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Nottingham Post
Nottingham Post
Sarah Clapson

Luton Town v Nottingham Forest player ratings - Reds below-par as winning run comes to an end

Nottingham Forest’s winning run in the Championship came to an end as they fell 1-0 at Luton Town.

A controversial penalty proved to be the difference between the two sides at Kenilworth Road. It brought an end to a five-match winning streak and a 10-game unbeaten run in the league for Steve Cooper’s side.

The visitors found themselves with work to do as they went in at the break a goal down, following a nervy start. It was a flat first half from the Reds, who looked far from their usual selves.

Read more: Re-live Luton v Forest at Kenilworth Road

Read more: Forest boss Cooper names his team to face Luton

Brice Samba had to make a big save inside the opening 10 minutes to deny Fred Onyedinma. And there had been a tense moment for Tobias Figueiredo prior to that, when he was twice dispossessed inside the box.

Forest eventually began to work their way into the game, but they couldn’t forge a breakthrough, with Lewis Grabban thwarted after good work from Keinan Davis and then firing another effort off target.

The Hatters then took the lead with 37 minutes played, from the spot. Jack Colback was judged to have handled when he went to block a James Bree cross, and Kal Naismith coolly thumped in the resulting penalty.

The Reds did start the second half better. Djed Spence had the ball in the net but was flagged offside, while Philip Zinckernagel headed straight at the goalkeeper soon after coming on.

Luton went down to 10 men with little more than 10 minutes to go. Sonny Bradley was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Forest tried to take advantage, with Zinckernagel hitting the post and Brennan Johnson having an effort saved. But although they pushed until the end, there was no way through. Here’s how Reds reporter Sarah Clapson rated the Forest players at Kenilworth Road.

Brice Samba: Made a big save early on, but had little chance with the controversial penalty. Passing range wasn’t quite at his usual standard, although wasn’t the only one to suffer on that front. Rating: 6.5/10

Joe Worrall: A tough day all round as Forest made hard work of it, and Luton gave them little respite. Seemed shaky early on, but did improve after the break. Rating: 6/10

Tobias Figueiredo: Very edgy in the opening minutes, when a few slips almost proved costly. Recovered to make some important headed clearances. Rating: 6/10

Scott McKenna: Defence didn’t have an easy afternoon of it as Luton looked sharp. Made way in the second half as the manager changed formation in a bid to get something from the game. Rating: 6/10

Djed Spence: Didn’t have too many opportunities to test the opposition with his pace, but looked like creating something when he did - including what looked a marginal offside call when he had the ball in the net. Rating: 6/10

Ryan Yates: Had to really scrap in the middle of the pitch, in what was quite a dog-fight at times as the Reds lacked their usual fluidity. Might have done a bit better with a second half chance. Rating: 6.5/10

James Garner: Didn’t always have his usual composure on the ball, with the Hatters quick to press at every opportunity. A better second half, though. Rating: 6/10

Jack Colback: Will feel hard done by with the penalty decision, given he was so close when blocking the cross. The Reds have been on the receiving end of plenty of debatable decisions this season, and that was another. Rating: 6/10

Brennan Johnson: Struggled to really get into the game as Luton did a good job of snuffing out Forest’s usual threat down the right flank. Rating: 6/10

Lewis Grabban: Had a couple of chances in the first half - drawing a strong save with one - and did contribute to a brighter start to the second period. It was a disjointed performance from Forest all round, though. Rating: 6/10

Keinan Davis: Cut a frustrated figure at times, when the visitors struggled to get going. Didn’t get a lot of help from the referee amid a bruising encounter with Luton’s back line. Concerning to see him needing treatment and having to go off late on. Rating: 6.5/10


Philip Zinckernagel (for McKenna, 66 mins): Twice could have got on the scoresheet. Had a header saved and then hit the post. Forest looked better for the change, though. Rating: 6/10

Sam Surridge (for Grabban, 75mins): Bright enough, but didn’t really get a look-in to rescue something from the game. Rating: 6/10

Joe Lolley (for Colback, 81mins): Had some threatening moments, just couldn’t quite work the opening to make a difference. Rating: 6/10

Subs not used: Horvath, Laryea, Mighten, Cafu.

Who was your Forest man of the match? Have your say in the comments below

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