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2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Ben Brereton (89' PEN)
  • Joe Lolley (90'+5')
  • Grant Ward (38')

Nottingham Forest stage late fightback to defeat Ipswich

A dramatic finale saw Nottingham Forest all but secure Championship safety as they scored twice late on to end their goal famine in a 2-1 victory over managerless Ipswich.
The Tractor Boys looked set to mark their first game since Mick McCarthy's departure with a 1-0 win thanks to Grant Ward's first-half header.
But, while Forest beat their previous club record of 636 minutes without a goal when the 84th minute ticked by at the City Ground, they did not finish the day frustrated.
Ben Brereton slotted home an 89th-minute penalty and Joe Lolley's spectacular volley deep into stoppage time lifted the roof off the City Ground.
It left Aitor Karanka's side 11 points clear of third-from-bottom Barnsley, with both sides having four games left to play - and nine points better off than Bolton, who only have three fixtures left.
Ben Osborn had the first real chance of the game as the Forest left-back pounced on a poor pass in the Ipswich back four to ghost into the penalty area, but his powerful drive was well saved by Bart Bialkowski, who showed strong hands to parry.
It was a cagey affair but one that Forest began to grow into, with the home side carving out a few chances as they built a bit of pressure on the Ipswich goal.
But Bialkowski was equal to everything thrown at him, the Ipswich keeper getting down well to push away a low shot from Lolley.
He then made an even better save to guide a powerful strike from Brereton around the post, diving full stretch to his left.
From the resultant corner, Ben Watson's crisp header bounced wide off the outside of the post.
It was Ipswich who were to take the lead in the 38th minute, with their first effort on goal of any kind.
That mattered little to the visitors, however, as Ward connected with a cross from Myles Kenlock to send a header beyond Costel Pantilimon, who did seem to get a hand to the ball, but not enough to prevent it from dropping over the line.
A Lee Tomlin corner gave Watson the chance to equalise at the far post, but his volley was hammered wildly over the bar.
Adlene Guedioura sent a header wide for Forest early in the second half, but Martyn Waghorn was very close to doubling Ipswich's lead when a clever free-kick gave him the room to flash a shot across goal and narrowly wide.
Bialkowski saved yet again to deny Lolley and Brereton, but his resolve was finally broken when Ward clipped the heels of Brereton in the box - prompting Darren England to point to the spot.
Brereton regained his feet to fire low into the bottom corner but there was more drama still to come as Brereton's cross-shot was fiercely volleyed home by Lolley five minutes into injury time to give Forest a vital win.

English League Championship Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 West Bromwich Albion 16 +12 33
2 Preston North End 16 +14 31
3 Leeds United 16 +12 31
4 Swansea City 16 +6 29
5 Nottingham Forest 15 +7 28
6 Bristol City 16 +4 28
7 Fulham 16 +7 26
8 Sheffield Wednesday 16 +7 25
9 Brentford 16 +8 24
10 Queens Park Rangers 16 -4 24
11 Charlton Athletic 16 +3 22
12 Hull City 16 +2 22
13 Birmingham City 16 -5 22
14 Cardiff City 16 0 21
15 Millwall 16 -3 21
16 Derby County 16 -3 21
17 Reading 15 -1 18
18 Blackburn Rovers 16 -4 18
19 Huddersfield Town 16 -6 16
20 Wigan Athletic 16 -11 15
21 Luton Town 16 -8 14
22 Middlesbrough 16 -8 13
23 Stoke City 16 -12 11
24 Barnsley 16 -17 9