SHOCK: Reading In Victory Sensation

Last updated : 17 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Nottingham Forest plunged into even more relegation trouble as they crashed to a 1-0 home defeat to Reading.

The result leaves Paul Hart's side in their lowest league position for 25 years.

It was Forest who dictated the pace in the opening minutes. However, a shot from Marlon King and a looping header by Gareth Taylor both lacked accuracy.

In the 15th minute the Royals had their first shot on goal but Nicky Forster's effort flew inches wide.

Forest captain Des Walker needed lengthy treatment after his sliding tackle on Forster that probably saved a certain goal.

Just past the half-hour mark Forster was clean through on goal but an alert Darren Ward successfully closed down the angle and denied the Reading striker a clean shot on goal.

In the 40th minute Steve Coppell's side finally broke the deadlock.

A low cross-field ball tore the Forest defence apart and Scott Murray needed just one touch before smashing the ball home to give the visitors a one-goal lead going into the interval.

Reading had not won for seven league games while Forest have collected just three points in their last 11 matches.

Early in the second half Forest manager Hart made the first change of the game as he took off Brynjar Gunnarsson and brought on young German Eugen Bopp.

The change gave the home side a bit more shape to their attacks as Forest's plight became more and more desperate.

It was Bopp who went close to snatching an equaliser with ten minutes to go but his powerful shot was hit directly into the keeper's hands.

Minutes later Forest threatened again. This time a downward header from Andrew Reid landed at Wes Morgan's feet six yards out, but unbelievably the shot went over the crossbar.

As Forest piled on the pressure Gareth Williams scuffed a shot when just three yards out.

In stoppage time Forest were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the visitors box but Williams' shot was blocked by the Reading wall as the home side's last chance to snatch a point was lost.