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N. Forest 3-0 Fulham Cham 19 1516 - Nottingham Post

last updated Monday 07th December 2015, 9:59 AM

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Matt Davies at Nottingham Post

N. Forest (1) 3-0 (0) Fulham

Nottingham Forest finally found a clinical edge as they beat Fulham 3-0 at the City Ground to record a third win in four Championship games.

So often this season the Reds have fired in shot after shot without hitting the back of the net.

On Saturday though, they rarely forced Fulham keeper Joe Lewis into saves, but they won comfortably through two Matt Mills headers and Chris O'Grady's second goal in as many games.

Mills almost netted a hat-trick in fact. He nodded home in the 45th minute and again in the 78th as the visitors struggled to deal with set pieces.

The centre-half nearly had a third in stoppage time as another header came back off the Fulham bar.

O'Grady slammed home after 52 minutes when Nelson Oliveira's fierce drive was parried into his path.

It was an accomplished performance from Dougie Freedman's men against a side still searching for a new manager. Although they were forced to defend well in the first half, they grew into the game after opening the scoring and were the dominant force after the break as they rose to 15th place.

Both teams initially struggled to get to grips with a strong wind in the opening few minutes. Mills and Michael Mancienne - in for the suspended Jack Hobbs - had the gale in their faces throughout the first half and it presented them occasional problems.

Fulham were the first to threaten after five minutes when a free-kick was flicked off a Forest head into the path of Ross McCormack, who could not generate the power to beat Dorus de Vries.

Ben Osborn then did well four minutes later as he put in a teasing cross that Ryan Mendes could not get enough on to keep it in play at the far post.

Fulham's giant striker Matt Smith might have expected to do better with a header when he met Ben Pringle's cross as de Vries made a good save from ten yards.

The visitors were dictating play through midfield as the Reds twice came close to putting the ball in their own net when Mills and Henri Lansbury struggled to deal with crosses.

Chances for the home side were rare. O'Grady produced a tame shot that was straight at Lewis from outside the box and Osborn saw a cross scrambled clear, but Forest were lacking attacking cohesion.

The Cottagers might have taken a lead into the break, but de Vries made a good save in the 43rd minute as he pushed McCormack's deflected shot around the post.

It was Forest who broke the deadlock as Mendes' corner was headed up by Mancienne. Eric Lichaj bicycle-kicked the ball to the far post, where Mills met it with a header that squeezed past Lewis and two men on the line.

Forest started the second half in much better fashion. They almost went two up after 50 minutes when Lansbury's free-kick was nodded back into the box and when Mills flicked on it fell for Lichaj in unfamiliar territory.

The right-back got a fierce volley away, but Lewis rushed out to make a fine save from six yards. The second goal came two minutes later though.

Nelson Oliveira showed how well he can shoot from distance as Lewis found his fierce 20 yard drive too hot too hot to handle.

The race was on for the rebound and O'Grady got there first as he smashed the ball into the roof of the net for his second goal in as many games.

De Vries had to be on his toes still and he made a smart save from Tom Cairney to get fingertips on his shot from the edge of the box just after the hour mark.

Cairney headed over with 15 minutes to go but the Reds were looking much more assured than in the first half.

Forest were soon straight back up the other end as O'Grady saw a shot deflected for a corner and from the resulting David Vaughan delivery, Mills ghosted in to nod home from six yards with 12 minutes to go.

Freedman took the chance to give Liam Trotter what could be a final appearance for the club as his loan spell from Bolton expires, while Jorge Grant was also given a senior appearance. Mendes and Oliveira were the men to come off.

Robert Tesche also came off the bench for his first appearance since the opening day of the season, when he broke his foot at Brighton, replacing Osborn with four minutes to go.

Grant saw a shot blocked in stoppage time and from the corner that followed Mills was unlucky to only hit the bar with a looping header.

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