Lewis Grabban’s brace saw Nottingham Forest produce a fine away performance to come away with a 2-1 victory against Fulham this afternoon.
The Reds nullified the threat of their opponents to snatch all three points thanks to Grabban’s goals in either half.
Aleksandar Mitrovic struck late on to give the home side hope but the Forest rearguard stood firm to secure a first away win of the season.
Sabri Lamouchi handed a league debut to Brice Samba in goal, while Joe Lolley returned from injury to replace Matty Cash and Samba Sow was also recalled to the starting 11.
Forest started the game confidently and hit the front on four minutes as Grabban pounced inside the area. A fine, flowing move from back to front saw Lolley spray a pass out to the left for Jack Robinson who drilled a cross into the area where Grabban was on hand to convert from close range for his third goal of the season.
The home side were dominating possession of the ball but The Reds were looking dangerous on the break, particularly in behind the Fulham full backs in an entertaining contest.
Grabban saw an effort from 25 yards drift just wide of the target on 17 minutes before Joe Bryan did the same at the other end of the pitch. Aleksandar Mitrovic had an effort saved by Samba and Tiago Silva acrobatically volleyed over as Forest headed into the break one goal to the good.
The second half continued in much the same vein with the home side controlling the ball as they looked to find a way back into the game, with half-time substitute Bobby Cordova-Reid heading down into the ground, forcing Samba to push the ball round the pot post on 53 minutes.
On the hour mark, however, The Reds took the opportunity that came their way as Grabban doubled his and Forest’s advantage. Sammy Ameobi stole the ball off Steven Sessegnon, allowing Grabban to charge towards goal. The forward raced past his man into the penalty area and lashed an effort in off the near post with Marcus Bettinelli well beaten.
The two-goal lead was preserved thanks to a fine save by Samba on 68 minutes as he flung himself to his right to keep out Sessegnon’s deflected volley as Fulham threw bodies forward to find a lifeline.
That lifeline came on 83 minutes as Mitrovic got on the end of Aboubakar Kamara’s cross to toe-poke into the far corner, setting up a grandstand finish at Craven Cottage.
Fulham threw everything at The Reds, with Joe Worrall producing a stunning headed block from Harry Arter’s volley which looked destined for the top corner, but the red wall stood firm as The Cottagers couldn’t break through to secure a fine away away performance and a vital three points for Forest.
Forest: Samba, Jenkinson (Cash 82’), Worrall, Dawson (c), Robinson, Watson, Sow, Silva (Semedo 58’), Ameobi, Lolley (Adomah 71’), Grabban
Unused subs: Muric, Ribeiro, Figueiredo, Mir
Goals: Grabban 4’, 61’
Bookings: Ameobi 33’, Semedo 66’, Samba 77’, Adomah 90’
Fulham: Bettinelli, Sessegnon (Kamara 74’), Mawson (Christie 87’), Ream, Bryan, Cairney (c), Arter, Johansen (Cordova-Reid 46’), Knockaert, Cavaleiro, Mitrovic
Unused subs: Rodak, McDonald, Le Marchand, Reed
Goal: Mitrovic 83’
Bookings: Arter 50’, Kamara 90’
Referee: Peter Bankes
Attendance: 18,186 (1,900 away)