Doherty scores as Ward sees red for Wolves

Nottingham Forest 3 Wolves 1

Doherty scores as Ward sees red for Wolves

Nottingham Forest 3 Wolves 1

Republic of Ireland hopeful Matt Doherty was on target for Wolves today, but his international and Wolves colleague Stephen Ward was shown a straight red card.

Nottingham Forest's magnificent run under Billy Davies continued with a fifth straight victory to propel the Reds into the npower Championship play-off places.

Henri Lansbury scored either side of Doherty's equaliser for Wolves, who were reduced to 10 men late on when Stephen Ward was sent off.

Substitute Lewis McGugan sealed the win in the final minute as Forest finished the day in sixth position.

Following successive 1-0 wins, Reds boss Davies named the same starting XI for the third game in a row. The only change came on the bench where Greg Halford returned from a two-match suspension to replace teenage defender Jamaal Lascelles.

Dean Saunders earned his first victory since taking over as Wolves manager at Millwall in midweek but the Welshman changed a winning team with Bjorn Sigurdarson recalled for Jake Cassidy in attack.

Forest had the ball in the net early on when Simon Cox tapped in Andy Reid's far-post cross, but the Republic of Ireland international striker was flagged offside by the referee's assistant.

Radoslaw Majewski threatened with a long-range effort after 10 minutes before his cross was headed over the crossbar by centre-half Elliott Ward midway through the first half.

Wolves' first real chance fell to Doherty in the 26th minute. Following a goalmouth scramble, the ball broke to Doherty on the edge of the area but the full-back sent his shot waywardly wide despite being afforded plenty of time and space.

Forest took the lead five minutes later. Former Wolves midfielder Adlene Guedioura was involved, teeing up Lansbury who arrowed a right-foot shot into the bottom left-hand corner from 20 yards out.

Davies was forced to make a change after 34 minutes, with midweek matchwinner McGugan replacing the injured Dexter Blackstock.

Forest had barely reorganised themselves when Sylvan Ebanks-Blake won Wolves a free-kick 25 yards out. Bakary Sako took it and saw his crisp strike smash against the crossbar with goalkeeper Karl Darlow well beaten.

Sigurdarson should have netted the rebound but blazed his shot high into the Bridgeford End, a terrible miss from the Icelander.

Ebanks-Blake shot into the sidenetting early in the second half after Elliot Ward lost out to David Edwards midway inside the Forest half.

Darlow then saved with his feet after another Elliot Ward error presented Ebanks-Blake with another opportunity.

Wolves were working hard and they were rewarded with an equaliser after 65 minutes. Doherty's looping header from Sako's far-post cross had just enough on it to beat Darlow, who got fingertips to the ball but could not keep it out.

However, their joy was shortlived as little more than 90 seconds later Lansbury curled in a lovely shot from the left-hand side of the box.

McGugan went close with a free-kick midway through the second half before Wolves' task increased in difficulty with Stephen Ward's red card.

Saunders' side went for broke at a corner, leaving only Stephen Ward back. Forest cleared the danger and counter-attacked with substitute Halford, who was body-checked by Stephen Ward as he knocked the ball past the last man.

Referee Michael Naylor had no option but to pull out a straight red card.

Forest made certain of all three points in the final minute, catching Wolves out with another swift turnaround.

A move involving Cox and Gonzalo Jara Reyes culminated in McGugan curling in a shot via the crossbar from the edge of the area.

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