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Nottingham Forest 5-3 Fulham Cham 07 1415 Daily Telegraph

last updated Thursday 18th September 2014, 9:04 PM
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Ian Baker at Daily Telegraph

Nottingham Forest (2) 5-3 (1) Fulham

Felix Magath was facing the axe as Fulham manager after his side's defence was torn apart by Britt Assombalonga.

The German's side are rooted in the Championship's bottom three and appeared on course for their first win of the campaign when leading 3-2. But Forest had other ideas with three late strikes to all but seal Magath's fate.

Fulham players left the pitch with their heads in their hands. They had failed to handle the pace of Assombalonga and Michail Antonio, who helped Nottingham Forest return to the top of the table.

It made it just one point from seven games for Fulham with Magath describing the season's start as a "catastrophe". He also pointed to a fortunate penalty Forest were awarded in the first half with Antonio brought down by Shaun Hutchinson. "I don't think about this affecting my position.We have seen a very good team. We were very unlucky," he said.

"This season has been a catastrophe. But I feel completely confident in this job. We played a very good game - no one can tell you any differently. It was never a penalty and that is what affected the game."

Assombalonga, a £5.5?million signing from Peterborough, was imperious. He took advantage of poor defending to head past Gabor Kiraly from Henri Lansbury's ninth-minute free-kick. He then struck the penalty 12 minutes later to leave Fulham with a mountain to climb.

To their credit, Fulham responded well, with Ross McCormack curling home a 31st-minute free-kick. Hugo Rodallega came close to equalisers either side of half-time. The Colombian did level on 52 minutes as he slotted home from Konstantionos Stafylidis's left-wing cross.

Eric Lichaj had to spring to Forest's rescue at the other end when he cleared off the line to deny Rodallega, who had rounded Darlow after going one-on-one with the home goalkeeper. But Fulham took the lead after 65 minutes when McCormack's deflected shot beat Darlow from Rodallega's pass.

The game became open and Forest's pace made them a threat. They levelled on 77 minutes as Michael Mancienne played in Antonio who slotted home via the post.

The City Ground was in raptures two minutes later as Assombalonga got his hat-trick, reacting quickest to bundle in a rebound after his original header from Jack Hunt's cross had hit the post. Substitute Jamie Paterson burst through to add a fifth a minute from time.

Steve Wigley, the Forest coach, said: "Fulham have forgotten how to win - they could not have given any more for their manager. They will get on the bus feeling very unfortunate."

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