By Matthew Benton-Smith
A battle at the New York stadium saw the Reds come out victorious and move 10 points clear of the relegation zone.
🔵 𝗧𝗢𝗡𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧'𝗦 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 🔵
— Nottingham Forest FC 💙 (@NFFC) February 23, 2021
Hughton made 3 changes to the squad that started against Blackburn with Bong filling in for Ribeiro at left back, Ryan Yates replaced James Garner and Freeman took the place of young winger Alex Mighten who scored the winner at the City Ground on Saturday.
The game started out in the typical way you would expect from a relegation scrap between the 2 sides… heavy tackles, long balls, it was an all-out battle at the New York Stadium. The first close effort of the game fell to Millers’ striker Michael Smith as he fired his shot low past Brice Samba’s right-hand post. Yates also nearly turned Krovinovic’s shot in as it blazed wide but the offside flag would have prevented any celebrations.
Chris Hughton’s men were denied again by the linesman as Murray was judged to be in an offside position as his headed effort found the back of the net. Forest looked to be on the back foot for much of the first half but the back 4 remained strong and Rotherham didn’t really get much of a look at the Reds’ net.
Knockaert came awfully close with a curling free kick only for Rotherham goalkeeper Johansson to get his fingertips to the ball as it headed for the top corner. Ryan Yates then headed over the bar as the Reds’ heaped pressure onto Rotherham’s back line only for the offside flag to go up again, something the Red’s were seemingly struggling with tonight.
Half-Time: Rotherham 0-0 Nottingham Forest
The Red’s looked to make a quick start to the 2nd half but the officials’ decisions were not going their way. Krovinovic turned the ball into the back of the Rotherham net only for the referee to decide that a Rotherham defender was fouled in the build-up. Glenn Murray also forced a brilliant save out of Johansson shortly after fouling him, only to be ruled offside yet again for Nottingham Forest.
Knockaert saw his left-footed shot saved by Johansson yet again as he continued his impressive form between the sticks for Rotherham. It was not enough to keep out Ryan Yates from close range however as the Reds’ went 1 up in South Yorkshire following a short corner to Cyrus Christie who whipped the ball into the box. It was then headed down to the feet of Ryan Yates to slot home. Yates seemed like he could have been in an offside position but it was certainly about time something went the way of the Reds’.
Rotherham put pressure on Chris Hughton’s men as they created plenty of chances, the best one falling to Ladapo who missed the ball completely as he could have equalised for the Millers from close range. Taylor almost made an immediate impact off the bench for Forest as he struck just wide of the post from outside the box.
Rotherham came very close to equalising in stoppage time as Smith’s header hit Brice Samba’s crossbar. The Miller’s continued to push but they couldn’t break down the Red’s defence as they picked up their 5th clean sheet in 7 games and continued their escape from the relegation zone.
Full-Time: Rotherham 0-1 Nottingham Forest
Man of The Match: Ryan Yates
(Featured Image Credit @NFFC twitter)