Chris Hughton marked his first game in charge of Nottingham Forest with a late 1-0 win at Blackburn in the Sky Bet Championship.
Hughton, who replaced Sabri Lamouchi after Forest’s four-game losing start to the season, will have been extremely encouraged by the performance of his new charges at Ewood Park.
The visitors looked solid and took hold of proceedings as the game wore on, with Thomas Kaminski saving well from Lyle Taylor and Sammy Ameobi, who also struck a post.
They were eventually rewarded in the 90th minute through Joe Lolley’s deflected strike and, although there was a touch of fortune about it, there was nothing lucky about the win, which ended a run of six straight league defeats.
Rovers were blunted by Forest’s organisation, and never looked like scoring as their three-match unbeaten run was ended.
Tony Mowbray was without Derrick Williams and Joe Rothwell as both are self-isolating, but captain Darragh Lenihan returned.
The visitors made four changes from defeat to Bristol City, including recalls for fit-again duo Scott McKenna and Tobias Figueiredo.
Forest went about their work with purpose and only a smart block by Lenihan prevented Lewis Grabban from putting them ahead in the first minute.
Rovers bossed the possession in a cagey first half but Hughton’s men almost hit the front in bizarre fashion in the 20th minute when Cyrus Christie’s looping cross clipped the bar and had Kaminski scrambling.
Both sides were guilty of giving away possession cheaply and real quality was at a premium in an opening half that saw one solitary shot on target, when former Forest man Ben Brereton shot tamely at Brice Samba.
Forest went close five minutes into the second half when Ameobi released Grabban, whose cross from the byline beat Kaminski but the diving Ryan Yates could not quite get over the header and it sailed just over the crossbar.
They spurned an even better chance in the 64th minute when Figueiredo was given the space of the six-yard box to meet a Luke Freeman corner but could only direct his free header straight at Kaminski, who gathered at the second attempt.
Kaminski received a more thorough examination 15 minutes from time when Ameobi unleashed one from a tight angle that stung the goalkeeper’s palms and, moments later, he did well to palm Taylor’s wickedly swerving shot wide.
Ameobi’s piledriver beat Kaminski but clattered the woodwork with two minutes to go, but Forest were not to be denied in the final minute.
Lolley cut inside from the right and let fly with a powerful shot that took a wicked deflection and completely wrong-footed Kaminski, marking a perfect start for Hughton.
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