Last-Gasp Forest Snatch Win

Forest vs City

On-loan striker Dexter Blackstock snatched an injury time winner for Nottingham Forest yesterday, as the relegation strugglers beat Bristol City 3-2 at the City Ground.

The away side, who had never recorded a league win at the City Ground, really should have won the match, going ahead twice in the match.

Ivan Sproule opened the scoring after 13 minutes, pouncing on an Iain Turner parry to send the decent away contingent into raptures.

However, Welsh international Robert Earnshaw equalised after 32 minutes, sliding past Adriano Basso. Big central defender, and captain for the day in the wake of Louis Carey’s absence, Jamie McCombe should have done better in his attempts to prevent Earnshaw from eluding him.

The first half ended with the scores level, and with Liam Fontaine needing to be substituted after suffering a concussion earlier in the 45 minutes. His replacement was Izzy Iriekpen, making a rare appearance for Gary Johnson’s side.

In-demand forward Dele Adebola looked to have secured a victory for the away side, nodding past Ian Turner with just 12 minutes to go.

However, the turning point for Forest was the sending-off of City left back Jamie McAllister, for a second bookable offence.

McCallister had, moments earlier, knocked the ball out of play, to allow the physio to attend to fallen City goalkeeper Adriano Basso. Upon the restart, Forest loanee Chris Gunter, showing a distinct lack of sportsmanship, threw the ball limply towards McAllister before chasing down the clearance. In the altercation, McAllister fouled Gunter to gain his second yellow, and his marching orders.

From the subsequent free-kick, Forest took advantage of lazy near-post marking to equalise, with substitute Joe Garner netting to the delight of the home crowd.

Despite the apparent poor show on the part of the Tottenham youngster, City manager Gary Johnson refused to use bad sportsmanship as an excuse.

Talking to the official Bristol City website, Johnson said, “I think it’s wrong (for Gunter to chase it down) but I don’t want my goalkeeper going down with cramp at that moment. I don’t want my left-back kicking it out of play - let the referee do that.”

“It was late in the game and you can’t run the risk of Forest not throwing it back to you. It’s not a rule.”

With just seconds to go, Forest secured an unlikely win, with Blackstock capitalising upon more poor defending to strike home from within the box.

After the loss, Gary Johnson lamented the mistakes which had a big impact, losing City the game and, in all probability, any chance of reaching the play-offs.

He told BBC Sport: “The end to the match has typified our season - we’ve gone from a winning position to a losing position.”

“The turning point was Jamie McAllister’s sending off but we should have defended the free-kick.”

Bristol City remain in 9th position in the table, but are now 10 points behind Burnley in 6th. Nottingham Forest lie in 21st, with 45 points, just 2 outside of the relegation zone.

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