Billy Davies continued his unbeaten start as Nottingham Forest manager on Saturday afternoon as his side swept aside 10-man Charlton with goals from in-form midfielders Radi Majewski and Henri Lansbury, writes Shaun Wheatcroft.
Forest dictated the play in an impressive first half, but failed to consolidate their dominance with a goal - Charlton were then forced to play the rest of the game with just 10 men after striker Yann Kermorgant was given a straight red card eight minutes before the break.
In the second period the Reds continued to play with urgency, driving attacks at a rocky Addicks’ defence. And it wasn’t long before the visitors were rewarded when Majewski tapped home before Lansbury added his second of the season to seal the victory.
The Reds’ manager made just one change from the side that put six goals past Huddersfield at the City Ground on Tuesday evening, Darius Henderson coming in to replace Dexter Blackstock, who was named amongst the substitutes.
Davies’ men were looking to continue their good form at the Valley and were impressive in the early stages, settling into the game well and causing the Charlton defence some immediate problems.
Polish midfielder Majewski scored a hat-trick in mid-week and his confidence was evident in the opening minutes, letting fly with two efforts on goal – the first was well blocked while the second sailed high over the crossbar.
And it was the former Polonia Warsaw man who was involved again as Forest saw the first clear-cut chance of the game fall their way. Henderson had headed down for strike partner Simon Cox but the ball broke to Majewski who fired over from 12-yards.
The hosts struggled to contain a confident Forest side and goalkeeper Karl Darlow had little to do in the Reds’ goal with Charlton unable to get a foothold in the game.
A Cox break down the middle then led to the frontman combining with Lansbury before the former Arsenal man picked out Majewski – the midfielder looked to be in on goal again but was closed down well by Addicks’ keeper Ben Hamer.
Yet, things turned sour for the home side just before the break when forward Kermorgant was handed a straight red card after the former Leicester player was adjudged to have kicked out at Reds’ defender Greg Halford.
Chris Powell’s men finally had their first effort on goal moments before the break – however, unfortunately for the home supporters; midfielder Bradley Pritchard’s shot from range went wayward of the target.
After the teams emerged from the tunnel for the second half the match continued in much the same vein for the visitors – Algerian midfielder Adlene Guedioura firing an effort on goal that rose high before clearing the crossbar.
But they did get the breakthrough soon after – Majewski found himself surrounded by Charlton defenders inside the penalty box but wriggled past Scott Wagstaff before poking the ball home past the exposed Hamer to score his fourth goal in two games.
And just minutes later, Lansbury doubled the advantage following a mistake from Hamer. Cox found space down the right and hit a shot that should have been easy pickings for the keeper. However, the former Reading man fumbled the effort to allow Lansbury to slot home Forest’s second.
In the closing stages of the match the Reds continued to be the superior side with former Millwall striker Henderson glancing a header just wide from Andy Reid’s cross before Majewski fired over from Chris Cohen’s lay-off.
Former Notts County midfielder Johnnie Jackson bent a free-kick around the wall and just inches over the bar in the dying minutes, but it was not enough for the home side as Billy Davies’ men left the Valley with all three points.
The Reds remain in 8th position in the Championship table but are now just four points adrift of the final play-off position. In their next outing Forest will take on Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Saturday 2nd March. Kick-off is at 5:20pm.
Charlton Athletic: Hamer, Jackson, Morrison, Stephens (Fuller, 45), Wagstaff (Haynes, 59), Pritchard (Obika, 90), Wiggins, Kermorgant, Solly, Cort, Dervite.
Nottingham Forest: Darlow, Jara, Ward, Halford, Cohen, Lansbury (McGugan, 76), Guedioura, Majewski, Reid (Greening, 85), Henderson, Cox (Sharp, 80).
Man of the match: Henri Lansbury.
Referee: Andy Madley.
Attendance: 18,697 (away: 2,534).