Guedioura returns to haunt Wolves as Forest claim 2-1 win
ADLENE Guedioura's spectacular strike heaped misery on his former club as Nottingham Forest claimed an encouraging 2-1 win over struggling Wolves.
The Algerian international was sold by Wolves in the summer, without manager Stale Solbakken even meeting the midfielder following his appointment, before agreeing to sell him to the Reds.
But Guedioura returned to haunt them in emphatic fashion, as his superb second-half strike secured three points for Forest boss Sean O'Driscoll, who had supported Wolves as a boy.
The home side had taken the lead early on through Bjorn Sigardarson, before Billy Sharp conjured up a well taken 16th minute equaliser.
Simon Cox struck a powerful shot that deflected off his own team mate, Sharp, as Forest made a lively start. But it was Lee Camp who had to make the first save of the game as Bakary Sako bent a low free kick around the defensive wall in the second minute.
Kevin Doyle then forced a straightforward save from the Forest keeper with a bouncing volley. While, at the other end, Henri Lansbury looked as though he would get a shooting chance following good work from Cox, but was charged down at the vital moment.
It took only six minutes for Wolves to take the lead, as Forest's defence was caught flat footed, with Sigurdarson given the space in the box to drive home a simple shot into the bottom corner. Jermaine Pennant, the Nottingham born winger, threaded the pass through for Sigardarson, who showed good composure in his finish.
Adlene Guedioura was clearly hungry for a goal against his former club and he connected well with a driven shot from 20-yards, only for it to deflect off Sharp, taking it wide of the target.
And, in the 16th minute, Forest did draw themselves level, following an incisive move of their own. Lansbury struck a delightful first-time pass 30 yards down the centre to send Sharp sprinting clear. The striker drew keeper Carl Ikeme off the line before slotting a low shot beyond him and inside the post.
Cox almost put Forest ahead within two minutes after cutting in dangerously from the left and bending a shot narrowly the wrong side of the post from just inside the box.
It was developing into an open, end-to-end affair, with Wolves then missing a fine opportunity to restore their advantage as they outnumbered the Forest defence on the break, with Sako firing high and wide when he had options.
Sharp might have done better for Forest after Cox had skipped into the box down the right, before cutting the ball back for his strike-partner, who lifted his shot high over the bar from 12 yards.
Sharp then returned the favour, but the end result was the same, as Cox flashed a shot just wide of the post after Sharp had delivered for him from the right side.
Kevin Doyle was booked when he slid in late and powerfully on Dan Harding, after the Forest man had cleared the ball down the line.
Collins had to produce a goal saving challenge after David Edwards had been picked out by Sako in the centre, with the Forest skipper sliding in to block when it seemed certain the Wolves midfielder would score.
While Camp also had to save smartly as Sigardarson sent another crisp shot towards goal amid a spell of Wolves pressure.
Lansbury joined Doyle in the book after a late, lunging tackle on Sako, which left the Wolves player in an agonised heap. The Forest man then almost scored, ghosting into space in the box following a bustling run from Sharp and seeing a powerful shot deflected around the post.
The second half began in similar fashion, with Sharp running powerfully at the Wolves defence and eventually feeding Cox, whose shot was well held by the keeper.
But it was Guedioura who was to send a message to his former club by smashing home a spectacular goal to put Forest ahead for the first time in the 57th minute.
Wolves had looked vulnerable at the back, but they should still have been aware of the Algerian international's capability to hit shots from long range. Yet they backed off dangerously as he strode towards goal, giving him the space to hammer the ball beyond Ikeme and into the bottom corner from 25 yards. Guedioura did not celebrate his goal.
Forest then suffered a significant blow when Cox was badly injured in a challenge with Kevin Foley. The tackle did not seem malicious, but the Forest bench were furious that a foul was not given – and then had to look on as the striker was carried off on a stretcher and replaced by Dexter Blackstock.
That came on 65 minutes and, within a few seconds, Forest almost extended their advantage, with Ikeme saving strongly after Sharp had hit a crisp shot.
Doyle was incredibly lucky to stay on the pitch when he kicked the ball away when a foul was awarded against him for a challenge on Ward. But, rather than showing him a second yellow card, referee East merely let him off with a lecture.
After showing plenty of attacking threat in the first half, Wolves looked impotent after the break, as they failed to carve out more than a handful of opportunities. But Forest were sitting deep and defending solidly.
Wolves did force a flurry of late corners, amid six minutes of injury time, but Forest held on for a deserved win.
Wolves: Ikeme, Edwards, Sako, Ward, Johnson, Sigurdarson, Berra, Pennant (Ebanks-Blake 75), Doumbia (Davis 75), Doyle, Foley (Forde 89). Subs: Stearman, Nouble, Batth, De Vries.
Forest: Camp, Hutton, Ward, Collins, Harding, Gillett, Cohen, Guedioura, Lansbury (Moussi 88), Cox (Blackstock 65), Sharp (Moloney 94). Subs: Darlow, McGugan, Coppinger, Ayala.
Referee: Roger East.