Forest 3 (Cox 17, Etuhu o.g. 45+2, Henderson 85)
Reds 2 (O’Grady pen 20, Cywka 69)
Barnsley fought hard and true in the second half and could count themselves unfortunate not to salvage something from the City Ground as they went down 3-2 to Nottingham Forest. Tomasz Cywka thundered home the goal of the game with an unbelievable 35-yard free-kick that sailed into the top corner but it wasn’t enough for the Reds.
The match started with a fairly high tempo although neither side managed to cause any real danger either box. On ten minutes it was Forest who almost made a breakthrough when Simon Cox was slipped into the penalty area but he could only clip the left-hand post of Mike Pollitt with the ball rebounding kindly for the Reds’ goalie.
Forest came at the Reds again on the counter as M’voto gave the ball away and Jamie Mackie should have finished off with all the time in the world but Mike Pollitt made a tremendous save one-on-one with 14 played.
On 17 minutes Pollitt had to make another save but his parry fell for Simon Cox who didn’t waste the chance to tap home. Rather remarkably the Reds responded and Perkins went down in the box to allow Chris O’Grady to score from the spot. The Nottingham-born man smashed into the top, right-hand corner of Darlow’s goal for his fourth of the season.
Right at the other end, Andy Reid’s deflected free-kick cannoned Pollitt’s cross-bar and fell for Cox who volleyed in the rebound but somehow Pollitt managed to gather to deny Forest a second on 23 minutes.
When the ball fell for Majewski 12 yards out it seemed Forest would definitely find their second but Pollitt blocked well and away for a corner.
Deep in first half stoppage time, Forest swung in a dangerous free-kick from Reid that was knocked into his own net by Etuhu, it seemed, to deal a big blow before the break.
Martin Cranie returned from injury as a second-half substitute immediately after the break, replacing Jean-Yves M’voto.
Dale Jennings clipped a decent effort at goal from 25 yards but Karl Darlow gathered comfortably away to his right three on 48 minutes.
There was a bit of confusion between Darlow and Hobbs in the Forest penalty area with O’Brien closing down well, and from a resulting corner Dawson saw his volley blocked at the far post on 56 minutes.
Tomasz Cywka came on for Barnsley, replacing Jim O’Brien on 64 minutes, a minute before Martin Cranie received a yellow card for a trip on Andy Reid.
Henri Lansbury attempted a bender from 25 yards but it was straight down the throat of Pollitt in the middle.
On 69 minutes and having been on the pitch for five minutes, Tomasz Cywka took responsibility of a free-kick a full 35 yards from goal and let fly an unbelievable strike into Darlow’s top, right-hand corner. It really was an incredible strike from the Pole.
Substitute Paterson went close for Forest as his 25-yard strike thundered the bottom of the post and moments later a long-range Cox effort was spilled by Pollitt but, thankfully, it trickled wide for a corner.
Cohen turned well in the box and curled towards the top corner on 75 minutes but Wiseman was in the right place to head away.
Darius Henderson nodded his side into the lead with a simple header from an in-swinging corner to make it 3-2 with five minutes left.
Forest: Darlow, Lichaj, Hobbs, Wilson, Cohen(C), Moussi (Abdoun 76), Lansbury, Majewski (Paterson 72), Reid, Cox (Henderson 76), Mackie.
Subs: De Vries, Jara, Halford, Derbyshire.
Reds: Pollitt, Ramage, Kennedy, O'Brien (Cywka 64), Dawson, O'Grady, Perkins, Wiseman, Jennings (Dagnall 67), M'voto (Cranie 46), Etuhu.
Subs: Steele, Scotland, Mellis, Noble-Lazarus.
Referee: I. Williamson
Assistant Referee: R. Johnson & R Merchant
Fourth Official: R. Wigglesworth
Attendance: 21181 (918 Reds)