Match report: Nottingham Forest 2 Ipswich Town 1 – Late heartache in Klug’s first game
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Ipswich Town conceded twice in the dying moments to lose 2-1 at Nottingham Forest this afternoon.
The Blues played some encouraging football in what was Bryan Klug’s first game in caretaker charge, taking the lead through Grant Ward’s 37th minute header and creating several second half chances.
However, their City Ground curse struck again as Ben Brereton netted an 89th minute penalty before Joe Lolley volleyed home a winner in the fifth and final minute of stoppage-time.
It was the fifth time in the last seven trips to this ground that Town have dropped points to goals conceded beyond the 84th minute.
Following a slow start to the game from both sides, Forest forced Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowski into three smart stops.
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First, in the 10th minute, he was quick off his line to block Ben Osborn’s one-on-one attempt following Ward’s slack backpass.
Town’s custodian then did well to push two low efforts from range around his post – first from Joe Lolley (20) and then from Ben Brereton (25). From the corner which followed the latter, Ben Watson headed inches wide at the far post.
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The Blues may not have created much in the way of chances, but there were encouraging signs of a greater emphasis on pass and move football under caretaker boss Bryan Klug.
Time-and-time again midfielders showed for the ball off the defence, while there was a willingness to pass backwards in order to open up better angles.
While Klug generally sat calmly on the bench, his assistants were very much enaged in the action. Gerard Nash constantly prowled the edge of the technical area passionately directing play, while Chris Hogg stood arms folded and intermittently engaged in considered conversation with his fellow young coach.
Town’s first chance arrived just after the half hour mark when Martyn Waghorn mis-hit a volley after meeting Ward’s corner delivery on the run at the near post.
The Blues’ breakthrough came in the 37th minute. Following Waghorn’s strong hold-up play at the byline, Myles Kenlock whipped a wicked first time cross that Ward glanced home on the run at the far post.
Forest’s fans, who had not seen their team score in the previous six matches, began to greet each misplaced pass with groans.
Town went close again on the stroke of half-time when Tristan Nydam’s deflected angled effort clipped the top of the crossbar following Jordan Spence’s driving and Waghorn’s cross.
The Blues almost doubled their lead within seconds of the restart. Ward burst to the byline and pulled the ball back, with only a last-ditch block denying the on-rushing Nydam from scoring.
Town went close again in the 50th minute when the impressive Luke Hyam fired a golden chance across the face of goal after taking Waghorn’s excellent forward pass in his stride.
Ipswich’s pressure continued as, moments later, Tobias Figueiredo produced flung himself in the way of Cameron Carter-Vickers’ close-range attempt after Jonas Knudsen had helped on Waghorn’s corner.
Teenage striker Morris – who worked his socks off on his full debut – was replaced by Mustapha Carayol in the 55th minute. A minute later, Tristan Nydam appeared to tweak a muscle when chasing back and came off for Callum Connolly.
Forest had a rare chance on the hour when Osborn headed over at the back post after climbing highest to meet a deep Tendayi Darikwa cross.
Carayol’s pace gave the Blues a real counter-attacking threat as Forest tried to get back into the game. Twice he streaked away. On the first occasion he couldn’t quite thread the final pass to an unmarked Waghorn. On the second occasion he did find his strike partner, whose attempt at a cheeky angled lob was held by keeper Costel Pantilimon.
The energetic Ward, who never stopped running in the right wing-back role, had to take a booking for the team when dragging back the full-flight Joe Lolley in the 73rd minute. Lee Tomlin put the 25-yeard free-kick high and wide.
Town’s counter threat continued as Carayol fired inches past the far post after a superb turn of pace down the left by Kenlock.
The Blues would be made to pay for not scoring a killer second.
Brereton was booked for simulation after going down dramatically at the feet of Bialkowski in the area as Forest’s late pressure started.
The hosts were then denied in the 86th minute when a combination of Bialkowski and Carter-Vickers denied Brereton from close-range following Lolley’s through ball.
The same duo combined again three minutes later as Forest were awarded a penalty. This time the free-running Brereton was bundled over by Ward in the box after latching onto and Brereton fired his spot-kick in off the post and past Bialkowski’s despairing dive.
Worse was to come as, with what was virtually the last kick of the game, Lolley rammed a far post volley into the net following Brereton’s deep cross.
NOTTM FOREST (4-1-4-1): Pantilimon; Darikwa, Figueiredo, Fox, Osborn; Colback; Lolley, Watson (cpt) (Bridcutt 78), Guedioura (Cash 59), Tomlin (Vellios 78); Brereton.
Unused subs: Kapino, Lichaj, Mancienne, Dowell.
Booked: Brereton (81)
IPSWICH TOWN (3-5-2): Bialkowski; Spence, Carter-Vickers, Knudsen; Ward, Hyam (Gleeson 84), Skuse, Nydam (Connolly 56), Kenlock; Morris (Carayol 55), Waghorn.
Unused subs: Crowe, Cotter, Folami, Sears.
Booked: Ward (73)