Reds FT: Nottingham Forest 3 Barnsley 2

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The Reds have drawn on their last three visits to the City Ground but were denied a point today by a late Darius Henderson winner for high-flying Forest.

Forest hadn’t conceded a home goal and have taken the lead in all their five games.

Barnsley threatened first when Dawson was left in space 25 yards from goal, only for his shot to be blocked by Wilson.

Jennings thundered in a similar effort a minute later but fellow centre-back Hobbs got in the way of his shot.

There was a threat from Forest when Cox only marginally failed to latch on to a neat Lichaj through-ball

The woodwork came to the Reds’ rescue in the 10th minute whenmidfielder Majewski found Cox expertly with a threaded through-ball, and though the striker was clear he side-footed a precise shot against the post and the ball flew to safety.

Veteran Barnsley stopper Pollitt thwartedMackie, who had charged clear of the visitors’ centre-backs in pursuit of Cox’s pass.

Forest were in the ascendancy and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 18th minute. Lansbury played in Mackie, and though Pollitt saved his shot, the rebound fell kindly into the path of £2m man COX, who steered the ball into the gaping goal.

Incredibly Barnsley equalised within two minutes. Pocket dynamo Perkins charged into the Forest box and was unceremoniously bundled over by giant midfielder Moussi, and referee Mr Williamson pointed straight to the spot.

O’GRADY went straight over for the ball and coolly slotted past Darlow to make it 1-1 - the first goal Forest had conceded at home this term.

Forest were denied by the woodwork again. Reid curled a sublime 25-yard free-kick over the wall and against the bar, with Pollitt then performing heroics to somehow keep Cox’s follow-up out from almost behind his own goal-line.

Another Lichaj cross wasn’t cleared by Barnsley. The ball fell kindly for Majewski, whose drilled shot from 15 yards was superbly beaten away by the agile Pollitt.

There was another threat when Majewski saw a shot blocked, before Forest regained the lead in agonising circumstances deep into first-half stoppage-time.

Reid curled a dangerous free-kick deep into the Reds’ box and ETUHU, facing his own goal, could only manage to guide the ball inadvertently past Pollitt with his knee. HALF-TIME

Forest......................2

Barnsley................. 1

Flitcroft made a change at the back at half-time, with the now fit-again Cranie coming on in place of M’Voto at the heart of a defence that had looked pretty static for the goal just before the break.

The visitors created the first opportunity of the second period, with Jennings, who had been quiet so far, lashing in a shot from outside the box which flew narrowly wide.

At the other end Forest responded with an effort from Lansbury which was comfortably gathered by Pollitt.

Forest were looking fragile as the hour mark approached, and O’Brien almost profited as his harmless-looking shot was deflected high up into the air, before having to be frantically cleared almost off the line by home defender Wilson.

Both sides were cautiously probing, but of course Barnsley’s need was now much greater if they were going to get anything out of this game.

O’Brien was replaced by Cywka in the 64th minute as Flitcroft will clearly have been after something of a fresh attacking impetus, but still it was Forest who were pressing and both Cox and Lansbury tested Pollitt.

The Reds shocked the City Ground in the 69th minute, however, when a wonder goal hauled them level. After Dawson was fouled in a seemingly harmless position some 35 yards from goal, CYWKA put the ball down and whacked a shot into the top corner of the net for a dream strike.

Forest were unlucky when they struck the woodwork for a third time as sub Paterson thumped a shot against the base of a post.

Barnsley’s resistance was finally broken, six minutes from time when sub HENDERSON powered home a header from Reid’s in-swinging corner-kick to make it 3-2.

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