Your Nottingham Forest v Brentford match report powered by Utilita
Henrik Dalsgaard’s first Brentford goal was enough to beat Nottingham Forest and give The Bees their third 1-0 win in eight days. The Danish defender nodded in with eight minutes to go to settle the game at The City Ground and give Brentford a fourth win in four years on the banks of the Trent. The Bees had to work hard for their win, Forest had plenty of chances and hit the woodwork three times before Dalsgaard popped up to settle matters late on and send Forest the same way as Bristol City and Ipswich Town in the past few days.
It was a game that threatened to produce plenty of goals and saw both teams looking for the win. But Forest’s finishing was awry and an early save from Daniel Bentley was the only time the Brentford goalkeeper was tested. Openings came and went for The Bees as well with final passes sometimes astray but they took the one clear cut chance that came their way and secured a third straight win.
The game opened at a thrilling pace with both teams looking to attack and there could have been goals at either end inside the first 20 minutes. Forest matched up Brentford with five men in midfield and a lone striker but had a slightly deeper starting position. They looked to attack quickly when they got the ball and get men up in support of Ben Brereton but it was Brentford that spent more of the opening exchanges on the front foot.
Dalsgaard drilled a ball across the face of goal early on with no-one racing in to attacking it and another ball in soon after led to Ollie Watkins having a header blocked. Bentley made a fine low save at the other end when Joe Lolley cut inside Josh Clarke and curled an effort towards the far post and Brereton saw an effort from the resulting corner blocked. Efforts from Lee Tomlin and Ben Watson were also blocked by the Brentford backline as Forest tried to create space on the edge of the penalty area.
Watson steered a Lolley cross wide later in the half before Brereton found space to curl in a shot from 25 yards that beat Bentley but bounced down off the crossbar and away to safety. That was as close as either team came to scoring in an end-to-end opening half hour but Brentford were arguably starting to get the upper hand. They were dominating possession and forcing mistakes from Forest. They had openings but often made the wrong choice and failed to create the clear-cut chance.
The Bees had two penalty appeals waved away by referee Andy Davies during that spell. One, when Watkins tumbled under a challenge from Tendayi Darikwa, looked innocuous but when Romaine Sawyers was bundled over by Adlène Guédioura after Neal Maupay had led a break Mr Davies had a much closer look before waving away appeals. Nico Yennaris and Sawyers tried to make something of the loose ball but were crowded out. Dalsgaard blasted high and wide and Sergi Canós nodded a Watkins cross off target after good work by Clarke.
Brentford’s best opening of the first half came when they broke quickly on the right, Dalsgaard fed the ball infield and Yennaris combined with Maupay before the latter steered a shot straight at Costel Pantilimon from 15 yards. Maupay went close again soon after when he got on to a low Dalsgaard cross but his shot deflected over and as half time approached the game started to quieten down. In many ways it was still as frantic but with the defences well organised, there were fewer openings. Guédioura sliced a shot wide and also clipped the outside of a post with a low effort after a Tomlin shot was blocked.
The hosts also hit the woodwork just after the re-start. This time it was Tomlin who was denied, he picked up a pass from Darikwa and lashed in a shot that cannoned away off the near post. Bentley may have had it covered but it was another narrow escape for The Bees. Brereton could also have punished them when he appeared to be through when he sprung the offside trap but the striker cut back, was crowded out and the chance was gone.
Those chances came inside the first six minutes of a second period that started as the first had, with both teams attacking. A superb pass from Josh McEachran enabled Dalsgaard to feed Canós but he blasted wide from 15 yards. The Spanish attacker also pulled an effort across the face of goal after a nice move and Maupay toe-poked wide from 12 yards after Sawyers and Yennaris had combined to make the space inside the penalty area.
Lolley blasted over for the hosts and also saw a chance go begging when Clarke made a superb recovery block after the Forest man looked to have worked his way in to the penalty area. Tomlin went down under a challenge from the impressive Andreas Bjelland and saw Mr Davies almost laugh off his appeals before Guédioura lashed over as the minutes started to tick down. Brentford went looking for the win, introducing Chiedozie Ogbene for his debut and also Emiliano Marcondes Camargo Hansen as they pushed forward. And that double change proved to be vital.
An Ogbene shot looked as if it might test Pantilimon but for it smashing in to Maupay but the next time the Irishman got up a head of steam he won the corner that produced the match-winning goal. McEachran delivered it from the left, Bjelland tried to flick it on but missed and that confused the home defence enough to allow Dalsgaard to steal in and nod past Pantilimon and in to the corner. The header left the home defence with no chance and gave The Bees the lead inside the final ten minutes.
And that was a lead they never really looked like relinquishing. The partnership of John Egan and Bjelland had proved impassable and with Dalsgaard and Clarke providing excellent support, Forest were forced to shoot from distance. An effort from Watson flew high and wide before Matty Cash set up Brereton but Bjelland was there to block. And that proved to be enough for The Bees.
Nottingham Forest: Pantilimon; Darikwa, Figueiredo, Fox, Osborn; Colback; Lolley, Guédioura (sub Vellios 82 mins), Watson, Tomlin (sub Cash 76 mins); Brereton
Subs (not used): Kapino, Lichaj, Mancienne, Bridcutt, McKay
Bookings: Guédioura (53 mins), Darikwa (55 mins)
Brentford: Bentley; Dalsgaard, Egan, Bjelland, Clarke; McEachran; Canós (sub Emiliano 66 mins), Yennaris (sub Mokotjo 78 mins), Sawyers, Watkins (sub Ogbene 66 mins); Maupay
Subs (not used): Daniels, Barbet, Mepham, Macleod