shown a yellow card.
And it proved to be decisive moment as, five minutes into the second half, Majewski delivered another good ball, this time from the right, for Reid to double Forest's advantage, with an emphatic finish from six yards.
Pratley looped a header into the side-netting after a wicked bounce had left Forest goalkeeper Karl Darlow in no man's land - while Halford saw a shot bounce back off the post as Forest pushed again, with another swift counter.
But, in the build-up to that move, Pratley had lunged in with a late tackle on Cohen which spelt bad news for the Bolton man. Referee Haywood, who had played the advantage, went back to show a second yellow and a subsequent red, in the 53rd minute.
By the 65th minute, the game was as good as over as Lansbury dived in bravely send a stooping header inside the far post to make it 3-0, attacking an incisive delivery from Mackie.
Lichaj and Mackie both flashed shots narrowly wide as Forest looked to increase Bolton's misery.
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