Nottingham Forest 0-1 Fulham: Harry Arter scores stunner to keep Cottagers’ automatic promotion hopes alive and dent home side’s play-off push
- Harry Arter gave Fulham the lead in fourth minute of first-half injury time
- Nottingham Forest upped their intensity in the second half in push for equaliser
- Defeat leaves Reds in fifth place and look set for Championship play-offs
- Victory leaves Fulham four points behind West Brom who play Derby tomorrow
For Nottingham Forest, yet more insult added to injury time. For Fulham, yet more joy after the clock ticked into overtime.
What a difference those few seconds could make in the race for the Premier League.
After three straight wins, suddenly Fulham have renewed hopes of automatic promotion. This defeat, meanwhile, leaves Forest’s top-two ambitions up in smoke.
Harry Arter’s stunner broke the deadlock for Fulham in fourth minute of first-half injury time
The midfielder unleashed a well-struck effort past Brice Samba into the top-right corner
That’s now three games since the restart in which Sabri Lamouchi’s side have been punished with one foot in the dressing room.
Here, at least, Harry Arter’s wonder strike – four minutes into first-half stoppage time – gave them a chance at redemption. Scant consolation given they still ended the night with nothing.
Instead it’s Fulham making an art of playing to the whistle – for the second time in four days, they found a winner in the nick of time.
Bobby Decordova-Reid started as Fulham’s sole striker with Alexandar Mitrovic suspended
Nottingham Forest XI (4-2-3-1): Samba, Cash, Figueiredo, Worrall, Ribero, Sow (Yates, 45′), Watson (Mighten, 85′), Ameobi (Diakhaby, 57′) Lolley (Da Costa, 45′), Silva (Semedo, 64′), Grabban
Subs not used: Smith, Dawson, Semedo, Jenkinson, Carvalho,
Booked: Ribeiro (83′), Cash (89′)
Manager: Sabri Lamouchi
Fulham XI (4-2-3-1): Rodak, Odoi, Hector, Ream, Bryan, Arter (Johansen, 71′), Reed, Cavaleiro, Onomah, Kebano (Knockaert, 71′), Decordova-Reid (Le Marchand, 87′)
Subs not used: Bettinelli, Mawson, McDonald, Christie, Sessegnon, Jasper
Goals: Arter (45+4′)
Booked: Onomah (44′)
Manager: Scott Parker
Referee: Robert Jones
The result? Three games without suspended talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic end with three wins and no shortage of stunning goals. This from Arter may well have been the best of them.
‘Tonight wasn’t vintage us by any means,’ Fulham boss Scott Parker admitted. ‘My players showed another side to them… a certain mentality to dig in deep and get three points.’
Forest manager Lamouchi said: ‘It was not a very good game, we took a goal in the worst moment… a draw was more fair because Fulham didn’t play so well either.’
The visitors nevertheless leave with a spring in their step, having scuttled on to the pitch via the stadium car park – without protection from the driving rain or much firepower in their ranks.
Between them, Mitrovic (23) and injured skipper Tom Cairney (eight) have scored 31 of Fulham’s 56 league goals this season.
With both absent, Forest appeared better stocked for a fixture that has produced 23 goals in five previous meetings here.
Lewis Grabban’s goals have spearheaded Forest’s promotion push and early on here he was nearly gifted another. But after latching on to Tim Ream’s calamitous attempted backpass, his shot was tame. At the other end Bobby Decordova-Reid’s fierce effort from distance flew over Brice Samba’s bar. Chances were in short supply until half-time approached.
First, Grabban met Matty Cash’s low cross, only to skew his effort wide. The striker complained he had been held and Forest grievances only intensified after Arter’s spectacular opener.
Having overrun the ball, 25 yards out, the midfielder slid to retain possession.
His pass was blocked but, from the floor, he rose and unleashed a thumping effort into the top corner.
Forest’s players insisted Arter had used his hand but to no avail.
Lamouchi reacted instantly, introducing both Nuno Da Costa and Ryan Yates at the break.
More reinforcements followed as Forest urgency rose. Quality remained lacking, however, as Fulham held firm and killed the game’s rhythm at every opportunity.
Marek Rodak made smart saves to deny Da Costa and Alfa Semedo, while Cash’s delivery still posed problems. In the end, though, nothing could dent Fulham’s white wall. So Forest’s 21 years of hurt will have to end via the play-offs.
Sabri Lamouchi changed things up with two substitutions as the home side upped the pressure
After a reserved start Forest grew into the game in the second half to push for a leveller
Forest desperately pushed in the second half but were unable to carve out clear opportunities
Read More: https://www.kbcchannel.tv | For More Sports | Visit Our Facebook & Twitter @kbcchanneltv | Making The Invisible, Visible