Forest end goal drought by thrashing QPR

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QPR 2 Nottingham Forest 5

Nottingham Forest emphatically ended their goal drought by thrashing QPR at Loftus Road.

Forest, who had failed to score in eight of their previous 10 league matches, were three up and cruising when Massimo Luongo pulled a goal back on 68 minutes.

Matthew Cash made it 4-1 five minutes later and, a couple of minutes after that, Matt Smith, who had hit the woodwork early on, reduced the deficit.

Ben Brereton sealed only Forest’s third win in 15 away matches when he scored a cracking goal in injury time.

Brereton turned away from Jack Robinson and breezed past Nedum Onuoha before firing into the far corner of the net.

Lee Tomlin, who netted twice, opened the scoring eight minutes before half-time.

Joe Lolley found space on the left-hand side of the penalty area and teed up the unchallenged Tomlin, who finished coolly.

Tomlin was also given plenty of room for his second goal and again capitalised, this time blasting home right-footed.

Ian Holloway’s verdict: “The basic principles we’ve talked about while I’ve been here, they’ve normally done really well. That was as bad as I’ve seen. How many times you seen anybody, with the ball squared to them, and my team not in their face like an encrazed raccoon around a bin?”

And he set up the third goal, collecting Cash’s pass after QPR failed to clear their lines and dinking the ball towards Lolley, who made no mistake.

Lolley, signed from Huddersfield last month, was outstanding for Forest, whose clinical finishing made a mockery of their dismal record on front of goal.

The game might have turned out very differently had Smith been as clinical following Luke Freeman’s 13th-minute corner.

Onuoha headed the ball back across goal and Smith headed against the underside of the bar from close range.

QPR keeper Alex Smithies then denied Brereton after he had sprinted away from Robinson to latch on to Ben Watson’s through ball.

Smithies denied Brereton again on 22 minutes, this time saving with his legs to keep out the striker’s left-footed shot.

But Smithies was unable to keep Forest at bay and the visitors’ three goals put them in control before Luongo gave QPR hope by sliding in to apply the finishing touch after Freeman’s corner had been nudged on by Smith.

After Cash pounced on the loose ball to score after Smithies had failed to hold Kieran Dowell’s shot, Smith rose above Daniel Fox to head in Freeman’s left-wing cross.

Fit-again forward Paul Smyth, making his first league start since scoring on his debut last month, was lively up front for Rangers, particularly in the first half.

But the youngster missed a decent chance to further reduce Forest’s lead when he sliced a shot high and wide as QPR tried to find a way back.

And after Smith sent a left-footed shot wide of the target, Brereton netted Forest’s fifth.

QPR: Smithies; Onuoha, Robinson, Lynch (Eze 53), Wszolek, Luongo, Scowen, Freeman, Bidwell (Washington 70), Smyth, Smith.
Subs not used: Ingram, Furlong, Manning, Perch, Osayi-Samuel.