Two first half goals by hot shot Lewis Grabban saw Nottingham Forest claim all three points on Saturday afternoon as they defeated Ipswich Town 2-0 at the City Ground.
Grabban’s two efforts had the Reds comfortably ahead at the interval and they were able to comfortably see the game out in the second half with relegation-threatened Ipswich failing to really lay a glove on them.
Forest’s opener arrived in the 10 th minute. Right back Tendayi Darikwa had time and space to try his luck from distance and his drilled effort was spilt by Ipswich ‘keeper Bartosz Bialkowski, allowing Lewis Grabban to latch onto the loose ball and lift a shot into the back of the net.
Ipswich’s main threat came through striker Kayden Jackson. He almost drew the visitors level with a headed opportunity before unleashing a shot from 20 yards out which forced Forest ‘keeper Costel Pantilimon into a smart save down to his left.
It was Forest who were having the better of the possession and they should have doubled their advantage in the 31 st minute. Darikwa delivered a pin point cross to the back stick where Gil Dias directed his free header against the upright with Bialkowski well beaten.
Forest’s second did arrive in the 38 th minute. Joao Carvalho played a lovely ball over the top to Darikwa, who had found space on the right of the six-yard box. He cushioned the ball across the face of goal and Grabban was able to turn home at the far post for his second of the afternoon.
The post would deny Forest once again minutes into the second half. Joe Lolley delivered a teasing free kick into the box onto the head of Michael Hefele who planted a header against the base of the post, only for the ball to bounce back up into the grateful hands of Bialkowski.
Forest, incredibly, hit the woodwork for a third time shortly before the hour. Grabban got to a ball down the left wing before ‘keeper Bialkowski and he cut inside on his right foot before curling a terrific effort against the top of the bar
The Reds were controlling the game well but Ipswich almost pulled a goal back in the 70 th minute, Jack Lankester curling an effort just wide of Pantilimon’s far post.
Lewis Grabban was rightly voted as Forest’s Man-of-the-Match and he nearly secured his hat-trick in the 86th minute.
A fine through ball by Lolley appeared to put the prolific forward clear but after steadying himself, the former Bournemouth man saw his shot blocked by a recovering Ipswich
Karim Ansarifard was brought on as a late substitution for Forest and he almost opened his account for the club after a delightful attacking move but he swept Carvalho’s pass wide of the post.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST XI (4-2-3-1): Pantilimon (GK); Darikwa, Hefele, Dawson © (Osborn 79’), Robinson; Guedioura, Colback; Dias (Cash 93’), Carvalho, Lolley; Grabban (Ansarifard 87’) SUBS NOT USED: Steele (GK), Murphy, Janko, Yacob
IPSWICH TOWN XI: Bialkowski (GK); Knudsen, Chambers ©, Pennington, Skuse, Jackson (Roberts 58’), Spencer, Bishop (Nolan 71’), Ward (Chalobah 58’), Sears, Lankester SUBS NOT USED: Gerken (GK), Donacien, Rowe, Dozzell
REFEREE: James Linington
ATTENDANCE: 27, 873 (1,493 away)FOREST MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Lewis Grabban