Nottingham Forest vs Brentford match report: Bees plunge Stuart Pearce deeper into wilderness

Nottingham Forest 1 Brentford 3

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The Independent Online

These are difficult days for Stuart Pearce, whose return to the City Ground as manager sparked an 11-match unbeaten start to the season but who has been unable to arrest an alarming slump that now stretches to 10 without a win in all competitions.

Forest fans remain behind their man, chanting “Psycho” even after Brentford scored their third goal last night. But it is clear that Pearce will need more than loyal support to fix his side’s current failings.

Having been top of the Championship table in the last week of September, Pearce’s side have dropped to 11th place, with Brentford climbing to ninth with their first away win since August.

Forest conceded the opening goal in the 17th minute when Brentford broke rapidly. Right-back Jack Hunt successfully denied Moses Odubajo with a crunching tackle inside the box but the ball ran directly into the path of Jon Toral, who fired into the roof of Karl Darlow’s net.

A catastrophic error from Eric Lichaj, on the field only three minutes, gifted Brentford a second goal in the 35th minute when Andre Gray intercepted a woefully careless pass in front of the Forest penalty area and slotted the ball easily past Darlow.

Forest shot themselves in the foot again three minutes after the interval, with Kelvin Wilson giving away a penalty with a needlessly reckless challenge on Gray and Alex Pritchard converting from the spot.

Ironically, it was only after an injury to left back Danny Fox left them to play the last 11 minutes plus stoppage time with only 10 men, having used all their substitutes, that Forest managed to break down Brentford’s defence, Michail Antonio firing home a rocket from 25 yards.

Nottingham Forest (4-1-4-1): Darlow; Hunt (Lichaj, 32), Wilson, Lascelles (Assombalonga, 45), Fox; Mancienne; Osborn, Lansbury, Ince, Burke (Paterson, 62); Antonio. Substitutes not used De Vries (gk), Harding, Fryatt, Tesche.

Brentford (4-2-3-1): Button; Odubajo (Dallas, 64), Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Douglas, Diagouraga; Pritchard, Toral (Jota, 59), Judge; Gray (Proschwitz, 74). Substitutes not used Bonham (gk), Saunders, Smith, Tarkowski.

Referee M Haywood (West Yorkshire).

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