Wolves Suffer Rare Home Defeat

Wolves suffered their first Championship defeat since October as a pair of first-half Nottingham Forest strikes compounded a frustrating afternoon for the hosts.

Keiran Dowell’s deflected effort put the visitors in the ascendency and they killed the contest minutes later when Ben Osborn fired into the roof of the net.

Wolves finished with a plethora of attacking options on the pitch but failed to truly test Jordan Smith in the Forest goal, despite all their possession.

Despite the snowy conditions which met the players upon their arrival from the tunnel, Wolves quickly attempted to warm the crowd up and once Diogo Jota chopped onto his right foot, he curled an effort narrowly wide of the post.

A series of fiery challenges from the hosts were aiding the atmosphere too, with Danny Dox and Joe Worrall booked in the opening stages for bringing down each of Wolves’ wingers with late challenges.

Hearts were in the mouths of Wolves fans just after the half-hour mark as Dowell’s free-kick was cleared at the back post by Matt Doherty, with Forest bodies ready to convert into the unguarded net.

The visitors were certainly joining Wolves in making it an entertaining contest and an inventive free-kick on 39 minutes saw Osborn flick the ball up and see his volley deflected narrowly wide.

However, from the resulting free-kick Forest took the lead as Dowell’s effort took a sizeable deflection and dropped past John Ruddy in the Wolves goal.

If Wolves weren’t used to going behind at home this season, going 2-0 down was even more foreign and the visitors duly doubled their lead moments later, as Osborn’s effort crashed into the roof of Ruddy’s net.

There would be no further action during the first-time and Wolves went in for the break with plenty of work to do.

Half-Time: Wolves 0 Nottingham Forest 2

Nuno’s response at the break was an attacking one, with Barry Douglas and Doherty making way for Morgan Gibbs-White and Helder Costa – a change which saw Jota move in field.

However, it was the visitors who mustered the next chance, with Fox having a header tipped over the bar by Ruddy.

Inevitably though, it was Wolves who were asking the questions from there and a quick breakaway by Gibbs-White set up Leo Bonatini, only for the striker to bend over the bar.

Ryan Bennett was next to come close, but on the stretch he couldn’t head Ivan Cavaleiro’s free-kick on target. The huffing and puffing continued with no real reward, as Cavaleiro’s downward header was caught by Smith.

With 13 minutes remaining Rafa Mir took the place of Ruben Neves, symbolising Nuno’s final throw of the dice, but his introduction did little to inspire the hosts who couldn’t find a way past the Forest rear-guard.

Full-Time: Wolves 0 Nottingham Forest 2

Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty (Gibbs-White 46), Douglas (Costa 46), Bennett, Cavaleiro, Neves (Mir 77), Boly, Coady ©, Jota, Saiss, Bonatini.

Unused Subs: Norris, N’Diaye, Batth, Miranda.

Booked: Coady 38, Jota 64, Bennett 90.

Forest: Smith, Lichaj, Mancienne ©, Bridcutt (Clough 68), Osborn, Fox, Cash, Brereton, Dowell (Darikwa 82), Bouchalakis, Worrall.

Unused Subs: Henderson, Mills, Traore, Carayol, Vellios.

Booked: Fox 6, Worrall 19, Bridcutt 30.

Referee: Robert Madley

Attendance: 29,050 (Away: 1,527)

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