More of the same from Rovers as they lose 1-0 away at Nottingham Forest leaving them 13th in the table with four consecutive defeats.
Alex Mighten’s deflected goal 24 minutes in proved to be the difference between the two sides and saw Nottingham Forest walk away with the three points.
Rovers top scorer Adam Armstrong missed a penalty in the second half after Ryan Nyambe was fouled by goalkeeper Brice Samba.
Samba became hero by guessing the right way and denying Armstrong of his 20th championship goal of the season.
Tony Mowbray made five changes from the team that lost 2-1 away at Barnsley in midweek. In came Ryan Nyambe, Amari’i Bell, Jacob Davenport, Harvey Elliott and former Forest striker Ben Brereton they replaced Barry Douglas, Elliott Bennett, Stewart Downing, Bradley Dack and Darragh Lenihan who is out with a rib injury.
📋 Team News
🔄 Five changes for #Rovers:
⬅️ Lenihan, Douglas, Bennett, Downing, Dack
➡️ Nyambe, Bell, Davenport, Elliott, Brereton
— Blackburn Rovers (@Rovers) February 20, 2021
The average age of this Rovers starting eleven is just 22.3, with Thomas Kaminski the oldest at 28 years old.
It was a very open start to the game with Rovers looking to exploit the open space on the left hand side, Armstrong drifted into that area and put a low cross into Sam Gallagher which was well cleared by the Forest defender or it would have been an easy tap in for the Rovers striker 40 seconds in.
Following that a few rough tackles came flying in quick succession the latter of which earned Man City loanee Taylor Harwood-Bellis a yellow card just two minutes into the game.
Former Forest man Ben Brereton was getting a lot of joy down the left hand side which resulted in two efforts well saved by Samba in goal.
The home side started to grow into the game and Anthony Knockaert was involved in almost everything, his best chance coming in the 14th minute as the frenchman linked up well with Glenn Murray and broke into the box before skipping past two Rovers defenders leaving them in the dust, his shot looked destined for the top left hand corner but Nyambe was positioned brilliantly to head it off the line.
Forest managed to take the lead 26 minutes in through a bit of luck. Knockaert’s free kick was headed out by Nyambe, Mighten was first to the loose ball and his shot deflected in over Kaminski to give the hosts the lead 1-0.
— Nottingham Forest FC 💙 (@NFFC) February 20, 2021
At this point it was all Forest, a couple of minutes later it was almost 2-0 Knockaert again from the right hand side delivered the ball into Murray whose shot was just fired past the far post.
In added on time of the first half the home side went close to doubling their lead once again, yet another dangerous Knockaert free kick was glanced goalwards by Manchester United loanee James Garner, hitting the crossbar before going over.
However, it was Rovers with the last chance of the half, What would have been a goal of the season contender Armstrong cut in from the left hand side and fired an effort goalwards the keeper was beaten but the ball crashed onto the post and bounced away.
Half Time: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Blackburn Rovers
It was Forest that started off the brighter in the second half, two long ranged efforts from both Filip Krovinovic and Garner while Rovers were wasteful in possession while in the final third.
If anyone was going to get Rovers back in this game it was going to be top scorer Armstrong, after a poor Worrall clearance Armstrong pounced on the ball and blasted a powerful strike on his left foot towards goal which Samba smartly parried away.
Rovers continued to struggle from set pieces like they have the majority of the season as several free kicks in quick succession went to waste.
It was the home sides turn to come forward now, Cyrus Christie came forward from right back and thumped an effort towards goal, Kaminski got a fantastic hand to it tipping the ball onto the post, Lyle Taylor followed up the rebound on the stretch but fired wide of an empty net.
After that big chance for the home side to double their lead seconds later the referee awarded Rovers a penalty. Nyambe came forward from right back and latched onto a poor pass back and was subsequently wiped out by the Forest keeper. Armstrong stepped up to take the penalty but Samba guessed right, diving to his right to keep the score at 1-0.
That was Armstrong’s second penalty miss of the season leaving 5/7 from the spot for the season.
Rovers continued to push for an equaliser but couldn’t find an opening and to make matters worse Nyambe pulled up with an injury just a couple minutes from time and had to be replaced.
The referee blew the full time whistle and Forest walked away from the City Ground with all three points.
Rovers are back in action on Wednesday evening as they return to Ewood Park to face 3rd place Watford.
Full Time: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Blackburn Rovers