Middlesbrough 0-1 Nottingham Forest: Jamie Ward's strike beats Boro
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 23/01/16 6:51pm
Middlesbrough were knocked off the top of the Sky Bet Championship as Nottingham Forest beat them 1-0 to claim their first-ever win at the Riverside Stadium.
Jamie Ward's second-half goal gave Dougie Freedman's in-form side maximum points, stretching their unbeaten run to 12 games. It was Forest's first win on Teesside since a 2-1 victory at Ayresome Park in February 1993.
It also ended Boro's impressive home record of 11 home games without defeat as they lost their second successive game following defeat at Bristol City last week.
Despite dominating possession for most of the game, Aitor Karanka's men struggled to break down their stubborn visitors.
The first chance of the match came in the eighth minute, when Daniel Ayala headed narrowly wide from a Grant Leadbitter corner.
Boro produced a flowing move in the 35th minute when Stewart Downing fed Emilio Nsue down the right and he whipped a cross into the box but Cristhian Stuani could not connect.
Karanka had to shuffle his defensive line when left-back George Friend, struggling with a shoulder injury, had to be replaced by Tomas Kalas in the 40th minute and the Czech slotted into a central defence with Fernando Amorebieta switching to the left.
And Kalas had to be on his toes straight away, doing well to block Eric Lichaj's cross from the right edge of the box.
Forest went closest to scoring four minutes into the second half when Ben Osborn found space on the left but his thumping left-footed effort came off the post and across the face of goal.
Boro then hit the woodwork five minutes later after winning a free-kick just outside the box. Albert Adomah laid off for Leadbitter, who flicked the ball up before sending a volley into the bar.
Boro continued their search for an opener and in the 64th minute Adomah crossed from the left but Stuani could not get his far-post header on target.
And they should have taken the lead three minutes later when Adomah again crossed from the left to the far post and Nsue somehow headed over with just Dorus De Vries to beat.
But it was Forest who took the lead in the 70th minute when Osborn broke down the left and pulled back brilliantly for Ward, who took his time before coolly slotting into the bottom right corner.
Boro pressed for a late equaliser but Forest stood firm, giving the visitors their third away win of the season.