Words by Christian Brown
Nottingham Forest continued their dismal record away at Reading, with the Reds slipping to a 2-0 defeat that will do little to lift spirits at the club as they go five games without a win.
Forest have now won only twice from 15 visits to the Royals’ Madejski Stadium and the writing was on the wall when Ryan Yates was shown a straight red card after just 14 minutes for deliberate handball, following a Brice Samba howler.
In-form Lucas Joao dispatched the resulting penalty, but despite the man disadvantage, Forest did largely keep Reading at arm’s length from open play with the hosts mainly restricted to hopeful efforts, with Samba not having anything too challenging to do.
However, manager Chris Hughton will be seething as they conceded the second from a routine corner, with Michael Morrison making the most of some non-existent marking from Tobias Figueiredo to head home.
In the aftermath of what was a day where Forest as the visiting side couldn’t get out of Reading quick enough, we analysed the players on an individual level.
Brice Samba – 2
His failure to claim a routine ball with any urgency not only cost Forest a goal, but it also led to them losing a man thanks to Ryan Yates’ subsequent actions. Awful, awful mistake, which pretty much ended the game as a contest
Cyrus Christie – 5
Gave it everything, got stuck in when he needed to and tried to get things moving down the right. Couldn’t influence things moving forwards following the red card, for understandable reasons, but didn’t play badly by any stretch.
Joe Worrall – 6
We knew Joao would drop deeper to try and bring the wingers into play, but when he did go direct, Worrall dealt with him well. Did his defensive duties well all game.
Scott McKenna – 6
It’s a shame that he had go to off at half time with an injury, as the foundations for a defensive pairing with Worrall initially looked promising. Did his job well, hopefully his injury is nothing too serious.
Yuri Ribeiro – 5
Much like Christie, didn’t really do a great deal wrong – huffed and puffed and tried to get things going down the left flank, but wasn’t given the best help from the wingers ahead.
Ryan Yates – 2
What Samba did was criminally bad, but Yates’ handball – despite being forced into a very difficult situation – was arguably worse. Can understand his desperation, but 75 minutes of the game chasing a goal with 11 is very different to 75 minutes chasing the game with 10. Sent off.
Harry Arter – 3
If someone can tell me what Arter offers this team other than shouting and randomly pointing, I’d love to hear it. Contributed absolutely nothing – again.
Cafu – 5
Few neat touches and some good passes, but didn’t really put his stamp on the game. Did ok, though was perhaps lucky to not see red after losing his head following a tussle with former Forest man Alfa Semedo.
Anthony Knockaert – 5
Put the ball on a plate for Lyle Taylor at 0-0 with an incredible ball, but once again, his delivery wasn’t capitalised on. Struggled when Forest went down to 10 and didn’t really get back into the game after.
Lyle Taylor – 5
Had the best chance of the game at 0-0, but shot straight at the keeper from four yards out. Ran his socks off all game, was just starved of any service when Forest went to 10. Did himself no favours throwing a strop when he was subbed off.
Joe Lolley – 3
Unusually shocking performance from the winger, who couldn’t seem to do anything right. Granted the bar he sets himself is very high, but something seriously seems up with him this year.
Tobais Figueiredo (McKenna, 45) – 1
Didn’t look like he wanted to be there when he got on, was directly at fault for the second goal and nearly gave another away for good measure when he decided to dribble into his own six yard box under pressure. Matt Mills said at full time on Sky that his performance was a disgrace – he wasn’t wrong. Not fit to wear the shirt.
Sammy Ameobi (Knockaert, 60) – 5
Really did try and get Forest back into the game with some neat touches and promising runs, but also spent a large part of the second half out of the game.
Samba Sow (Arter, 60) – 7
The only Forest player on the day who was anything above average. Was essentially a one-man midfield when he came on, it’s just a shame he’s so injury prone.
Will Swan (Taylor, 71) – 5
Had no service whatsoever so couldn’t really show what he’s capable of, but still good for him to get out there facing experienced Championship defenders.