Nottingham Forest impress on Sabri Lamouchi's City Ground debut

Nottingham Forest got the win in Sabri Lamouchi's first match at the City Ground.
Nottingham Forest got the win in Sabri Lamouchi's first match at the City Ground.

Nottingham Forest put in a positive pre-season performance on Friday evening to defeat Premier League outfit Crystal Palace 1-0 in Sabri Lamouchi’s first game at the City Ground since becoming Reds boss.

It was many Forest fans first chance to cast an eye over their side since the appointment of Lamouchi and with several new faces on display, the Reds faithful were looking for promising signs ahead of the new season.

Forest enjoyed a bright opening spell to the game, and they had the game’s first real chance inside the 16th minute. Jack Robinson found fellow full back Matty Cash at the back post however the cross was slightly too high, and Cash couldn’t direct his header on target.

The hosts went close again minutes later as a cross from the left was direct towards Joe Lolley, the Forest player of the year for last season heading over the target from a good position.

Forest have had a busy summer, bringing in a host of new signings, and it was one of those who put the Reds ahead just past the half hour mark. Lewis Grabban’s stabbed effort was denied by Palace ‘keeper Wayne Hennessey but Albert Adomah, signed on a free after his release from Aston Villa, was on hand to dispatch the rebound into the bottom corner.

Just before half time, Crystal Palace had a decent opportunity to draw level after being awarded a free kick in an inviting position. Luka Milivojevic’s effort lacked the power and accuracy however and it went comfortably past the post.

It was the visitors who had the next chance of note around the hour mark as Christian Benteke saw a headed effort easily saved by Aro Muric after the former Liverpool forward had used his strength to meet Andros Townsend’s cross.

Forest were then inches away from scoring a stunning second. Another of their summer arrivals, Tiago Silva, had Hennessey beaten all ends up with his free kick from 30 yards out however the curling drive cruelly rebounded away off the woodwork.

At the other end, Palace themselves hit the woodwork with a chance they should have really buried. Andros Townsend slipped in James McArthur and the Scottish midfielder showed great composure inside the area but saw his low effort clip the outside of the post with Muric beaten.

With ten minutes to go, Palace were still trying to create a way back into the game and former Leicester man Jeffrey Schlupp almost scored the leveller but his effort from the left of the area was smashed over the bar.

Forest had the chance to seal the win in the 82nd minute after Lolley’s whipped cross was dropped by Hennessey, spilling out to Michael Dawson who was just unable to direct his effort goalward.

FOREST XI (4-3-3): Muric (GK); Cash (Darikwa 83’), Worrall, Milosevic (Dawson 63’), Robinson; Watson, Semedo (Yacob 72’), Silva (Ameobi 79’); Adomah (Appiah 63’), Grabban (Johnson 88’), Lolley (Osborn 88’)

SUBS NOT USED: Smith (GK), Steele (GK), Figueiredo, Ribeiro, Walker

CRYSTAL PALACE XI: Hennessey (GK), Ward, Van Aanholt, Milivojevic, Dann, Meyer, Townsend, Schlupp, Benteke, McArthur, Kelly

SUBS NOT USED: Henderson (GK), Sorloth, Hobbs, Daly, Wickham, Woods, Riedewald

REFEREE: Steve Martin

ATTENDANCE: 14,719 (580 away)