Football

Reds move level with leaders: Match Review

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Nottingham Forest moved level on points with Coca-Cola Championship leaders Newcastle after extending their unbeaten league run to 19 matches with an emphatic 5-0 victory over QPR at the City Ground.

Billy Davies' side overpowered the visitors with three first-half goals and added two more after the break.

A quickfire double from Robert Earnshaw put Forest in control before Dexter Blackstock made it a comfortable lead from the penalty spot against his former club.

Chris Cohen put the game beyond doubt with a 25-yard strike at the start of the second half and James Perch completed the rout as the Reds joined Newcastle on 52 points at the division's summit.

However, the Magpies have the chance to put daylight between the two clubs once more when they play one of their two games in hand against Crystal Palace at St James' Park tomorrow evening.

A late lunging tackle by Akos Buzsaky on Perch that earned the Hungarian a yellow card after 10 minutes was the only thing to get pulses racing prior to Earnshaw opening the scoring.

The Wales international curled a shot round the wall and just inside Carl Ikeme's left-hand post in the 19th minute after Blackstock had been fouled 25 yards out.

Two minutes later Rangers surrendered possession in midfield and Forest swiftly broke to double their advantage.

Paul Anderson slipped a pass to Earnshaw and he beat Ikeme by the same post with a first-time shot from the angle.

Radoslaw Majewski would have made it 3-0 after 25 minutes had his thunderous volley from outside the area been anywhere else but straight at the keeper.

The Pole was instrumental in the penalty that did lead to the third goal seven minutes later.

His cutback found Earnshaw whose turn was too clever for Kaspars Gorkss and drew a foul from the Rangers defender.

After missing crucial spot-kicks against West Brom and Birmingham at the City Ground this season, Earnshaw relinquished the chance of his second hat-trick of the campaign and passed penalty duties to Blackstock.

He duly obliged against the club he swapped for Forest in the summer by calmly sending Ikeme the wrong way.

Lee Camp got down well to keep out a deflected Nigel Quashie shot from a well-worked free-kick as Rangers threatened for the first time at the start of the second half.

It was not to signal the start of an unlikely comeback as Cohen unleashed a shot on the run that flew into the roof of the net after 49 minutes.

Ikeme tried to push the ball over the crossbar and should have really done better.

Earnshaw could have completed his hat-trick midway through the second half but headed a bouncing ball over the crossbar from inside the six-yard box.

Another chance for the treble for Forest's leading scorer went begging when he scuffed a shot in front of goal 12 minutes from time.

Fortunately for Earnshaw, Perch was on hand to tap home from close range.

Davies' side went in search of the goal that would have actually seen them usurp Newcastle at the top on goals scored, but it was not to be.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Paul Anderson
Akos Buzsaky
West Bromwich Albion
Internationals
Football
Kaspars Gorkss
Carl Ikeme
Championship
Robert Earnshaw
Lee Camp
Newcastle United
Dexter Blackstock
Nottingham Forest
Queens Park Rangers
Radoslaw Majewski
Crystal Palace
Chris Cohen
Birmingham
Liverpool
James Perch
Anderson
Nigel Quashie
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