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Forest edge seven-goal thriller

12 August 2017 National Sport


Last Updated: 12/08/17 5:42pm

Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Nottingham Forest.

Mark Warburton made a winning return to former club Brentford as his Nottingham Forest side edged a pulsating seven-goal thriller.

Andreas Bouchalakis bagged a brace, with Daryl Murphy and Kieran Dowell also on target as the visitors triumphed 4-3 – their first win over the Bees in seven attempts.

Goals from John Egan, Andreas Bjelland and Neal Maupay were not enough to give Brentford their first points of the season.

The game exploded into life seven minutes before the break when the hosts took the lead, skipper Egan’s far-post header creeping in with help from the post and Forest goalkeeper Jordan Smith.

It was all Brentford for much of the first period but the visitors turned the game before the break.

The unmarked Bouchalakis smashed home an unstoppable volley from the edge of the area on 41 minutes, with unsighted Bees keeper Daniel Bentley rooted to the spot, and the hosts’ defensive frailty was exposed again two minutes later when Tendayi Darikwa wriggled his way clear of a cluster of Brentford defenders and fired in a low shot which cannoned back off the post for Murphy to tuck home.

It was flattering on a Forest side who made few meaningful forays into the Brentford half, but Dean Smith’s side will rue a series of missed chances before the interval.

Smith’s team-talk went out of the window within two minutes of the restart when Bouchalakis strode forward unchallenged and thrashed a swerving drive past a full-stretch Bentley to give Forest a two-goal cushion.

Lacklustre Brentford badly missed centre-back Harlee Dean, who watched on from the bench with Sheffield Wednesday reportedly stepping up their interest in the B#3million-rated target.

But they gave themselves hope on 79 minutes when Bjelland’s glancing header from a Jota cross crept over the line. But Forest hit back when Dowell latched onto another half clearance and fired a low drive which deflected past Bentley and in.

Brentford wanted to score the perfect goal throughout and it came when a well-worked move found new signing Maupay, who slid a low shot just inside the upright. But it was too little, too late. The Bees could blame lady luck to a degree as Florian Jozefzoon saw a dipping free-kick fly to safety off the post, but without Dean at the back their defence always looked brittle against a lively and direct Forest outfit.

Both keepers also played their part in keeping it to seven, Jordan Smith denying Jota from point-blank range and Bentley flying off his line to thwart Barrie McKay.

New signing from Exeter Ollie Watkins looked a constant threat for the Bees and his long-range drive with almost the last kick was tipped onto the post by Smith, to leave Warburton celebrating the end of a run of six games which had seen Forest take just one point from the London side.


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