Nottingham Forest 1 Rotherham United 0
Grabban (86 – pen)
Rotherham United can not buy an away win this season losing at the City Ground to an eight-sixth minute penalty scored by their former striker Lewis Grabban.
Forest had the first sniff of a goal on three minutes when Ben Osborne when down under a challenge from Ryan Manning just outside the box. Grabban took the resulting free-kick but hit it straight into the Millers wall and it went to safety. The Millers first attempt saw some good work by Ryan Williams down the wing only to find Michael Hefele in his way before the visitors thought they’d won a corner when the ball appeared to come off Adlene Guedioura when he tussled with Kyle Vassell with referee Rob Jones giving a goal kick and Vassell had to go off the pitch for treatment. The hosts won a couple of corner which saw the Rotherham defence hold firm and Will Vaulks did well to break up a Forest attack. The Millers had a good chance on twenty minutes after Hefele floored Vassell giving Ryan Manning a chance with a set-piece on the edge of the box. The QPR loanee’s kick found the head of Semi Ajayi but his control wasn’t the best and it came to nothing. Moments later Vaulks did well to get behind the Forest defence from a Manning corner but his header was off target before some super work from Williams found Jamie Proctor who dithered a little and lost the opportunity to shoot. At the other end Williams did well to get to a cross from Joao Carvalho before it could reach a red shirt . The first booking of the game was just after the half hour mark after Millers’ ‘keeper Marek Rodak had punched the ball out to Manning from a Forest corner and as he made headway down the pitch he was fouled by Guedioura seeing yellow for his trouble. The referee evened things up a minute later when he showed yellow to Billy Jones, starting his first game for the Millers, after a poor challenge on Carbalho. Jones was soon in action again when he did well to stop a shot on the line from Grabban before Mattock did well to stand firm and take the ball off Gil Dias to stop him getting a shot away. Some good work by Vassell saw him give Manning a chance to shoot from some twenty yards out but his shot flew into the Forest fans behind the goal before some more good work saw the ball fall to Proctor but he looked in two minds whether to shoot or cross and ended skying the ball over the crossbar.
Rotherham started the second half with a change in personnel fetching Michael Smith on to replace Jamie Proctor. Some nice work between Will Vaulks and Ryan Manning set Kyle Vassell up to cross but a Forest defender blocked. With five minutes of the half on the clock the hosts had a good chance to open the scoring when Joao Carvelho collected a superb cross from Saidy Janko and put it over the Millers’ ‘keeper only to see the ball hit the upright and go out to safety. Referee Rob Jones waved away an appeal for a Forest penalty after they said Joe Mattock had handled in the area followed by Rodak doing well to get down to a shot from Dias. At the other end a cross in from Vaulks found the head of Smith only for Costel Pantilmon in the Forest goal to pluck the ball of the top of the strikers head. A terrible challenge on Ryan Williams by Guedioura, who saw yellow in the first half, earned him just a talking too and less than a minute later he was replaced by Joe Lolley. A low cross from Smith nearly reached Vassell who was unmarked in the box followed by a cross for Smith from Manning going just past the tall striker. Matty Palmer came on for Ryan Manning while Forest brought on Matthew Clash for Gil Dias. Williams went on a run easing his way past a few home players finding Richie Towell but Daniel Fox blocked the Irishman’s cross before some super work from Billy Jones found Smith who held up the ball until Towell was free but he saw his shot well saved by Pantilmon. At the other end Smith jumped highest to head away a Ben Osborn free-kick before the ball was eventually saved by Rodak. When it looked like the Millers would get their first away point of the season Osborn was adjudged to have been fouled by Williams in the area and Mr Jones pointed to the spot and Grabban scored the penalty. Towell was replaced by Jon Taylor for the final four minutes plus time added on before Liam Bridcutt came on for Forest at the expense of Joao Carvelho. In time added on Vaulks saw yellow after some pushing and shoving with Fox and in the last minute of the game a shot from Taylor was blocked and sent to safety.
It’s a long time since the Millers saw an away win in the Championship but, I can tell you this season it’s not for want of trying.