Championship
Nottm ForestNottingham Forest3ReadingReading2

Nottingham Forest 3-2 Reading

Britt Assombalonga scores his first goal against Reading
Britt Assombalonga scores his first goal against Reading

Britt Assombalonga boosted Nottingham Forest's survival hopes with two goals against a Reading side whose ambitions for automatic promotion were all but ended at the City Ground.

Assombalonga put Forest up with a flicked finish past Ali Al-Habsi after being set free on goal by Ben Brereton.

Mustapha Carayol's low finish made it 3-0 after Assombalonga headed a second.

Two Yann Kermorgant goals for Reading were not enough as Forest moved three points clear of the relegation places.

Victory over the third-placed Royals, who will have their top-two hopes ended if Newcastle avoid defeat against Preston on Monday, was Forest's first since also denting Huddersfield's promotion aspirations with victory in early April.

Two defeats in four days over the Easter weekend - including a loss at relegation rivals Blackburn - left Mark Warburton's side in serious danger of the drop.

A sense of anxiousness among home fans around the City Ground before kick-off was replaced by applause at half-time, after 45 minutes in which they threatened numerous times and restricted Jaap Stam's Royals to a solitary effort on goal.

Mustapha Carayol was the hosts' chief protagonist of the first half and richly deserved his goal after the break, turning in the box before finishing with a low shot.

Kermorgant's header from Jordan Obita's cross pulled one back to give Reading new impetus and his second goal, pouncing on a loose ball in the area, made for a dramatic finish but ultimately was not enough to rescue a point.

Nottingham Forest boss Mark Warburton: "We just told them what we had to do. Our desire to remain a Championship club had to be greater than their desire to win promotion. It was as simple as that. Every one-v-one, every challenge, try to win it.

"Have quality in your passing, look to penetrate - there is no lack of desire in that dressing room but we have let ourselves down as a group at times. Against Derby, Preston and Huddersfield, we have shown some really good quality but not always got the right results.

"In Cardiff we deserved to get points out of the game and we did not. That is the nature of football. But today we deserved our victory - and we got it."

Reading head coach Jaap Stam: "We have it in our own hands still. It is still down to us, but it will be a difficult game against Wigan, because they need a result as well.

"It is not going to be easy, they are not going to hand it to us. We need to have the courage to do what we do. Forest are a good team, they have good players and they are fighting for their lives. But we need to be better than this. We knew the opposition we would face, because we had spoken about it prior to kick-off.

"We spoke about what we needed to do at half-time. But straight away, they got that second goal and then the third. We did well to score twice to get back into it. We felt there was enough time to get the equaliser but we stopped being patient on the ball; we stopped trying to take control of the game."

Line-ups

Nottm Forest

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 43Smith
  • 2Lichaj
  • 42Worrall
  • 4Mancienne
  • 13FoxSubstituted forPinillosat 77'minutes
  • 24VaughanBooked at 12mins
  • 45BreretonSubstituted forWardat 72'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 8Cohen
  • 11Osborn
  • 18CarayolSubstituted forCashat 81'minutes
  • 9Assombalonga

Substitutes

  • 3Pinillos
  • 15Tshibola
  • 16Clough
  • 19Ward
  • 26Evtimov
  • 39Vellios
  • 41Cash

Reading

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 26Al Habsi
  • 2GunterBooked at 83mins
  • 16Moore
  • 24BlackettBooked at 29mins
  • 25PopaSubstituted forBeerensat 52'minutes
  • 38Kelly
  • 23WilliamsSubstituted forEvansat 52'minutes
  • 11Obita
  • 8SwiftSubstituted forMendesat 84'minutes
  • 18Kermorgant
  • 50Grabban

Substitutes

  • 6Evans
  • 7Beerens
  • 9Mendes
  • 19Meite
  • 20Ilori
  • 31Jaakkola
  • 32Oxford
Referee:
Geoff Eltringham
Attendance:
20,323

Match Stats

Home TeamNottm ForestAway TeamReading
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home19
Away10
Shots on Target
Home10
Away3
Corners
Home11
Away4
Fouls
Home11
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Nottingham Forest 3, Reading 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 3, Reading 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Tyler Blackett (Reading).

  4. Post update

    Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Booking

    Jamie Ward (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Matthew Cash (Nottingham Forest) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ben Osborn.

  7. Post update

    Offside, Nottingham Forest. Eric Lichaj tries a through ball, but Britt Assombalonga is caught offside.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Liam Moore (Reading).

  9. Post update

    Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Liam Moore (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest).

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lewis Grabban (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Gunter.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Joseph Mendes (Reading).

  14. Post update

    David Vaughan (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jamie Ward.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Joseph Mendes replaces John Swift.

  17. Booking

    Chris Gunter (Reading) is shown the yellow card.

  18. Post update

    Liam Moore (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Matthew Cash replaces Mustapha Carayol.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Brighton44288873383592
2Newcastle432671076393785
3Reading44247136362179
4Sheff Wed442391258431578
5Huddersfield43246135553278
6Fulham4421131082552776
7Leeds442271557431473
8Norwich441991678661266
9Brentford441891773611263
10Derby441712155048263
11Preston431613146257561
12Cardiff441611175759-259
13Aston Villa431513154546-158
14Barnsley441512176363057
15Wolves431510185254-255
16Ipswich441316154854-655
17Bristol City44149215965-651
18Burton441312194658-1251
19QPR44148225062-1250
20Nottm Forest44139225970-1148
21Birmingham431114184263-2147
22Blackburn441015194964-1545
23Wigan441011233955-1641
24Rotherham4456333896-5821
View full Championship table

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