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Result: Nathaniel Mendez-Laing grabs winner for Cardiff at Forest

Result: Nathaniel Mendez-Laing grabs winner for Cardiff at Forest
© Reuters
Neil Harris enjoyed a successful return to Nottingham.

Nottingham Forest's miserable run against Cardiff continued as Neil Harris maintained his positive start to life as Bluebirds boss with a 1-0 win on familiar territory.

Cardiff have not lost to Forest in 10 meetings and they have won nine of those games after Nathaniel Mendez-Laing's precise finish earned them all three points at the City Ground.

Harris, who endured a tough spell as a striker while playing for Forest, would have appreciated the quality of the game's only goal, as the Cardiff man found the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the box to help the newly appointed manager to another victory in his third game in charge.

But Forest's lack of finishing power was also decisive as they registered 31 efforts on goal but only hit the target twice.

Forest carved out the first meaningful opportunity as Joe Lolley and Lewis Grabban combined to find Sammy Ameobi in space in the box, but the winger lost his footing as he hit his shot, which bobbled harmlessly wide.

Another well-crafted move ended with Matty Cash picking out Joao Carvalho in the box, but the 15million euros signing fired high over the bar with a panicked effort.

The home side had been dominant in the opening exchanges, but it was Cardiff who took the lead in the 14th minute, with their first effort.

After he was fed the ball by Lee Tomlin, Mendez-Laing was given the time and space to curl a precise, curling shot into the bottom corner, beyond the reach of Bryce Samba, to deny him what would have been a fourth consecutive clean sheet.

Forest looked to respond as Ameobi drove a wild shot high and wide, but Samba had to save when Marlon Pack looked to catch him out with a shot from a free-kick, when it looked as though he was going to cross.

Lolley fired wide and Ameobi wildly over as Forest continued to look for an opening, while the latter and Carvalho came a little closer with subsequent efforts, but still without hitting the target.

Forest were having plenty of attempts, but Ameobi was denied by a simple save from Neil Etheridge and Cash was off target again.

The second half saw Jack Robinson's curling free-kick kept out by Etheridge, but Worrall had to clear off the line to deny Cardiff a second goal as Junior Hoilett was picked out by Gary Madine only a few yards out.

Ben Watson and substitute Alfa Semedo both cleared the bar as Forest continued to create – and waste – a series of half chances. Forest notched up their 20th effort on goal with 20 minutes still to play, but only one had been on target.

Forest defender Robinson come agonisingly close with a curling shot, which missed the target by inches.

Cash finally forced another save from Etheridge with a well-struck shot, but it was too little, too late for Forest.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds37218856302671
2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom371913564372770
3Fulham371810952381464
4Brentford371791164333160
5Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest371612948381060
6Preston North EndPreston37168135045556
7Bristol City371510125153-255
8Millwall37131594440454
9Cardiff CityCardiff37131595250254
10Blackburn RoversBlackburn371411125245753
11Swansea CitySwansea371314104645153
12Derby CountyDerby371312124949051
13Queens Park RangersQPR37148155862-450
14Reading37139154642448
15Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds37139154649-348
16Birmingham CityBirmingham371211144857-947
17Stoke CityStoke37126194955-642
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield37119174558-1342
19Middlesbrough37914143747-1041
20Wigan AthleticWigan371011163850-1241
21Hull City37118184963-1441
22Charlton AthleticCharlton37109184454-1039
23Luton TownLuton37105224371-2835
24Barnsley37810194262-2034

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