A spirited display saw Barnsley narrowly lose out in this clash against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

The only goal of the game came from the home side’s only shot on target, as on the 56-minute mark Ben Watson ended a Forest counter attack by rifling the ball home from Matty Cash’s cut-back from the right.

Barnsley still haven’t scored on the road so far this season – the only team in the top seven leagues to have that unfortunate title – but they didn’t let that stop them trying as Luke Thomas, Mallik Wilks and Patrick Schmidt all went close.

The hosts had the better of the opening exchanges, with two early chances.On the eighth minute, striker Lewis Grabban – Forest’s top scorer with four in seven – scuffed his attempt following a cross from Joao Carvalho.

Joe Lolley attempted to follow up, but some good defending from Mads Andersen stopped the midfielder getting a shot off.

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Less than a minute later, Forest were back on the attack and a free kick taken by Tiago Silva was met by centre-back Joe Worrall, whose volley was hit wide of the target.

The Reds then enjoyed a spell of pressure, with a quick succession of corners nearly seeing Aapo Halme get his head to Alex Mowatt’s in-swinging delivery, but the Finn’s effort was deflected out.

Forest played with the confidence of a team who haven’t lost since opening day, and they were handed the best two chances of the first half – both of which also fell to their star striker.

Grabban twice broke a lacklustre offside trap and will be wondering how he didn’t convert on at least one of those occasions.

The first was, admittedly, down to the forward’s lack of focus as he dragged the ball wide of the left post on the 25th minute. Ben Watson, who later scored with Forest’s only shot on target, fired a low through ball forward from just in front of the Forest centre-backs.

The ball bypassed the Reds backline completely and allowed Grabban to advance on goal, but he somehow missed.

While Brad Collins will have been relieved at that, the young ‘keeper was a much more active participant in the second opportunity for Grabban to grab the first goal of the game.

The forward latched onto Silva’s cute reverse pass and again broke the offside trap in the 37th minute – but by the time he’d controlled the ball Collins was already sweeping it away from under him with a brilliantly read charge off of his line.

Barnsley can admit to only one clear-cut chance in the first half, at 44 minutes.

Picking up a loose ball in the centre of the pitch, Luke Thomas motored towards the Forest backline and – with Mallik Wilks providing a dummy run into the box – switched the ball onto his weaker right foot. His powerful effort was well saved by Brice Samba.

The Reds came out the better of the two sides after the break, but as they advanced forward Forest simply soaked up the pressure – hitting the visitors on the break with fast, direct play.

Despite their lack of goals, Barnsley’s away performances continue to improve – after conceding they pushed further forward, Thomas going close with a powerful effort on the 81st minute and then league debutant Schmidt glancing a header wide seconds later.

Mallik Wilks also had a good chance on the 88th minute, when he turned Joe Worrall and had his shot blocked by Michael Dawson.

While this result stretches Barnsley’s winless streak to eight games, they can again be heartened by a battling performance – but they will want to start turning those performances into points. 

AS IT HAPPENED
  • 13:05pm
     
    Good afternoon and welcome to our coverage of Barnsley’s Championship fixture against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
  • 13:08pm
     
    Barnsley are hoping for their first goal and win on the road this season. They’re the only team in the top seven levels of English football who have not netted an away goal in the 2019/20 campaign.
  • 13:12pm
     
    Their away games have seen them lose 2-0 at both Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham City before a much-improved performance in a goalless draw at Wigan Athletic.
  • 13:17pm
    Coach Chris Stern said: “We are gaining experience as a promoted team of how to play away from home. We have gained experience from the first two games and a better experience at Wigan then, from all three games, we will find a way at Forest.
  • 13:18pm
     
    “It depends on the opposition. Some teams come at you and some teams sit back. We still have the same principles and style. But in terms of going forward and playing positive football, we saw it in Wigan and against Leeds.”
  • 13:21pm
     
    Team news is due at 2pm. The Reds hope to have Bambo Diaby and Cameron McGeehan available for this afternoon’s fixture, while for Forest, Rafael Mir and Ryan Yates remain sidelined. The home side also have four long-term absentees in Michael Hefele, Tendayi Darikwa, Yohan Benalouane and Carl Jenkinson.
  • 13:28pm
     
    Nottingham Forest are unbeaten following the first game of the season, when they lost 2-1 at the City Ground to West Bromwich Albion, and have since picked up four points from three home games including a 3-0 beating of Birmingham City.
  • 13:29pm
     
    The side, managed by former French international Sabri Lamouchi, have taken 12 points from their first seven games and sit tenth in the table – 12 points ahead of the Reds who are third-bottom – after a 1-0 win over Swansea City. They have lost just one of their last 12 games.
  • 13:37pm
     
    Stern said: “It’s a stable team. It’s a proper Championship club. They had great results recently. They beat Swansea last weekend. It’s going to be hard for us, they are on a good run, but we want to win again.
  • 13:38pm
     
    “If they feel they need to win at home against a promoted team who haven’t won for a couple of games, then that is a good opportunity for us. But I think they will prepare properly for us like we will for them.”
  • 13:38pm
     
    A win could see Forest move up to third, while Daniel Stendel’s side could move out of the relegation zone and as high as 16th.
  • 13:39pm
    Barnsley have not won in seven games in all competitions since beating Fulham on the opening day of the season. But their performances in the 0-0 draw at Wigan before the international break and the 2-0 home loss to league leaders Leeds United on Sunday have drawn compliments from staff and fans.
  • 13:41pm
     
    Stern said: “It’s the way we played against Fulham and the way we got promoted last season. We demand a lot of the players and get the most out of them. To be positive in and out of possession, get in duels, support each other as a team – this is what Barnsley stands for.
  • 13:41pm
     
    "We started in Wigan. We had a good game there, considering all the players who were out. We had to use the training days in the international break after we played a lot of games in August.
  • 13:42pm
     
    “We had more time to make small adjustments to the way we play. We worked hard in the international break and the standard against Leeds was the standard we need to be at in every game.
  • 13:43pm
     
    “We have our Barnsley team back and the supporters appreciated that performance. It’s what the players need to demand from themselves in training and in games. We need to show consistency. We can take a lot of positives from the great game we had against Leeds and, if we take our chances, we will win games.”
  • 13:44pm
    Head coach Daniel Stendel said his side ‘deserved a point’ after the way they played against their Yorkshire rivals.
  • 13:45pm
     
    Stendel told the Chronicle: “The main point is I am proud of this performance. We played like we can play. When you create so many chances against Leeds, it’s a very good performance. But we needed to take the chances in the right moment.
  • 13:45pm
     
    “In the end, you can see why Leeds have a big chance to be promoted this season. We are all disappointed but this is the performance we need every week and also to score. If we do that, we will win the points we need to stay in the league.”
  • 13:46pm
     
    Stendel said before the game that he had worked during the international break on returning to the high-pressing style that earned promotion from League One last season.
  • 13:46pm
     
    “We had a high press, kept Leeds in their own half a lot of the time and created a lot of chances after winning the ball. We played fast and defended high. I wanted to have the feeling when I stand on the sideline that we can win the game and that we want to win the game and we play with courage.
  • 13:47pm
     
    “I saw that today and then I can accept when we lose the game. In the end, Leeds was the better team but, for our effort, we deserved a point.”
  • 14:03pm
     
    The teams are in. Barnsley: Collins; J Williams, Andersen, Halme, Pinillos; Thomas, Sibbick, Mowatt, Brown; Wilks, Woodrow. Subs: Walton, McGeehan, Bahre, Chaplin, Schmidt, Oduor, Thiam.
  • 14:05pm
     
    Forest: Samba; Cash, Dawson, Worrall, Ribeiro; Watson, Sow, Carvalho, Silva, Lolley; Grabban. Subs: Muric, Figueiredo, Bostock, Semedo, Robinson, Ameobi, Adomah.
  • 14:06pm
     
    Forward Lewis Grabban, who joined Forest from Bournemouth last season, is their current top scorer with four goals in seven league games.
  • 14:06pm
     
    The 31-year-old scored 17 in 41 games for the side last season, including 16 in the Championship – making him Forest’s top scorer in a single league season since 2010.
  • 14:06pm
     
    “We know what he can do,” Forest head coach Lamouchi told Nottinghamshire Live after the striker bagged an assist against Swansea City. “Now we need to put him in the fridge until next Saturday for Barnsley.
  • 14:08pm
     
    “Barnsley are another team who it is not easy to play against. On Saturday, we must just play for the three points. If we want to do something in this league we need to get some wins in a row - and for the moment, that is not the case.”
  • 14:10pm
     
    Forest still have on their books goalkeeper Jordan Smith, who impressed for Barnsley on an emergency loan in their 2-0 win at Accrington Stanley last season. They also have Luke Steele, another ‘keeper who made 227 appearances in six years for the Reds. Steele is currently out on loan at Millwall, where he has played twice in the League Cup.
  • 14:12pm
    Oakwell left-back Dani Pinillos played 35 games for Forest between 2015 and 2017, with his only goal being a late leveller against local rivals Derby County.
  • 14:19pm
     
    Pinillos is the one change head coach Stendel makes to his starting lineup following Sunday's defeat to Leeds United at home. Dimitri Cavare makes way for the Spaniard and isn't in the squad. The returning Cameron McGeehan is on the bench with Sibbick preferred in the centre midfield position he has impressed in.
  • 14:25pm
    The Reds have only won twice at the City Ground in 17 visits across 71 years since 1948. Marc Richards netted twice in a 2-0 win in 2006 then Conor Hourihane’s late screamer was the only goal of the January 2017 meeting.
  • 14:30pm
     
    That 1-0 win was the only occasion in eight home league matches in which Forest have conceded all three points to Barnsley.
  • 14:31pm
     
    In the 2017/18 season, Barnsley won 2-1 at home with goals from Tom Bradshaw and Ryan Hedges but lost 3-0 in Nottingham days before their relegation was confirmed with a 4-1 defeat across the East Midlands at Derby County.
  • 14:35pm
     
    Cauley Woodrow leads the line after returning to the starting lineup against Leeds following a month on the sidelines. The 24-year-old striker, who was Barnsley’s top scorer last season with 19 in all competitions, has so far only netted once in this campaign – but the strike, a stunning volley in the side’s 2-2 draw against Charlton Athletic last month, earned Woodrow the league Goal of the Month award for August.
  • 14:36pm
     
    While the forward recognised the threat Forest pose given the gap between the two sides, Woodrow added that if his side were to play as they did against Leeds they had a good chance of coming away with something.
  • 14:38pm
     
    “They’re a massive club with a fantastic stadium and we’ve got to go there with the same mindset that we had at the weekend. I’m sure that if we do that then we can come out with something from the game.
  • 14:39pm
     
    “It’s important that we’re like that every week – obviously against Leeds it was a derby and you get yourself up for it, but we’re up for it in every game. It doesn’t matter if it’s Leeds or Nottingham Forest this weekend.
  • 14:39pm
     
    “We have exactly the same mindset because we’re at the bottom of the league now and we need to pick up points to get us out of that position.”
  • 14:44pm
     
    Just under 20 minutes to go until kick-off, and as the players warm up there's no sign of Bambo Diaby. The 21-year-old Spanish centre-back was a possibly to return for today's game after nearly a month out injured. Diaby played five games for the Reds before the injury suffered in the side's 1-3 defeat to Luton Town at home in August.
  • 14:52pm
    Another player to return for the match against Leeds was 21-year-old winger Jacob Brown. Brown gave an outstanding performance on Sunday considering he'd been on the sidelines for five months.
  • 14:54pm
     
    And while his side lost, academy product Brown was 'proud' to make his Championship debut against rivals Leeds. “I thought we did well for most of the game," said Brown. "We stuck to our plan and at 0-0 we had a few good chances and we maybe should have scored. We lost a bit of concentration towards the end and it cost us.
  • 14:55pm
     
    “Leeds are one of the best teams in the league, so for us to go out and play the way we did, is really good and I think we can definitely take a lot of positives from the performance. We know that if we play this way every week, then we are going to pick up points.”
  • 14:58pm
     
    The players are walking out onto the pitch, on what has turned into a rather sunny day.
  • 15:01pm
     
    1 Barnsley get the kick-off and immediately win a throw in the opponents' half.
  • 15:02pm
     
    1 Jordan Williams with a rash tackle on Joao Carvalho as the hosts look to break following a Barnsley attack. The ref gives the full back a warning.
  • 15:04pm
     
    2 Mads Andersen is called upon to stop a through ball from deep by Ben Watson up to Lewis Grabban. The Dane slides across the turf to intercept, but Forest get straight back on the attack and force a throw in.
  • 15:06pm
     
    4 Samba Sow gets the better of Mallik Wilks, who had been played down the wing by Dani Pinillos. The Forest midfielder does well to shield the ball and wins a free kick.
  • 15:07pm
     
    6 minutes gone, and no clear chances yet for either side, but energy levels are high and both teams look up for it.
  • 15:09pm
     
    7 Joe Lolley is found in the centre of the box by Lewis Grabban's flick-on, but some good defending means he can't get contact on the ball. The first real chance of the match, and it fell to the home side.
  • 15:11pm
     
    9 Joe Worrall volleys over the bar after a deep free kick from Tiago Silva.
  • 15:13pm
     
    11 Joe Lolley sends a cross-field ball to Yuri Ribeiro, whose high cross is caught by Brad Collins. The keeper had to be switched on for that one.
  • 15:15pm
     
    13 The Reds have set up very wide, with Luke Thomas tucking inside to join Cauley Woodrow while Jacob Brown and Mallik Wilks man either flank. Brown, attacking the wing, wins a corner on the right.
  • 15:16pm
     
    14 The corner is dealt with, but at the expense of another. Alex Mowatt whips it in and Aapo Halme nearly gets his head to it, only for the defender to clear.
  • 15:17pm
     
    15 Fans on either side take part in a standing ovation for former Forest manager Brian Clough, who passed away 15 years ago yesterday.
  • 15:19pm
     
    18 Joao Carvalho works his way into some space on the edge of the box and gets a shot off, but it's well over the bar. The hosts have had the best chances so far.
  • 15:20pm
     
    18 Carvalho on the attack again. The Portuguese midfielder breaks the offside trap and the ball is played over the top, but it's too much of a stretch.
  • 15:22pm
     
    20 Two mistakes in the middle of the pitch for the Reds, first Toby Sibbick and then Dani Pinillos giving the ball away to an opposition player. Thankfully, neither lead anywhere.
  • 15:24pm
     
    22 A long throw cuts the Barnsley defence in half as Lewis Grabban is allowed into the penalty area. Mads Andersen recovers and it's out for a throw.
  • 15:24pm
     
    YELLOW CARD
    23 Matty Cash is booked for a dive on the edge of the box.
  • 15:27pm
     
    25 Best chance of the game. Lewis Grabban is clean through on goal after a through ball from Ben Watson, but Forest's top scorer drags his effort wide. A real let off for the Reds back line, who either completely switched off or played a horrible attempt at an offside trap.
  • 15:29pm
     
    28 Toby Sibbick wins the ball well and it's collected by Aapo Halme, who finds Luke Thomas on the left. The winger's low ball into the box is teasing, but Brice Samba collects.
  • 15:30pm
     
    YELLOW CARD
    29 Jordan Williams with a wild sliding tackle on Yuri Ribeiro as the Forest man tries to break out of defence.
  • 15:31pm
     
    29 There's an extended break in play as Ribeiro receives treatment, but he's back on his feet.
  • 15:32pm
     
    30 Mallik Wilks gets the run on Matty Cash and attempts a cross to Cauley Woodrow, but it's deflected into the keeper's hands.
  • 15:33pm
     
    31 Joe Lolley wins a free kick deep on the right after Luke Thomas clips the winger, but it's sent directly into the arms of Brad Collins.
  • 15:35pm
     
    34 A bit of extended pressure from the Reds, but Jacob Brown scuffs his shot as he collects Jordan Williams' cross in the box.
  • 15:37pm
     
    35 Joe Lolley attempts an acrobatic volley but it's well off the mark. Yuri Ribeiro crossed the ball in for the forward after being found in a lot of space on the left.
  • 15:38pm
     
    37 Lewis Grabban again breaks the offside trap and advances on goal, but Brad Collins is lightning quick off his line to deny the striker. Very confident from the young goalkeeper.
  • 15:40pm
     
    39 The fingertips of Brad Collins get to Joe Lolley's looping ball in before any Forest players, following a short corner. Forest get two more corners, but can't do anything with them.
  • 15:42pm
     
    40 Another corner, and another Brad Collins punch away. It falls to Joao Carvalho, who swings his left boot at it from 30 yards, The ball sails high and wide.
  • 15:44pm
     
    42 A Matty Cash long throw to Samba Sow isn't dealt with, but the full-back gets another try as Dani Pinillos knocks it back out. The ball is collected by Brad Collins.
  • 15:46pm
     
    44 Barnsley's best chance falls to Luke Thomas. The winger motors up the pitch, and with Mallik Wilks offering a run he decides to go it alone. Thomas widens the angle and puts the ball on his weaker right foot, but it's still a good effort well saved by Brice Samba.
  • 15:47pm
     
    ADDED TIME
    2 minutes added time
  • 15:49pm
     
    HALF-TIME: A strong finish to the half for Barnsley, who are still yet to score away from home. But the best chances of the half were both Forest's - and Lewis Grabban's.
  • 16:04pm
     
    The home side are the first back onto the pitch for the second half.
  • 16:05pm
     
    45 And Forest get the game back underway before Barnsley win an early throw in their own half.
  • 16:08pm
     
    47 A good move for Barnsley which Alex Mowatt starts, exchanging passes with Jacob Brown and Jordan Williams before getting a cross into the box from the right. It comes out to Toby Sibbick, who side-foots it wide.
  • 16:10pm
     
    49 Barnsley are turning the screw. Toby Sibbick receives the ball on the left from Dani Pinillos, laying it back to Alex Mowatt to cross. Jordan Williams does well to track back as the ball is cleared, and it's played to Mallik Wilks who shoots from the edge of the box.
  • 16:11pm
     
    YELLOW CARD
    51 Aapo Halme goes in the book for an earlier foul on Tiago Silva.
  • 16:14pm
     
    53 Dani Pinillos almost nets against his former club. The full-back advances into the box and squares it to Cauley Woodrow, who unselfishly plays the return pass. The Spaniard drives it towards goal and it's out for a corner.
  • 16:15pm
     
    GOAL!
    56 Ben Watson rifles the ball home after a quick break from the home side.
  • 16:19pm
     
    SUB OFF
    60 Tiago Silva
  • 16:19pm
     
    SUB ON
    60 Albert Adomah
  • 16:21pm
     
    61 Alex Mowatt feels like he was fouled as he attempted a one-two on the right with Cauley Woodrow but ran into Samba Sow. Yuri Ribeiro picks the ball up for the home side and goes on a charge towards goal, but is stopped by Mads Andersen.
  • 16:24pm
     
    63 Joao Carvalho heads over after the hosts turn on the style with a slick move started by Samba Sow. The midfielder rose highest to get on the end of Albert Adomah's cross.
  • 16:28pm
     
    67 Luke Thomas' cross from the left is a testing one, but Brice Samba collects before the waiting Cauley Woodrow can pounce.
  • 16:29pm
     
    SUB OFF
    69 Joao Carvalho
  • 16:29pm
     
    SUB ON
    69 Sammy Ameobi
  • 16:31pm
     
    SUB OFF
    70 Cauley Woodrow
  • 16:31pm
     
    SUB ON
    70 Conor Chaplin
  • 16:32pm
     
    SUB OFF
    70 Jordan Williams
  • 16:33pm
     
    SUB ON
    70 Patrick Schmidt
  • 16:33pm
     
    71 A double sub for the Reds sees Patrick Schmidt get his first league start. He joins Conor Chaplin up front, with Jacob Brown filling in at right-back.
  • 16:35pm
     
    75 A break in play as Aapo Halme goes down after a knock.
  • 16:36pm
     
    SUB OFF
    76 Aapo Halme
  • 16:37pm
     
    SUB ON
    76 Cameron McGeehan makes his return.
  • 16:38pm
     
    77 Joe Lolley with a swerving effort at goal from the left corner of the box. It's deflected for a corner, and then another as the Reds get it clear.
  • 16:40pm
     
    79 Conor Chaplin nearly converts Jacob Brown's cross from the right, but Brice Samba can punch clear and set off a Forest counter-attack.
  • 16:40pm
     
    SUB OFF
    80 Joe Lolley
  • 16:40pm
     
    SUB ON
    80 Alfa Semedo
  • 16:42pm
     
    81 Alex Mowatt sets off a counter attack and plays it to Dani Pinillos, who sends a lovely ball towards Luke Thomas. The winger powers towards goal and his shot is well saved by Brice Samba for a corner.
  • 16:45pm
     
    85 Another good chance for the Reds as Luke Thomas receives it on the left wing and plays a low ball to Conor Chaplin. He tries to work it onto his right, but has to take a crack with his left which is blocked.
  • 16:47pm
     
    86 A left-footed shot from Albert Adomah hits the side netting from a wide angle. He'd received the ball from Alfa Semedo as Forest looked to break.
  • 16:49pm
     
    88 Michael Dawson puts his body on the line to deny Mallik Wilks, who had turned his man to drive a fierce shot towards goal.
  • 16:50pm
     
    ADDED TIME
    5 minutes added time
  • 16:51pm
     
    YELLOW CARD
    89 Conor Chaplin goes in the book after trying to take the ball from Brice Samba, who appeared to be timewasting.
  • 16:54pm
     
    90+3 The Reds are really pushing here. They were just nearly caught on the break by Sammy Ameobi, but the forward fouled Brad Collins as the keeper came well out of his area.
  • 16:56pm
     
    FULL-TIME: Nottingham Forest 1, Barnsley 0. Barnsley go down swinging in a spirited display.