Nottingham Forest boosted their play-off hopes this afternoon with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Hull City thanks to three goals in the final twenty minutes of play.
The two teams came into the game locked on points, but it was the Reds who had the better of the play and a quick-fire double from Joao Carvalho and Karim Ansarifard put them in control before Joe Lolley converted from the spot with eight minutes to go.
With 25 minutes on the clock, Forest almost unlocked the visiting defence as Tendayi Darikwa’s long throw was flicked on by Daryl Murphy into the path of Leo Bonatini, who saw his shot deflected just wide for a corner.
As he has done on many an occasion this season, Joe Lolley almost produced a moment of magic for the Reds. Receiving a ball from Bonatini outside the area, Lolley proceeded to weave his way into the box before unleashing an effort which was blocked.
The home side continued to have the better of it and they could have gone ahead just before half time. A deep cross from the left found Ryan Yates unmarked at the back post, he decided to head back across goal rather than trying his luck and the ball ultimately fell for Lolley who headed over a golden opportunity.
Forest’s pressure continued in the second half and Hull ‘keeper David Marshall was forced into a stunning save down low to his left after Murphy had directed Lolley’s ball towards the bottom corner.
Forest had looked the better side all afternoon and it was they who finally got a goal in the 72nd minute through Joao Carvalho. Only minutes after entering the field the Portuguese playmaker, who was celebrating his birthday, produced a moment of quality by hitting a stunning half-volley from the edge of the area which went in off the upright.
Four minutes later, and Forest doubled their advantage. Karim Ansarifard, another Forest substitute, had the simple task of dispatching into an empty net after Lolley’s curling effort had rebounded off the base of the post with Marshall beaten.
Martin O’Neill’s men were now firmly in control and things got even better in the 82nd minute as they got a third. Brilliant passing play in and around the area ended in Forest captain Jack Colback going down in the area and referee James Linington had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Joe Lolley stepped up to take it and he sent Marshall the wrong way to seal the three points.
In added time, Hull had their best chance of the game as Jarrod Bowen was found free just outside the six-yard box but his shot across goal was saved well by Costel Pantilimon, the Romanian stopper sticking out a limb to parry the ball.
FOREST XI: Pantilimon (GK); Colback ©, Murphy (Carvalho 68’), Osborn, Milosevic, Yates, Lolley (Goncalves 87’), Darikwa, Pele, Benalouane, Bonatini (Ansarifard 59’)
SUBS NOT USED: Steele (GK), Guedioura, Watson, Wague
HULL CITY XI: Marshall (GK), Lichaj, De Wijs, Burke, Pugh (Goebel 54’), Grosicki, Irvine, Kane, Bowen, Henriksen ©, Martin (Campbell 54’)
SUBS NOT USED: Long (GK), Stewart, Milinkovic, McKenzie, Ridgewell
REFEREE: James Linington
ATTENDANCE: 29,397 (1,990 away)
FOREST MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Ben Osborn