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Match Reports

Report: Nottingham Forest 1 Rovers 2

Joe Rothwell produces a Goal of the Season contender, but Danny Graham's the match-winner at The City Ground

13 April 2019

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Goals from Joe Rothwell and Danny Graham earned Rovers a second win in as many games as Tony Mowbray's side earned a narrow victory away at Nottingham Forest.

Graham's goal proved to be the match-winner just after half time, with Ryan Yates' close range finish soon after ensuring a nervy second half.

But Joe Rothwell's curling effort, a Goal of the Season contender, lifted everyone off their seats just before half time, and will be worth a watch when the highlights go live on Sunday morning.

Rovers defended brilliantly to see the game out and earn the points with Darragh Lenihan in particular producing an exceptional display at the heart of the defence.

Mowbray named two changes to the side for the encounter against the Reds, both alterations enforced, with Craig Conway out due to a thigh strain and Harrison Reed picking up a hamstring injury in training earlier in the week.

That meant that Adam Armstrong returned on the left wing, with Corry Evans coming into the side to partner Lewis Travis in the heard of midfield.

Forest started strongly, with young forward Arvin Appiah seeing his strike blocked excellently by Amari'i Bell after Matty Cash's free kick fell into his path after just three minutes.

At the other end, Bradley Dack attempted to curl into the top corner from the edge of the box, but his effort was comfortable for the giant Costel Pantilimon in the home goal.

The deadlock was almost broken before the half hour mark, but after Elliott Bennett's shot was cleared for a corner, Rothwell's set piece was headed goalwards by Derrick Williams before being cleared off the line.

But it went straight back to Rothwell, who unleashed a sumptuous, curling effort that nestled right into the top corner, beating the 6ft 8in frame of Romanian stopper Pantilimon.

Rovers defended stoutly for the remainder half, with Rothwell's scorching effort enough to take the advantage into the break, with chances few and far between after the 24-year-old's moment of magic.

Rovers started the second half well and Evans lashed wide after a Rothwell corner was cleared into his path on the edge of the box just a minutes after the interval.

But the visitors weren't to be denied and made it 2-0 just three minutes later through Graham's 15th of the season.

The striker bagged his 150th career league goal, tucking home from close range after good work from Bell down the left had initially found Dack, whose effort fell into the path of a lethal Graham.

But life was breathed into the Reds, and four minutes later the lead was halves in sloppy circumstances from Rovers' point of view.

After Pele's dinked cross wasn't dealt with by David Raya, Yates was waiting to pounce, with the young midfielder's effort trickling over the line and into the net.

A glorious chance came and went for Forest soon after as Sam Byram's pinpoint cross was headed over by Matty Cash at the back post.

At the other end, Armstrong showed good footwork to work the ball onto his left, but saw his low effort curl just an inch or two past Pantilimon's right-hand post.

With 23 minutes minutes remaining Rovers had a fantastic chance to wrap things up, but after Dack robbed Yates on the edge of the box, the playmaker saw Pantilimon in his way before the follow up attempt from the same player flicked up off the 'keeper, onto the bar and out for a corner.

Rovers had to ride a late Forest storm, with Joe Lolley's low free kick flying wide before Rothwell's driven strike was clawed away by Pantilimon.

But that chance wasn't going to come back and bite Rovers, who professionally saw the game out at The City Ground and earn back-to-back victories.

Nottingham Forest: Pantilimon, Colback (c), Grabban (Carvalho, 74), Wague, Cash, Robinson, Yates (Osborn, 77), Lolley, Byram, Pele, Appiah (Murphy, 65).

Unused substitutes: Steele, Yacob, Benalouane, Ansarifard.

Goal: Yates, 53

Booked: Yates, 56, Byram, 74

Rovers: Raya, Bennett (c), Lenihan, Williams, Bell, Travis, Evans (Rodwell, 69), Armstrong, Dack (Brereton, 85), Rothwell, Graham (Nuttall, 63).

Unused substitutes: Leutwiler, Nyambe, Smallwood, Mulgrew.

Goal: Rothwell, 29, Graham, 49

Booked: Bennett, 68, Evans Williams, 81

Referee: Darren Bond.

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