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Nottingham Forest 0 Rovers 0

3 October 2012

Rovers' unbeaten away start to the season continued with a good defensive display at the City Ground.

A change in formation to 3-5-2 saw Rovers show more rigidity at the back but that came at a cost in terms of goalmouth action in a goalless draw with Nottingham Forest.

In a game short on chances, Rovers had claims for a penalty in the first half as Gael Givet was sent crashing to the ground, but whilst there was some doubt as to whether the Frenchman was inside the area at the time, there was no doubt about a second half incident that went unpunished as Jordan Rhodes was tripped in the box.

For their part Forest created the best of the opportunities in the second half, Paul Robinson saving brilliantly to deny Henri Lansbury before Billy Sharp wasted a great chance from Andy Reid's centre.

The point sees Rovers move back up to fifth in the table with sixth placed Wolves to come to Ewood Park on Saturday.

Eric Black made two changes from the side that picked up a point on their travels at the weekend at Charlton.

With goalscorer Dickson Etuhu absent with flu it saw a return to midfield for Mauro Formica, whilst a change in formation to 3-5-2 saw Grant Hanley come in with Morten Gamst Pedersen dropping to the bench.

From the off Rovers' new formation was tested as Lewis McGugan fired over a corner kick, the ball whistling through the crowded area but failing to find a decisive touch.

But after that early scare Rovers looked composed and comfortable, a neat passing move saw the ball played up to Jordan Rhodes who shielded it well for Nuno Gomes to shoot, but the Portuguese legend saw his effort well saved by a diving Lee Camp.

Rovers continued to enjoy the better of the possession and threatened with a series of Jason Lowe corner kicks which forced Forest to defend well under the constant pressure.

Then after one of Lowe's corner had been cleared the ball came back into the box to Gael Givet and as the Frenchman chested the ball to control he was pushed down from behind. Players and fans appealed in unison but referee Russell wasn't interested.

At the other the home side came more into the game as the half drew to a close, Lewis McGugan was Forest's dangerman with a shot on the turn that took a wicked deflection but Paul Robinson re-adjusted really well to tip the ball aside.

The resulting corner sparked a spell of pressure from Forest, Gael Givet with an important block followed by Scott Dann with a great headed clearance as Rovers saw the first half out.

The second half was slower to get going than the first but it was Sean O'Driscoll's side that were posing the greater threat with a spell of early pressure.

But like Rovers in the first half, the home side couldn't really carve open a well-marshalled back line, Andy Reid's rising effort on 54 minutes was never going to threaten Paul Robinson's goal.

Just before the hour mark Rovers had strong claims for a penalty ignored when Jordan Rhodes was tripped by Danny Collins in the area but the referee Russell was uninterested in the striker's appeals.

Forest went straight up the other end with Rovers thankful to Paul Robinson for an important save. Space in and around the area had been short on the ground but suddenly the ball broke to Henri Lansbury in the box but the Rovers goalkeeper was quickly off his line to beat his effort away.

In an effort to produce more of an attacking threat Colin Kazim-Richards made his long-awaited return to action, but chances were few and far between for him and his colleagues.

As it was, Forest continued to pose the greater threat with Rovers fighting a rearguard action. Bradley Orr clearing from inside the six-yard box following good work from lively substitute Radoslaw Majewski.

A floated delivery into the box from Andy Reid then gave Billy Sharp his first sight of goal on 70 minutes, but after controlling the ball well, he could only find the side-netting with his shot.

The final few minutes continued in similar fashion, Hanley and Orr with important headers, before Givet showed characteristic bravery to throw his head in the way of the ball to thwart a Forest attack. The Frenchman was bloodied for his efforts.

After four minutes of added time it signalled a continuation of Rovers' unbeaten start on the road this season, it also saw their first goalless draw since April 2011.

FOREST: Camp, Halford, Ayala, Collins (c), Harding, Gillet, Cohen, McGugan (sub Jenas 72 mins), Reid (sub Coppinger 85 mins), Lansbury (sub Majewski 63 mins), Sharp.

Subs not used: Evtimov, Moussi, Greening, Moloney.

Goals: None

Booked: None

ROVERS: Robinson, Hanley, Dann, Givet, Orr, Formica, Murphy (c), Lowe, Olsson, Nuno Gomes (sub Kazim-Richards 64 mins), Rhodes (sub Dunn 86 mins).

Subs not used: Kean (GK), Fabio Nunes, Pedersen, Rochina, Ribeiro.

Goals: None

Booked: None

Attendance: 18,748 (1158 Rovers fans).

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