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Club News


5 March 2016

Pringle provides the winner again as Town close in on the Play-Offs

Ben Pringle's second goal in successive games proved the winner again as Blues closed in on the Play-Offs. 

The loanee from Fulham followed up his strike at Huddersfield last weekend with a left foot finish midway through the second-half to edge a close encounter at Portman Road.

Brett Pitman went close to adding a second on two occasions but Pringle’s finish was enough to take Town to the fringe of the top six, with a game in hand.  

Town made two changes to the side that beat the Terriers, Daryl Murphy and Jonathan Douglas joining the injury list, with Kevin Bru and Luke Hyam coming into the starting line-up. 

Bart Bialkowski, who picked up the fans’ player of the month award for February before kick-off, immediately showed why with a save low down from Ryan Mendes. 

Dexter Blackstock picked up an early yellow card for a foul on Christophe Berra, Town then forcing Forest into some defensive work after Freddie Sears cut into the box, his cross cleared by Mendes.

Sears carried a real threat for Town, escaping Bojan Jokic inside the Forest penalty area but Brett Pitman couldn’t get a shot in when the ball fell into his path. 

Berra took Ben Osborn’s cross off Nelson Oliveira’s head, then Bialkowski saved superbly again from the Portuguese striker after Blackstock had led a counter attack.

Sears again provided the cutting edge for Blues, smashing a 25 yarder that was pushed away by Dorus De Vries at full stretch. 

Gary Gardner sent Mendes through but his shot was forced behind for a corner and from the flag kick, Matt Mills headed against the bar.

De Vries punched clear as Pitman challenged, the ‘keeper denying Pitman again at his near post in an even opening half hour.

Bru released Jonas Knudsen with a slick pass, the cross hacked behind by Michael Mancienne and from the corner Luke Chambers’ header was held by De Vries.  

Berra had to be alert to stop Gardner getting on the end of a ball into the Town box in the last opening of the first-half. 

Ainsley Maitland-Niles replaced Bru at the break and Town began positively, Kevin Foley bursting into the box after he started the move but failing to get his shot on target.

Berra stayed firm to clear from Blackstock, Foley firing over at the other end from distance. 

Osborn rolled a right footer past the post, Sears’ cross cut out by Mills as Pitman waited to pounce. Mancienne then booked for a foul on Sears. 

On the hour, Oliveira had a great opening for Forest but dragged his shot wide from the angle and two minutes later Blues were ahead, Foley prominent again and Pringle directing his pass into the net.

De Vries saved spectacularly from Pitman’s bullet of a strike as Town pressed for a second, the summer signing from Bournemouth then denied by Mancienne’s challenge on the edge of the box.

Luke Hyam and Oliveira were booked after a clash, Maitland-Niles over with a 30 yarder after cutting in from the right.

Forest made a triple change for the closing stages with Jorge Grant, Chris Cohen and Deimantis Petravicius introduced, Grant immediately booked for a foul on Foley.

Forest had five minutes of added on time to find an equaliser but Blues kept the visitors at bay to pick up another vital three points.

Town: Bialkowski, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Knudsen, Foley, Hyam, Bru (Maitland-Niles 46), Pringle (Digby 90), Pitman (Varney 90), Sears. Subs not used: Gerken, Tabb, Toure, Dozzell. Booked: Hyam.

Forest: De Vries, Lichaj, Mancienne, Mills, Jokic (Cohen 78), Gardner, Vaughan, Osborn, Mendes (Petravicius 78), Blackstock, Oliveira (Grant 78). Subs not used: Evtimov, Wilson, Tesche, O'Grady. Booked: Blackstock, Mancienne, Oliveira, Grant.
Att: 20, 658



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