A stunning strike from the skipper gives the Reds all three points away at Nottingham Forest!
As the match neared its conclusion, second half substitute Adam Armstrong flicked a ball into the centre of the pitch, where Conor Hourihane controlled on his chest before volleying into the top of the net from all of 30 yards to give the Reds a deserved three points, and send the 1,800 travelling fans into raptures in the far corner!
As the match kicked off, neither side looked in control during the opening 10 minutes or so. Angus MacDonald and Adam Jackson formed a solid defensive pairing to keep the lively Britt Assombalonga at bay, during a period of constant high balls towards them.
In the 10th minute, the first real chance of the half and match arrived. Adam Hammill raced towards goal and was brought down, allowing the winger to have an effort on goal. 20 yards or so out, he curled his effort up and over the wall only for the out stretched hand of Henderson to tip it wide for a corner. From that corner, Scowen flicked an effort over the bar at the back-post after stretching to get something on it.
From then on it was Barnsley who were in the ascendency and looked comfortable, in their pursuit of an opener. Scowen had another effort on target well saved, before Bradshaw flicked a header towards goal from another Hammill delivery.
The match was evolving into a busy period for the referee James Linnington, who had to award constant fouls to Barnsley as Forest’s best way of stopping the wave of attacks was to bring down the blue and gold shirts coming towards them.
As the half drew on, the defensive line of Davies, MacDonald, Jackson, Bree and Yiadom were dealing with anything that was threw at them whilst being the starting point of attacks at the same time, but no goals were to arrive before the break.
HALF TIME: Nottingham Forest 0-0 Barnsley
Paul Heckingbottom decided to make a change at the break, bringing on Marley Watkins for Ryan Kent.
It was the home side who came out the stronger in the opening moments, winning an early corner and forcing Hourihane to make a vital clearance. Moments later, Forest defender Eric Lichaj put a header over the bar from Osborn’s cross, before a stunning challenge from Adam Jackson denied Thomas Lam a one-on-one chance in the box.
On the 56th minute, it was Forest again looking the most likely to open the scoring. Jack Hobbs’ header cannoned off the crossbar after Davies had saved with his fingertips. On the hour-mark, top scorer Sam Winnall was introduced for Tom Bradshaw, who had worked tirelessly all afternoon up top on his own.
The match became end-to-end with wave of attacks coming from either side, yet no real clear cut chances arrived. Forest did then have the ball in the net shortly after through Nicklas Bendtner, who turned and shot into the net, only to be flagged for offside.
The game looked destined at that point to end goalless, that was until a further substitute Adam Armstrong, showed excellent vision to loop a ball into midfield, where Conor Hourihane controlled and found the back of the net.
The skipper brought the ball down on his chest before rifling a looping volley over Henderson in the Forest net, sending the 1,800 travelling Reds fans into raptures with just moments remaining. The Reds then stood firm and held out to secure a magnificent away win to start 2017 in style.
Full-Time: Nottingham Forest 0-1 Barnsley (Hourihane 88’)
Reds XI: Davies (GK), Bree, MacDonald, Jackson, Yiadom, Hammill, Scowen, Hourihane (c), Kent, Williams, Bradshaw.
Subs: Townsend (GK), White, Evans, Moncur, Winnall, Watkins, Armstrong.
Forest XI: Henderson (GK), Cash, Mancienne, Hobbs, Lam, Lichaj (c), Vaughan, Osborn, Pereira, Dumitru, Assombalonga.
Subs: Smith (GK), Bendtner, Kasami, Perquis, Grant, Vellios, Ahmedhodzic.