Nottingham Forest rue missed chances in 2-0 defeat at Barnsley
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The Reds dominated possession, but were guilty of profligacy in front of goal – particularly striker Miguel Angel Guerrero – before being undone by two late goals to slip to a third defeat at Barnsley within just five months.
After those two 1-0 defeats at the Tykes within 125 days – on the penultimate day of last season,post-lockdown, and in the Carabao Cup on the first day of this one – Forest were looking to exact revenge at Oakwell, a ground which has not been the happiest of hunting grounds over the years.
Chris Hughton made two changes to the side which beat Wycombe 2-0 last time out, before the international break.
Ryan Yates, on his 23rd birthday, and Joe Lolley replaced the injured Samba Sow and Sammy Ameobi, respectively, Ameobi dropping to the expanded bench of nine players following a change in rules.
Forest enjoyed the lion’s share of possession early on, although Barnsley looked quick on the break, with Lolley and Anthony Knockaert both guilty of giving the ball away too easily.
It was from one of these cheap turnovers that Cauley Woodrow saw his 20-yard effort rattle back off the crossbar, after 12 minutes before, five minutes’ later, it was Conor Chaplin’s powerful shot from the edge of the box which smashed back off the crossbar.
Guerrero then should have put Forest ahead, pouncing on Michael Helik’s weak back-header, but seeing his shot blocked by the legs of Barnsley goalkeeper Jack Walton.
Joe Lolley was then defied by a brilliant stop from Walton as he arrived at the back post to volley Knockaert’s cross towards goal after a flowing move through midfield.
Guerrero then missed a glorious chance after 37 minutes as Forest broke quickly, but after Lolley played him in, clear on goal, he could only shoot tamely at Walton in the best chance of the goalless sfirst half.
Walton was then at his best in the second half, diving to his right to push away Lyle Taylor’s goalbound header, following good work by Yates, Knockaert and Cyrus Christie down the right wing
Forest were dominating possession, but the next big chance fell the way of the hosts – Woodrow driving his shot against the underside of the crossbar and seeing it bounce down and away after being played in by Luke Thomas.
The visitors continued to dominate possession, but were undone by a sucker punch with just five minutes to play, as Callum Styles rifled the ball into the top corner from 20 yards, from Woodrow’s pullback, to put Barnsley ahead.
And it was 2-0 just three minutes later, Woodrow finishing neatly into the corner after good work by Callum Brittain down the right wing.
Forest: Samba; Christie, Ribeiro, Figueiredo, McKenna; Knockaert, Yates, Colback, Lolley; Guerrero (Freeman, 73), Taylor. Subs not used: Smith, Jenkinson, Bong, Ioannou, Mbe Soh, Cafu, Arter, , Ameobi.