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Nottingham Forest battle past Coventry to move into play-off places

Nottingham Forest v Coventry City – Sky Bet Championship – The City Ground
(Image credit: Bradley Collyer)

Nottingham Forest battled to a fourth consecutive Sky Bet Championship win and climbed into the play-off places with a 2-0 victory over Coventry at the City Ground.

Steve Cooper’s side had to work hard for their win but Brennan Johnson’s 15th goal of the season and a well-taken strike from James Garner, either side of half-time, put them on course for a precious three points.

Coventry made it an even contest and Mark Robins will feel his side deserved more as their own top-six ambitions were dealt a blow after a fourth game without a win.

Forest made the brighter start but it was Victor Gyokeres who had the first sight of goal, shooting wide from Coventry’s first meaningful attack.

When space opened up in front of Forest full-back Djed Spence, he surged into the penalty area but his attempted cut-back to Philip Zinckernagel was cut out.

Callum O’Hare tested Forest keeper Brice Samba with a low shot that was well held, with Coventry continuing to look a threat on the break.

Zinckernagel appealed for handball when Jake Bidwell slid in to block his shot on the edge of the box, but it would have been harsh on the defender. O’Hare then lofted a clever effort narrowly over the bar.

Forest took the lead in the 24th minute after Keinan Davis found Jack Colback on the left. His cross was fired right across the face of goal and, just as Coventry looked as though they would keep it out at the far post, Johnson dragged the ball back and lifted it high into the back of the net from close range.

Goalkeeper Simon Moore took two attempts to hold a driven shot from Zinckernagel as Forest looked to extend their lead.

Zinckernagel then attempted a spectacular volley that was always off target, before Davis did brilliantly to leave two Coventry defenders in his wake on a 20-yard run only to miss the target by some distance with a shot.

Samba was forced to make a strong save to keep out a long-range effort from Ben Sheaf as Coventry sought a leveller.

Yates shot wide as Forest pushed again – and the second goal was not long in coming. More brilliant work from Davis saw him lay the ball into the path of the rampaging Garner, who lashed an emphatic finish beyond Moore to make it 2-0 in the 61st minute.

Forest wanted a penalty when Fankaty Dabo appeared to obstruct Davis in the area, but referee Tim Robinson was not convinced.

Sub Lewis Grabban lashed wide as Forest looked to make certain of the win.

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