Ryan Yates's second-half goal earns Nottingham Forest the win at Rotherham United
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Man-of-the-match Yates struck midway through the second half, firing home a loose ball, to earn a deserved three points for the visitors – the celebrations at the final whistle showing what it meant to the team.
Manager Chris Hughton made three changes to the side which had beaten Blackburn three days beforehand, Ryan Yates, Luke Freeman and Gaetan Bong restored to the starting line-up at the expense of James Garner, Alex Mighten and Yuri Ribeiro.
Rotherham had the best early chances with the strong wind at their backs, Daniel Barlaser just over with one attempt, before Michael Smith shot narrowly wide after Cafu gave the ball away cheaply.
The visitors came more into the game as the half wore on, Yates touching Filip Krovinovic’s effort just wide from an offside position and Cyrus Christie firing into the side netting before Glenn Murray did have the ball in the net, but his glancing header from Gaetan Bong’s excellent left-wing cross was disallowed for another offside.
Brice Samba was then called into action for his first save of the match, comfortably gathering Lewis Wing’s drive. but it was Forest who came closest to breaking the deadlock though, Rotherham goalkeeper Viktor Johansson diving to his right to turn away Anthony Knockaert’s free-kick after Krovinovic had been tripped on the edge of the area.
Krovonivic had the ball in the net within two minutes of the restart as Glenn Murray, Ryan Yates and Krovinovic combined to rob Ben Wiles on the edge of his area, but ref Matt Donohue had already blown for a foul on Wiles.
Murray was then denied by a stunning one-handed save by Johansson as he headed Knockaert’s left wing free-kick goalwards, but again the flag was up for offside.
Knockaert then drew another fine save out of Johansson after 65 minutes, cutting in from the right wing and firing goalwards.
Within two minutes, Forest were ahead though, as Yates reacted sharpest to smash the ball home after Tobias Figueiredo poked the ball goalwards as the Millers failed to deal with Christie’s swirling high ball into the penalty area.
Forest had a let off after 73 minutes though, when Millers substitute Freddie Ladapo completely missed his kick six yards out as Forest failed to deal with a free-kick, and Joe Worrall was alive to throw himself in front of Barlaser’s follow-up.
Yates had the ball in the net again after 77 minutes, tapping in a cross from substitute Joe Lolley, but it was ruled out after the ref blew for a clash between Tobias Figuereido and Shaun MacDonald on the edge of the box, which earned both players a booking.
Rotherham were pressing forward in the dying minutes, but Forest looked dangerous on the break, substitute Lyle Taylor firing into the side netting after breaking on his own, before Johansson got down well to Lolley’s low free-kick.
Smith then missed a great chance to equalise in injury time, heading against the crossbar from inside the six-yard box as the Reds held on.
Forest: Samba; Christie, Bong, Worrall (capt), Figueiredo; Cafu, Yates; Freeman (Lolley, 65), Krovinovic (Garner, 88), Knockaert (Blackett, 88); Murray (Taylor, 75). Subs not used: Smith, Jenkinson, Mbe Soh, Colback, Mighten.