Newcastle United 3-1 Nottingham Forest: Toon army get revenge against Reds

Newcastle United continued their promotion push on Friday night, as they saw off 10 man Nottingham Forest to secure all three points.

Matt Ritchie's deflected free-kick gave the Toon an early lead. However, Forest responded well as Nicolau Dumitru equalised to make it 1-1. Newcastle took charge in the second-half with Dwight Gayle scored a brace after Matt Mills was dismissed. 

Forest put up a fight 

Forest manager Philippe Montanier again made some surprising selections in his starting line-up. He included the likes of Patjim KasamiNicklas Bendtner and Nicolao Dumitru who have all been criticised for their performances of late. 

Newcastle were seeking revenge for the 2-1 defeat earlier on in the month and were immediately on the front-foot. Matt Ritchie made the most of Newcastle's early pressure as his free-kick deflected past a helpless Vladamir Stojkovic to make it 1-0 after just four minutes.

The home side continued to attack a Forest side who have still only managed one clean sheet all season. They almost made it 2-0 but Championship top goalscorer Dwight Gayle was only able to head Hayden's cross straight at Stojkovic. 

Forest then started to create a few chances of their own to draw level in the match. Their first chance of the match came as Dumitru did well to set up Kasami on the edge of the box, only for the Swiss international to fire wide.

The away side then had another big chance in the 20th minute as full-back Eric Lichaj crossed the ball into the box before Nicklas Bendtner superbly dummied for Dumitru but he again fired wide. 

Forest were rewarded for their positive response to going behind when Dumitru capitalised on a loose ball in the penalty area and fired a low shot beyond Karl Darlow to make it 1-1. 

The Reds were revitalised by their equaliser, and were the better side before half-time but Newcastle were still looking dangerous on the counter-attack. Despite half chances for both sides, they went into half-time locked at 1-1. 

Newcastle take advantage of poor discipline

The home side started the second-half much the same as the first. They came out and were immediately putting the Forest defence on the back foot.

Matt Ritchie had a great chance to restore the advantage for Newcastle but his shot from close range was kept out superbly by Stojkovic who was being kept busy in the Forest goal. 

The game changing moment came in the 60th minute as referee Keith Stroud sent Forest defender Matt Mills off for dissent after showing his frustration about his first booking. It was a lack of discipline from Mills but also arguably a very soft second yellow. 

This gave Newcastle a huge advantage and it didn't take them long to make the most of it. A matter of minutes after Mills was dismissed, Gayle capitalised on a poor header from Eric Lichaj and volleyed home past Stojkovic whose positioning was also questionable. 

Philippe Montanier made a change by bringing on Forest's star-striker Britt Assombalonga on as he continues his return from injury as he replaced goalscorer Dumitru. 

However, it was Newcastle's frontman, Dwight Gayle, who got himself on the scoresheet for the second time in the match in the 80th minute as he bundled the ball into the back of the net when Stojkovic should have done better. 

Newcastle were able to see the game out comfortably against the 10 men of Forest, as they bounced back from their 1-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday last time out. 

Dumitru scored a surprise Forest equaliser. (picture: Getty Images / Serena Taylor)
Dumitru scored a surprise Forest equaliser. (picture: Getty Images / Serena Taylor)

The beginning of the end for Montanier?

Forest have now gone five games without a victory following this result, as the pressure on manager Philippe Montanier grows even greater. His Forest side continue to lack discipline and defensive guile as the continue their slide down the table. 

There have been rumours all week about Forest's potential new owners potentially lining up former Birmingham manager Gary Rowett. These rumours are likely to become even more apparent in the coming days as the takeover edges ever closer.

As for Newcastle, this result sees them return to the top of the Championship league table due to Brighton & Hove Albion's home game against Cardiff City was postponed due to fog. 

They will look to solidify their position on the 2nd January as they face Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. Forest have a tricky home game against inform Barnsley to come at The City Ground.

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