0-1, min. 88, Hourihane.
Nottingham Forest 0-1 Barnsley: Hourihane heaps misery onto Forest and Montanier

Nottingham Forest 0-1 Barnsley: Hourihane heaps misery onto Forest and Montanier

Barnsley secured all three points at Nottingham Forest courtesy of a late Conor Hourihane wonder strike.

Sam Straw
Nottingham ForestHenderson, Cash, Mancienne, Hobbs, Lichaj, Vaughan, Lam (Kasami, min. 61), Dumitru (Vellios, min. 70), Pereira, Osborn, Assombalonga (Bendtner, min. 85).
BarnsleyDavies, Bree, Jackson, MacDonald, Yiadom, Kent (Watkins, min. 45), Hourihane, Scowen, Hammill, Williams (Armstrong. min. 81), Bradshaw (Winnall, min. 62).
REFEREEJames Linington.
INCIDENTSThe City Ground Stadium. 22,105 Spectators.

Barnsley continued their remarkable rise up the Championship league table on Monday afternoon as they saw off a poor Nottingham Forest to secure all three points. 

It was Conor Hourihane who came up with the late goal for the Tykes as his wonder strike from 30 yards out beat Forest keeper Stephen Henderson

A dull affair

Forest manager Philippe Montanier made yet another four changes to his starting line-up following the 3-1 defeat away at Newcastle last Friday night. The most notable changes were Henderson replacing Vladimir Stojkovic in goal and Britt Assombalonga getting his first start since returning from injury. 

Barnsley were the much brighter side at the start of the first-half. Forest could not get hold of the ball and were giving a lot of free-kicks away in dangerous positions around their penalty area. Adam Hammill almost capitalised but his free-kick was palmed away for a corner by Henderson. 

Forest had their first big chance of the match as a Ben Osborn corner was not dealt with by the Barnsley defence and Assombalonga found himself unmarked only to head wide. The Reds striker was becoming increasingly frustrated throughout the half as he felt a lot of decisions were not being given his way by referee James Linington

Assombalonga was involved again as he found himself with space in the area. He whipped in a cross towards Nicolau Dumitru but he failed to connect and Barnsley defender Yiadom almost diverted the ball into his own net.

Referee Linington was booed off at half-time by the home crowd as Forest went into the break at 0-0 having been largely dominated by the away side.  

Wonder strike causes huge blow for Forest

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom decided to make a change at half-time as Watkins came on to replace Liverpool loanee Ryan Kent who had been largely ineffective in the first-half. 

However, it was Forest who came out looking for the opening goal after the break. Both Eric Lichaj and Thomas Lam had good chances to open the scoring but failed to hit the back of the net. 

Forest's best chance of the game again came from an Osborn corner. Jack Hobbs connected well with a header but hit the crossbar as Barnsley survived a period of Forest pressure. 

Philippe Montanier decided to bring on Patjim Kasami, Nicklas Bendtner and Apostolos Vellios in the second-half as Forest looked for a winner and a badly needed three points. 

Forest thought they had taken the lead late on as Ben Osborn did well on the left wing by beating a couple of Barnsley players before finding substitute Bendtner who turned and drilled into the bottom corner. However, the celebrations were cut short as the linesman flagged for offside. 

Just moments later, Barnsley found the winning goal themselves as Conor Hourihane's 30 yard strike caught Henderson off guard and put the Tykes 1-0 up causing mayhem in the away end. It was a bitter pill for the Forest defence to swallow after defending well for the majority of the game.

Forest desperately tried to get themselves back into the game but their attacks came to nothing and Barnsley were able to see the game out for all three points. 

Huge week ahead for Forest

It could be a huge week ahead in Forest's history as they look to battle to stay in the division. The takeover from American businessman John Jay Moores is set to be completed this week.

However, this is expected to bring about a whole host of badly needed changes at the football club including a proper structure being built behind the scenes with a Director of Football, Chief Executive and a scouting network all needing to be sorted.

There could also be change in the managerial dugout with Gary Rowett rumoured to be in contention to take over from Philippe Montanier once the takeover has been completed.  

It was said that the new owners were planning on giving time to Montanier to turn the Reds' fortunes around. However, they now find themselves two points off the relegation places after four consecutive defeats and this is unlikely to have done much good to Montanier's chances of keeping his job. 

As for Barnsley, they are flying high near the top of the Championship and are enjoying a superb run of form. They now find themselves in 8th place just four points off 6th placed Sheffield Wednesday in the final play-off position. 

Both Barnsley and Forest have away games in the FA Cup to come this weekend with the Tykes travelling to Blackpool and the Reds will travel to Wigan