Sunday, 21 August 2011

Gunter helps McClaren to first league win

End of the drought: Chris Gunter heads home the winner
Gunter heads home his winner after 31 minutes

Chris Gunter scored the only goal to secure Steve McClaren's first league win as Nottingham Forest manager against Doncaster on Tuesday night.

However the Reds did not have it all their own way and had to contain a strong Rovers side, who had the bulk of possession for long periods of the second half.

Doncaster had several chances within the opening few minutes of the game, Rovers star James Coppinger first coming close with a shot that had Lee Camp diving to his right only to see the ball fly wide.

Moments later Kyle Bennett hit a rasping shot from 20-yards forcing Camp to react again, tipping the ball over his bar, however referee Andy Woolmer did not see the touch and failed to give a corner, much to the anger of the home fans.

Forest's first real chance fell to Wes Morgan following a Andy Reid cross towards the back post, but Morgan failed to convert looping the ball just wide.

Camp was soon called on again when recent Reds trainee Giles Barnes provided for Simon Gillett whose shot on goal was too tame and was easily gathered up by Camp.

New Reds signing Matt Derbyshire looked sharp on the break and should of done better when the highly-rated Radoslaw Majewski found him unmarked - but his low ball failed to find the waiting David McGoldrick.

Forest's goal came after Brendan Moloney won the ball in midfield and hit a cross from the right finding the towering figure of Chris Gunter who headed the ball down towards Rovers keeper Gary Woods - who was unable to stop the ball trailing over the line.

Just before the break Doncaster could of been level after Gillett's weighted ball found Coppinger who hit a shot towards Camp's far post - fortunately for the Reds Camp reacted sharply, parrying the ball over the bar with both hands.

Forest also had dangerous spells before the break and Majewski hit a volley wide of the right-hand post following a driven Reid corner.

Rovers took control early in the second half and Barnes found Gillett again with a good cross - but the ex-Southampton man was denied thanks to great defensive work from Gunter.

Following a spell of possession from Rovers, which came to nothing, Majewski came close with a free kick which curled just over the goal and rested on the top of the net.

Ishmael Miller made his Forest debut with 15 minutes remaining, coming on to replace McGoldrick who had failed to get any real grip on the game.

Sean O'Driscoll's men did come close to an equaliser after catching the Reds out with a quickly taken corner. Gillett made a run into the Forest box and hit a powerful shot at Camp who saved well allowing Forest to hold on for three points.

The Reds now have four points from their first three Championship games and play high-spending Leicester at the City Ground on Saturday. Kick off is at 3:00pm

Final score: Nottingham Forest 1 Doncaster 0

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