Birmingham 0-1 Nottm Forest- Match Report

Dexter Blackstock fires Forest to victory at misfiring BirminghamDexter Blackstock has taken on the goalscoring mantle for Nottingham Forest and responded with the only goal in an impressive 1-0 away win to inflict Birmingham's first defeat of the season.Blackstock, the Antigua and Bermuda international, had generally been kept in tight check but in the 54th minute popped up to notch the vital game to give Forest their second win in four days.Clayton Donaldson's goalscoring form, however, deserted him after his hat-trick at the weekend and went a long way to explain Birmingham's setback.Birmingham's newly acquired confidence had been reflected in their early play when they launched a series of promising attacks but the game developed into a midfield battle until Blackstock's crucial goal.Neither side committed to defence and consequently that led to a quick, open game but no early clear-cut chances.Surprisingly Birmingham rested rising star Demarai Gray, giving him a spot on the bench from where he emerged in the 63rd minute in an attempt to inject more attacking options.It was obvious in the early stages that Birmingham lacked his individual skill and penetration against a solid Forest defence in which Matt Mills and Kelvin Wilson did well.The pair were obviously intent on shutting out the goal threat of Donaldson who was accorded few opportunities to replicate his performance from the previous game against Bristol City.Forest were obviously boosted by their welcome win over QPR and played with plenty of vigour as they were quick to break from defence.But very little was seen of Chris Burke against his old club

He was often a match winner for Birmingham operating in a wide role, but in this game he was used in a more central role but with little impact.He did attempt one of his speciality long-range shots but failed to make a decent connection and Birmingham goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak was untroubled.It was also a somewhat frustrating game for Birmingham's on-loan midfielder Jon Toral

He has played a big part in Birmingham's successful start to the season but the Arsenal player was often tackled vigorously off the ball.Toral refused to be contained and went close to breaking the stalemate a minute before the break when he turned and shot, only to see his effort whistle over the bar.Donaldson suffered a similar fate early in the second period

For the first time he was able to beat Wilson to David Cotterill's cross but his header also cleared the bar.When Forest took their shock lead it came from a mistake.Paul Caddis slipped when making a challenge on Jamie Ward and the nippy Forest forward seized the opportunity as he raced clear and put in a low cross from which Blackstock was on hand to push the ball home from a couple of yards.Another Caddis mistake very nearly led to a second goal but Ryan Mendes' effort was cleared off the line

Source : PA

Source: PA