Bournemouth’s promotion prospects suffered a setback as Forest continued their mini-revival under Dougie Freedman to inflict a second consecutive away defeat on Eddie Howe’s side, who have slipped four points behind Middlesbrough in second in the Championship and six points behind leaders Derby after failing to win in four matches.
Freedman’s side, by contrast, have hit a purple patch, winning four out of five under the former Bolton Wanderers manager to raise their hopes of mounting a late push for the play-offs.
Forest fell a goal behind after two minutes and 25 seconds as Bournemouth punished them for failing to defend a short corner on the right, leaving Andrew Surman with time and space to plant a wonderful left-footed shot into the bottom corner from more than 20 yards out. Only moments earlier, a similar routine on the left had resulted in a free header for full-back Simon Francis that goalkeeper Karl Darlow just managed to palm over the bar.
The home side responded well, however, gradually working their way back into the contest, confidence high after scoring 14 goals in Freedman’s first four matches in charge.
They were level in the 21st minute after winning three corners in quick succession, the third of which was cleared only as far as Jamaal Lascelles, who drilled the ball back through the crowd for his first goal of the season.
It had seemed unlikely during that impressive opening spell by Howe’s side, but by half-time Forest were looking the better team and were in front on merit. Henri Lansbury and Michail Antonio forced a couple of solid saves from Artur Boruc, but after Francis brought down Antonio on the left the Bournemouth goalkeeper could do nothing to repel a fine free-kick from Lansbury, curled right-footed over the wall and into the net at the near post.
It was a seventh goal in as many games for the one-time Arsenal trainee, who has tripled his tally for Forest in that period after two and a half years at the club. He almost added another in the second half, again from a free-kick, before a header from Lascelles was cleared off the line by Adam Smith.
Bournemouth were not done, though, and would have been back on terms had Surman not missed their best chance in a spell of sustained pressure with a header from a Ryan Fraser cross.Reuse content