Disappointed fans filed out of City Ground early after a performance resulting in a 0-3 defeat against Preston North End last night.
The 22,000-strong attendance was out in force at the beginning of the game but by the end of it, the stadium was a shadow of it’s pre-whistle self.
Forest came out with all the right ideas and looked to be the most dominant side, leaving fans believing they were in for a treat.
Two attempts in the first ten minutes, including an Apostolos Vellios left-footed shot from the right side of the side yard box just went wide, and a header from Barrie McKay narrowly missed the target.
With plenty of end-to-end football, Forest continued to apply the pressure for the first 33 minutes with attempts from Michael Mancienne, Matthew Cash and Daniel Fox.
However, as frustration crept in from Forest’s failure to capitalise, they were punished heavily when Billy Bodin struck from the middle of the box following a well-placed free kick, given away by Vellios.
From that point on, Forest had an uphill battle as ninth place Preston began to get comfortable, drawing out a series of fouls before the half-time whistle – resulting in two yellow cards for Tendayi Darikwa and Daniel Fox.
Coming out of half-time trailing 0-1, you’d expect Forest to put in a gutsy performance but as things began to take a turn from bad to worse, fan frustrations began to creep in.
Preston continued to look dangerous with a header from Tom Clarke and continued to drive forward, with little response from The Reds who were unable to get a shot on target.
It wasn’t long before Tom Barkhuizen headed in the second goal, losing his marker, from a corner to an ecstastic response from Preston’s crowd.
Realising change needed to come, a substitution was made – Ben Brereton replaced a tired-looking Barrie McKay in a desperate attempt to bring new ideas to Forest’s attack but it was to little avail as Preston carried on hunting for another goal and putting the Trentenders under pressure.
Consistent knocking on the door from Preston resulted in an award, heaping the misery on to the home fans and players alike.
A tricky run from pacey Billy Bodin drew out a foul inside the area from Mancienne, who by this point was having a nightmare game meant referee Geoff Eltringham didn’t think twice about pointing to the spot.
After the third goal from Daniel Johnson following a clumsy penalty, it all became too much for the fans as they began to leave City Ground shaking their heads in dismay at the performance they had just seen.
As the game went in to it’s dying moments, it was evident that an exhausted Forest side had been bettered by a stronger side on the night, but also were unable to offer anything new to the minority of fans that stuck it out till the end.
Manager Aitor Karanka described the defeat as the ‘worst moment of his managerial career’.
Sitting in 15th place in the Championship standings, Forest aren’t completely out of the woods yet as 11 points separate them and bottom of the table, Burton Albion.
All to play for Preston at the moment who remain in ninth place on 45 points, as a play-off place is still well within their sights.