Stalemate at the City Ground highlights Forest’s attacking inadequacies


Relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest played out a stagnant 0-0 draw with mid-table Barnsley, which displayed defensive solidity from both sides but lacked a deciding moment.

The best chance of the game fell to Forest captain Lewis Grabban after 20 minutes who beat the offside trap and had just the keeper to beat, but sliced his effort wide of the target.

Chris Hughton was left visibly frustrated by his side’s failure to convert open opportunities, and expressed his disappointment post game. Hughton said:

“We did have clear chances. I think in any game there are going to be a percentage of chances and you have to hope that they are clear ones. We got the ball into some good areas that I wish we could have capitalised on a bit more.

EFL veteran Sammy Ameobi dragged a shot narrowly wide after the half-hour mark, following impressive build-up play led by new signing Filip Krovinovic. The Croatian’s showing was hailed by the Forest gaffer:

“I thought he [Krovinovic] did very well in what was a difficult game. The position that he played in always had a lot of bodies around him because Barnsley pressed really well, so it wasn’t the ideal type of game for him.

The visitors were left furious when frontman Cauley Woodrow was taken down inside the Forest box, but referee Leigh Doughty waved away appeals for what looked a stonewall penalty.

The home side did have the ball in the back of the net before half-time, but before they could celebrate the linesman’s flag was raised. Anthony Knockaert threaded the ball through to Lewis Grabban who slotted home into an empty net, but the striker’s run was belated.

Barnsley number seven Callum Brittian flashed a shot off-target on the half-volley, which was the general story of the game regarding both outfits.

Woodrow was given a free header inside the box and with just Brice Samba to beat, the forward sent his effort directly into the thankful arms of the reds ‘keeper.

Knockaert didn’t have his best day at the office by any stretch of the imagination, underlined by his glaring miss after Cyrus Christie’s pinpoint delivery. The former Leicester man didn’t record a single successful dribble throughout his 87 minutes on the field.

Samba was called into action by Barnsley midfielder Herbie Kane, whose long-range piledriver was superbly tipped over the crossbar by the Congolese keeper.

With Lewis Grabban failing to make any meaningful impact on the encounter, reports linking the reds with on-loan Watford striker Glenn Murray are leaving fans hopeful of a move.

Manchester United youngster James Garner, who had his Watford contract terminated by mutual consent, sealed a deal with Forest on Saturday before kick-off. The hosts were deprived of cutting-edge creativity, and Garner could be exactly what this side needs.

Forest travel to St. Andrew’s to face Coventry City on Tuesday night in a vital showdown, whilst Barnsley host Wayne Rooney’s Derby County the following day.

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19 year old Football Journalism student at the University of Derby.

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