Forest made to rue missed chances

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:20

Forest made to rue missed chances

Leaders Norwich lost against unbeaten Charlton to keep the door ajar for Stuart Pearce’s men, but they failed to capitalise to leave them with just one win in their last six in all competitions.
Both of these sides were predicted to be challenging for the title this season, but Forest arrived in Lancashire 11 points clear of their out-of-sorts hosts.
Uwe Rosler’s men had won just two of their nine league games, prompting the boss to embark on some soul-searching conversations with his players in a bid to stop the rot.
There were at least signs that these players were willing to answer their manager’s call for more desire and they almost toppled their high-flying opponents as James McClean came close in either half.
Michail Antonio was guilty of squandering two good chances for Forest – the first in front of an open goal – while strike-partner Britt Assombalonga was unusually quiet as Pearce’s men fired a blank for the third successive league game since they put five past Fulham.
With all the apprehension surrounding Wigan of late, it was unsurprising to see the visitors carve out the game’s first opportunity.
Nobody picked up Antonio at the back post as Eric Lichaj drilled the ball across goal and, for a man whose last goal against Fulham evoked memories of Dennis Bergkamp, the forward would have been disappointed to volley over an open goal from six yards out.
That served as a wake-up call to Latics. If they were bereft of confidence it did not show when McClean sauntered inside three players before collecting a scooped pass back off Andy Delort and firing an over-the-shoulder volley narrowly over.
Wigan lacked neither flair nor heart, although Delort tended to overindulge in the former, yet Karl Darlow remained an untroubled spectator in the Forest goal for the entire first 45 minutes, with Emmerson Boyce and Ivan Ramis both heading wide from corners.
Scott Carson had also had a quiet evening’s work up to that point but was called upon shortly after the interval, standing up to fend off Assombalonga.
At the other end, a long ball caught out Forest skipper Michael Mancienne and Delort tested Darlow with a first-time half volley which the stopper was equal to.
McClean had been arguably Wigan’s best player, only to fluff his lines when another chance came on the hour mark. The Republic of Ireland international broke inside of Jack Hunt and awkwardly created space for a shot which he tamely poked well wide.
Antonio should have done better moments later with an off-target header after Hunt had lost McClean and picked out the former Sheffield Wednesday forward at the back post.
Both sides pushed forward trying to claim a winner, however Andrew Taylor’s sweetly-struck half-volley was never troubling Darlow while Henri Lansbury’s effort from long range zipped into the side netting.
Forest would get behind Wigan’s back four in the final 10 minutes but Hunt’s low delivery missed Assombalonga’s outstretched leg.

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