Match Reports

Forest felled as Albion return to winning ways

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Back up to eighth after 1-0 victory at the Amex.

By Bruce Talbot • 10 March 2024

By Paul Hazlewood
Jakub Moder takes the plaudits after Albion took the lead.

Albion are back to winning ways after a hard-fought win over Forest at the Amex.

The only goal after 30 minutes was put into his own net by Forest defender Andrew Omobamidele under pressure from Jakub Moder but it was no more than Albion deserved at that stage.

Forest came more into the game in the second half but apart from a save to deny ex-Albion striker Chris Wood, goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen had little to do as his teammates worked tirelessly in front of him to preserve their advantage with a controlled display. 

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion broke the deadlock after Jakub Moder forced Andrew Omobamidele into an own goal.

An 11th win of the season lifted Albion up to eighth although it will be another three weeks before the league campaign resumes at Anfield.

Among the seven changes from AS Roma was a first Premier League start for nearly two years for Moder who operated behind Evan Ferguson with Ansu Fati wide on the left. And Moder was prominent from the start, linking play well and scrapping hard to win the ball back.

By Paul Hazlewood
Jan Paul van Hecke and Morgan Gibbs-White challenge for the ball.

Albion began to dominate possession although it was from Pascal Gross’s superb set-piece deliveries that they carried the greatest threat. Moder met the German’s free-kick on the right with a flicked header which Matz Sels in Forest’s goal pushed out at full stretch before another free-kick from the right to the far post this time found Fati via a deflection off Danilo, but Neco Williams blocked the Spaniard’s header.

Forest had Nicolas Dominguez and Omobamidele booked for fouls and Omobamidele’s afternoon got even worse on 29 minutes. Gross curled another good free kick, this time from the left, into the near post and the Forest defender, under pressure from Moder, inadvertently flicked the ball into his own net as Sels tried to punch it clear.

By Paul Hazlewood
Forest's Murillo shields the ball from Simon Adingra.

It was a merited lead, but Verbruggen denied Forest an immediate response when he saved Dovick Origi’s shot with his outstretched right leg after the former Liverpool striker had been sent away by Morgan Gibbs-White’s excellent pass.

Fati’s late challenge on Williams earned him a booking and Forest responded well to going behind and just after the break Wood and Gibbs-White combined and Origi was in on goal again but this time he sliced his shot well wide of the near post.

Sels got behind a drive from Fati, who was replaced moments later by Tariq Lamptey with Danny Welbeck coming on for Ferguson. Moder’s late challenge on Williams earned him a booking and Forest sensed there was a way back into the game approaching the final quarter.

By Paul Hazlewood
Pervis Estupinan breaks forward in the first half.

Wood nearly found it with a shot from the angle of the six-yard box but Verbruggen’s outstretched right hand kept it out. He made much more straightforward save from Gibbs-White’s free-kick on the left-hand angle of the box after Callum Hudson-Odoi had been tripped by Joel Veltman, earning him a yellow card.

Julio Enciso nearly put the game to bed with three minutes to go when his right-foot drive from 25 yards whistled a yard wide of the right-hand post. As the game entered stoppage time Verbruggen was relieved to see Cheikh Kouyate’s looping header land on the roof of his net but Albion managed the closing stages well to bank three important points. 

Albion: Verbruggen, Veltman, van Hecke, Dunk, Estupinan (Igor 75), Gross, Baleba, Moder (Enciso 75), Fati (Lamptey 60), Adingra (Lallana 80), Ferguson (Welbeck 60).

Subs not used: Steele, Webster, Barco, Buonanotte.

Referee: Michael Salisbury

Attendance: 31,505

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