Nottingham Forest 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday: Hosts record first win in eight league meetings
Second league win of the season for Aitor Karanka's men
Last Updated: 19/09/18 10:59pm
Nottingham Forest ended their dismal record against Sheffield Wednesday with a 2-1 win at the City Ground.
The Owls had beaten Forest in their last seven league meetings, including four wins here, but Jos Luhukay's side were beaten following goals either side of half-time from Lewis Grabban and Joao Carvalho.
Aitor Karanka's Reds were in need of a win, following a flurry of five draws in their first seven Championship outings, along with one victory and a single defeat, but this was no more than they deserved, as they limited their visitors to only a few sights of goal, even if substitute Steven Fletcher's 88th-minute strike ensured a nervous finish.
Forest could have taken the lead 15 seconds in. Grabban forced a mistake from the Owls defence and crossed into the centre for Matty Cash, who had time and space but sent a panicked left-foot shot high and wide.
The visitors might have taken the lead when a good move finished with Morgan Fox crossing into the centre for an unmarked Marco Matias - but his header was off target.
Forest hit back instantly as Cash drove down the right and forced an alert near-post save from Cameron Dawson with a driven shot from a tight angle.
Grabban then planted a header just wide of the post and was appealing for a penalty in the aftermath, claiming that he had been held back as the home side began to build some pressure.
Forest did take the lead in the 41st minute. Ben Osborn bent in a delicious free-kick which Grabban attacked to steer home, amid a melee of bodies, from a few yards out and they almost had a second a minute later, but Cash's brave header cleared the angle of post and bar.
Atdhe Nuhiu, who had seen a first-half effort ruled out for offside, almost struck early in the second but saw Pantilimon bravely save at his feet before he could get a shot away.
Seconds later, in the 63rd minute, the two players combined brilliantly again, exchanging passes twice, with Osborn back-heeling the ball into the path of Carvalho, who conjured up a sublime finish, curling beyond the reach of Dawson and inside the far post.
Pantilimon made a save to keep out a free-kick from Barry Bannan look easy. But he could not stop a late effort from Fletcher following a deflection which left the goalkeeper flatfooted as it bounced in.
Aitor Karanka: "We played really well. I knew we needed to take a step forward after Saturday and we did that. We controlled the game from the beginning. We had the first chances and the last chances - we controlled the game against a very good team."
"I hope he [Lewis Grabban] can go on a good run now, because I said always that he would be a really important player for us. Even last Saturday, when he did not score a goal, I congratulated him after the game, because he did a good job. It was tough for him not to score goals, because strikers live for their goals. But I knew that, with his quality, the goals would arrive."
Jos Luhukay: "There is always a new moment to learn from. After games you see what is good and what is not good - today it was not good. In our previous games we had been better. But today we did not deserve either one point or three.
"It was very disappointing. Nottingham deserved to win. In the first half, both sides were more concerned about controlling the game than attacking. In the second half, we could not get into good positions or situations, because we were poor on the ball, we were losing the ball and we could not get ourselves in the game.