Double red rout – just a bad day
CARETAKER manager Simon Ireland believes that Nottingham Forest can still reach the Championship play-offs despite losing – and finishing with nine men – at struggling Reading.
Forest offered little going forward in a scrappy first half and went behind in the 23rd minute, when Reading midfielder John Swift tucked home Mo Barrow’s low cross.
Danny Fox, the Forest skipper, was sent off in the 62nd minute after picking up his second yellow card during a melee involving numerous players.
Forest’s misery was compounded when defender Tendayi Darikwa also saw red, for a lunge at Danny Loader in the 83rd minute, and Jack Robinson scored an own-goal three minutes from time.
Ireland, in temporary charge of Forest after Aitor Karanka left the club on Friday, said: “No one is going to win all their games in the Championship. You have to keep yourselves in in that pack. It was impossible for the last 24 hours not to have had an effect on the players and we didn’t start the game as we wanted to.
“I was disappointed to concede the first goal and also when we went down to 10 men and then nine men.
“For an experienced player like Danny [Fox] to get involved in an argument, when already on a yellow card, was disappointing. He was a bit naïve.
“Both Danny and Tendayi have apologised to both myself and the other players in the dressing-room. It was just a bad day today, but were are more than capable of getting back into the play-offs.”
It was a first win for new Reading manager Jose Gomes at the fifth attempt. “It was a very important three points that we got today,” he said.
“We need now need to recapture the good things that we did today, the intelligent way that we started playing this match.”
Forest began sluggishly and could have gone behind in only the second minute.
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson crossed from the right but Ovie Ejaria, making his Reading debut after a loan move from Liverpool, failed to keep down his header.
Forest survived the scare and built patiently going forward.
Reading resisted the growing pressure and went ahead in the 23rd minute. Swift released Barrow on the right and quickly raced into the middle of the Forest area to tuck home Barrow’s subsequent low cross.
Forest keeper Costel Pantilithere, mon did well to tip over a fine 20-yard free kick from Swift in the early stages of the second period before the major incident of the game on the hour mark.
Murphy badly fouled Swift, for which he was booked. After the ensuing melee referee Oliver Langford issued four more cautions, including one to Fox who had received an earlier yellow card and was sent off.
Ten-man Forest barely made any headway afterwards and were reduced further when full back Darikwa was red-carded seven minutes from time for a late lunge on home substitute Danny Loader.
Robinson then diverted Andy Yiadom’s low cross into his own net to gift Reading their much-needed victory.
HELPFUL: Reading celebrate Forest’s Jack Robinson scored an own goal
SEEING RED: Forest’s Daniel Fox leaves the pitch
STAR MAN JOHN SWIFT Reading