Nottingham Forest were defeated 2-1 against Rotherham United who extended Martin O’Neill’s side’s winless run away from home.
It was a dismal afternoon for the Reds who failed to take advantage of other results going their way in the Championship. They saw the gap between themselves and the play-off places widen to five points.
Michael Smith netted the opener for Rotherham but the Reds responded midway through the first half through Lewis Grabban.
They weren’t able to go on to secure the three points though, as Michael Ihiekwe’s header on the hour mark gave Paul Warne’s side a valuable victory in their battle against relegation.
Following a frustrating day for Martin O’Neill’s outfit, Seat Pitch rated the Reds as follows:
Costel Pantilimon – 6
Couldn’t really have done much to prevent the two goals. Might have come out more regularly to collect crosses into the area to take pressure off the defence. Didn’t have much to do other than pick the ball out of his net.
Saidy Janko – 5
Was a difficult afternoon for the right-back on what was his first appearance since 12 February. He didn’t seem to be quite up to speed. Tendayi Darikwa should be straight back in once he is fit again.
Yohan Benalouane – 5
Couldn’t fault his effort but this was arguably the Tunisian’s worst performance for the Reds so far. His passing was slack throughout the game and he couldn’t deal with Rotherham’s physicality. Smith in particular caused him all sorts of problems.
Molla Wagué – 6
Was slightly more composed than his centre-back partner, but was still far from convincing. He also struggled to deal with the aerial prowess of Smith.
Ben Osborn – 3
Remarkably given the nod at left-back over Jack Robinson for a second game in a row, and it didn’t work. He left a huge amount of space down the right-hand side for the hosts to attack by being continuously caught out of position. Didn’t offer anything going forward either.
Jack Colback – 4
Didn’t seem his usual self. It was easy to forget that he was even on the pitch. The fact he is one booking away from a suspension may be behind this. Understandably looked uncomfortable when he was asked to play in defence in the latter stages.
Ben Watson – 6
Was far more involved in the game than his midfield counterpart. He was involved in some of the better passing moves that the Reds produced in the game. Seemed to gradually tire in the second half before being replaced.
Matty Cash – 6
As expected with the 21-year-old, you couldn’t fault his effort. But he didn’t really create anything of note in the game, apart from a low cross which Arvin Appiah almost converted late on.
Joe Lolley – 6
Looked like it was down to him to create everything again. He picked up another assist in the first half as his flick played Grabban through. Could’ve done more with a few openings in the second half.
Lewis Grabban – 6
Scored the only goal of the afternoon for the Reds, but was extremely fortunate after his tame original effort came straight back to him. Apart from that, he made very little impact in the game.
Daryl Murphy – 7 – Seat Pitch Star Man
Was much-needed in this game at both ends of the pitch. If it wasn’t for his aerial ability, the Reds could’ve lost by a greater margin. Did a better job of clearing balls into the box than the defence.
Pelé – 4
Made no impact on the game whatsoever. Almost gifted the hosts another goal by being cheaply caught in possession.
João Carvalho – 6
The £13.2 million midfield had to again come on in difficult circumstances. The Reds did briefly start playing a better style of football after his introduction, but it didn’t come to anything. Must be becoming increasingly frustrated.
Arvin Appiah – 7
One of the few positives of the afternoon. The 18-year-old made one or two dangerous runs, and certainly looks a bright prospect.