Nottingham Forest ended their dismal run in all competitions with a vital win in the Championship as they beat Bristol City 1-0 at The City Ground.
It was a superb second-half free-kick from Ben Osborn after a clever set up by fellow youngster Matty Cash which was enough to secure all three points for the home side.
A defensively solid first-half
Forest came into this game with youth coaches Gary Brazil and Jack Lester in charge of the team following the sacking of Frenchman Philippe Montanier last weekend. They put Jamie Ward straight back in the starting line-up following his loan deal at Burton Albion being terminated.
It was Forest who made the brighter start to the game as Matty Cash's cross had Britt Assombalonga on the move but Fabian Giefer was able to punch clear to safety on his debut for the away side. Ben Osborn played a neat one two with right back Eric Lichaj before the American had his shot blocked to prevent Forest going 1-0 up.
Forest's best chance to take the lead in the first half again came through Matty Cash. His shot took a significant deflection but Giefer was there again to superbly keep it out and prevent the home side from taking the lead.
This was the last significant action of what was a relatively dull first-half in which Forest had created the better opportunities in. The return of Daniel Pinillos to defence made them look a lot more solid at the back and had virtually limited Bristol City to no shots going into the break.
A moment of brilliance from Osborn
Bristol City manager Lee Johnson decided to make two changes at half-time after a very poor first-half display by the away side. Brownhill and O'Dowda came on in replace of O'Neil and Little as they looked to gain more of a foothold in the game.
The key moment in the second-half came in the 70th minute. Matty Cash rolled a free-kick to Ben Osborn who flicked it up and superbly hit a shot into the top corner of the net giving the keeper no chance. It was a superb goal and one which would deserve to win any match.
Huge result for Forest
It has been a very difficult couple of months for everyone connected with Nottingham Forest. However, this win was exactly what the club needed and has eased their relegation worries for the time being. This result has seen Forest go up to 19th place in the Championship league table and they are now five points clear of the relegation places which is hugely significant.
As for Bristol City, this result will only put more pressure on manager Lee Johnson. His side have now slipped three points below Forest into 20th place and are in serious trouble. It was a poor display against a Forest team who hadn't won since the begining of December and they should have done far better than they did. However, with the likes of Tammy Abraham in their ranks, they have the quality to get themselves away from danger and this is what Johnson and his team will be looking to do in the coming weeks.