Nottingham Forest 0-2 Middlesbrough: Forest suffer sixth loss in seven games



Middlesbrough goal
Opening goalscorer Andraz Sporar was playing just his second game for Boro

On-loan pair Andraz Sporar and Onel Hernandez opened their Middlesbrough accounts as a debut howler from Nottingham Forest keeper Ethan Horvath piled more pressure on boss Chris Hughton.

United States keeper Horvath, a summer signing from Club Brugge, badly miscontrolled a backpass to let Hernandez steal in to seal the points and keep Forest rooted to the foot of the Championship.

Slovenia striker Sporar, a transfer deadline day capture from Sporting Lisbon, had crashed home an emphatic finish midway through the first half to put the visitors ahead on his first Boro start.

Victory, Boro’s first in five matches, moved Neil Warnock’s side up seven places to 11th, while Forest have just one point to their name after a sixth defeat in seven matches.

Hughton took charge at the City Ground just under a year ago after a similarly poor start to last season. Forest had lost their opening four games, costing predecessor Sabri Lamouchi his job.

The former Newcastle and Brighton boss will fear the same fate could befall him – with Chris Wilder and John Terry among those linked – after a fifth straight home loss in all competitions.

Hughton handed Horvath his bow as Brice Samba paid the price for errors in previous games, but none of those mistakes were as glaring as the awful touch that gifted Boro’s second to Norwich loanee Hernandez.

It could have been even worse for Forest and Horvath as he spilled Uche Ikpeazu’s late header but a covering defender cleared Grant Hall’s follow-up to deny the visitors a third goal.

Philip Zinckernagel was Forest’s brightest spark, testing Joe Lumley from the edge of the box early on before teeing up James Garner to drill wastefully wide from similar range.

But the Dane, on loan from Watford, was caught in possession by Anfernee Dijksteel in the build-up to Boro’s opener and Marcus Tavernier’s slide-rule pass sent Sporar racing away to fire high into the net.

Confidence-shorn Forest never recovered, a close-range Joe Worrall effort that was deflected over the closest they came to an equaliser before Hernandez robbed Horvath to slot into an empty net and deepen their woes.

Boro boss Neil Warnock told BBC Tees:

“They let me down on Saturday, three or four of them, and I made sure I told them in the dressing room. But tonight nobody let me down, everyone from one to 11 did their job and played some good stuff.

“We started better, and in a difficult game too because with the pressure on Forest you know they are going to come and have a go at you.

“But I think Sporar’s goal gave us that little bit of confidence – it was a great finish and a great ball from Tav (Tavernier) as well.

“Sporar hasn’t played many minutes in the last 12 months so it will have done him the world of good.”

Line-ups

Nottm Forest

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Horvath
  • 6Mbe SohSubstituted forRichardsonat 74′minutes
  • 4Worrall
  • 26McKenna
  • 15Lowe
  • 20Johnson
  • 22YatesBooked at 68mins
  • 37GarnerSubstituted forLolleyat 67′minutes
  • 11Zinckernagel
  • 7Grabban
  • 33TaylorSubstituted forCosta Silvaat 67′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Figueiredo
  • 10Carvalho
  • 18Ribeiro Dias
  • 19Costa Silva
  • 23Lolley
  • 30Samba
  • 45Richardson

Middlesbrough

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Lumley
  • 2Dijksteel
  • 4Hall
  • 6Fry
  • 14PeltierBooked at 50mins
  • 16HowsonBooked at 45mins
  • 23Léa SilikiSubstituted forJonesat 71′minutes
  • 7Tavernier
  • 25CrooksBooked at 62mins
  • 8HernándezBooked at 73minsSubstituted forWatmoreat 87′minutes
  • 11SporarBooked at 26minsSubstituted forIkpeazuat 80′minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Ikpeazu
  • 13Olusanya
  • 18Watmore
  • 22Bamba
  • 24Malley
  • 28Daniels
  • 35Jones

Referee:
Andy Woolmer

Attendance:
23,830

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