Sky Bet Championship: Nottingham Forest beat Bournemouth 2-1
Last Updated: 26/02/15 5:34pm
Nottingham Forest boosted their slim Championship play-off hopes after a 2-1 home win over high-flying Bournemouth. on Wednesday.
Andrew Surman fired the Cherries into a third-minute lead, but Forest are a different animal these days and stormed back to claim their fourth win in five games under Dougie Freedman thanks to goals from Jamaal Lascelles and Henri Lansbury and deliver another blow to the visitors' automatic promotion hopes.
Bournemouth began like an express train and took the lead inside three minutes through Surman after Forest keeper Karl Darlow had tipped over a Simon Francis header. From the resultant corner, the ball was played to the edge of the box to Surman and the Cherries midfielder curled a delightful effort from 25 yards into the bottom corner.
Francis had a shot blocked and Matt Ritchie saw an effort deflected wide as they laid siege to the home goal.
Fraser brought another save out of Darlow, before the Cherries went close again with the clock yet to reach 10 minutes. Darlow attempted a drop-kick clearance, but the ball hit the back of Callum Wilson who was stood less than a yard away. With the hosts expecting a free-kick that didn't come, Wilson chased the rebound and fired into the side netting as Darlow struggled to get back.
It was an impressive start from Howe's men as they penned Forest back inside their own half, although their vice-like grip was beginning to weaken and the Reds created a chance for Michail Antonio, but he mis-kicked when well placed 12 yards out.
Forest were now rising to the occasion and and fashioned an equaliser after 20 minutes. A Ben Osborn corner was only cleared to centre-back Lascelles and he smashed a shot from the edge of the area through a crowded box for his first goal since April.
Just past the half-hour mark, Eric Lichaj became the first Forest player to be booked under Freedman's tenure for a late lunge on Adam Smith.
An inevitable period of stalemate ensued, before Osborn and Antonio combined well to set up an opportunity for Lansbury, whose sliding effort was saved by Boruc.
Antonio then had a shot pushed away by Boruc and just a minute later, Forest took the lead on the stroke of half-time through skipper Lansbury. Francis fouled Antonio on the edge of the box and Lansbury stepped up to convert another quality trademark free-kick.
Inside five minutes of the second half, Lansbury was presented with another set-piece opportunity after Smith upended Burke 20 yards out, but this time his free-kick drifted narrowly over.
Lascelles then had a header nodded off the line by Smith, from Burke's corner, as Forest threatened to increase their advantage.
The Cherries were now feeding on scraps as Forest controlled proceedings, prompting Howe into bringing on Marc Pugh and Charlie Daniels for Fraser and Smith, while Michael Mancienne replaced Burke for Forest.
Osborn showed some nimble footwork in the visitors' box and after wriggling away from three tackles, fired a shot straight at Boruc, before Lansbury curled another free-kick just over.
As the game entered the last 15 minutes, Pitman looped a header just over the bar, but that was a rare effort as the Cherries were struggling to break down a determined Forest rearguard.
Freedman brought on Lars Veldwijk at the death and the Dutchman had a chance to kill off Bournemouth, but saw his effort blocked as Forest held on for the win.