Forest chopped down: Match Review

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Nottingham Forest's pursuit of the Coca-Cola Championship's top two was hit by a second away defeat in a week as they were beaten by Doncaster.

Billy Davies' men could have gone within two points of leaders Newcastle with a win, but Billy Sharp's first half-goal ensured they replicated their 1-0 reverse at Coventry on Tuesday.

The loss also represents their third one-goal defeat from their last four games, but short of a penalty appeal in the first half and a handful of efforts in the second, they rarely looked like arresting their current poor run.

They were not helped in their cause by Garath McLeary's unfortunate late red card for a foul on John Oster, but much of the damage had been done by that point.

The win was Doncaster's first in a month and, although they seldom looked like adding to Sharp's winner, they just about shaded the verdict because of how well they played inside a frantic opening 30 minutes.

Sharp, who scored Doncaster's goal when they lost 4-1 in the reverse fixture in November, had the first chance but Wes Morgan flew in to block as he prepared to pull the trigger from six yards.

Sharp then had a 20-yard drive clawed wide by Lee Camp as Doncaster's high-octane passing game unsettled Forest, before Sharp, the game's busiest player in the early stages, almost lobbed Camp when played in by James Hayter but his effort died to the left of the goal.

Mark Wilson warmed Camp's palms again with a 19th-minute stinger as Forest struggled to get going, although their dugout was up in arms seconds later when referee Andy Penn gave nothing when Wilson appeared to bring down Chris Gunter in the area.

That move aside, Forest's performance was belying their league position and it was no surprise when they fell behind after 31 minutes.

Fittingly Sharp was the scorer, netting his 13th of the season as he ghosted in to get his head on the end of James Chamber's floated cross and catch Camp flat-footed.

Nathan Tyson, making his 200th league start, should have got Forest level almost instantly when he found himself one-on-one with Neil Sullivan, but he could only direct his effort against the body of the former Scotland stopper, with Radoslaw Majewski hooking the rebound wide of an open goal.

Doncaster began the second half in the same manner as they did the first and Hayter attempted to crown his 400th league start with a dinking effort that dropped over the bar.

James Perch's dismal 30-yard effort summed up the state of Forest's attack, although McLeary flashed an effort wide of the post after an hour as they gradually became more of a threat.

Dele Adebola then snatched at a volley six yards out as Forest looked to take advantage of Doncaster's failure to build on Sharp's goal, but their plans were hit with six minutes remaining when McLeary was dismissed for a lunge at Oster.

Forest appealed the decision furiously but the 22-year-old was forced to accept a first red card of his career as his side failed to find an equaliser.

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

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Doncaster Rovers
John Oster
Dele Adebola
Wes Morgan
Nathan Tyson
James Hayter
Lee Camp
Billy Sharp
Nottingham Forest
Chris Gunter
Radoslaw Majewski
Neil Sullivan
Coventry City
Mark Wilson
James Perch

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