Blackstock sets Reds on way to win
Dexter Blackstock's first home goal in over seven months helped Nottingham Forest return to winning ways - 2-0 at home to Burnley.
The Reds went into the game following back-to-back defeats to Ipswich and Hull, but Blackstock, who last scored at the City Ground in a 2-0 win over Portsmouth at the end of April, set them on their way to victory this afternoon with a header after 59 minutes.
His strike partner Billy Sharp sealed all three points in the 76th minute, keeping his cool after he was put through on goal by Andy Reid.
There were three changes to the Forest team following last weekend's 2-1 home defeat to Hull.
Lewis McGugan made his first start since October and he was joined in midfield by Henri Lansbury, while Blackstock returned to partner Sharp in attack.
James Coppinger, Adlene Guedioura and Chris Cohen were the three players to drop to the bench.
Playmaker Radoslaw Majewski and on-loan defender Daniel Ayala were also among the substitutes after recovering from injury.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche made one enforced change with Danny Lafferty replacing the injured Ben Mee, who faces several weeks on the sidelines with medial knee ligament damage.
Burnley made a bright start and created the better first-half chances, despite Forest having more of the ball during the opening 45 minutes.
Charlie Austin had an early opportunity. The Clarets striker found space down the left side of the penalty box, but showed no sign of the composure that has seen him score 21 times so far this season and his effort joined the Burnley fans in the Bridgford End.
The visitors were having a lot of joy down the right and Martin Paterson's shot clipped the outside of a post midway through the first half following Kieran Trippier's deep cross.
Forest's first real chance came just after the half hour mark when Blackstock powered a header straight at goalkeeper Lee Grant.
Immediately at the other end, there was another close shave for Sean O'Driscoll's side when Chris McCann fired narrowly wide from a similar position to Austin's earlier chance.
Then, a minute before half-time, Forest keeper Lee Camp did well to save Paterson's deflected effort.
O'Driscoll would have been relieved to get his players into the dressing room still on level terms and the hosts were much improved after the break.
McGugan volleyed over from Reid's cross early in the second half before Blackstock broke the deadlock.
The striker had a lot of work to do with Reid's deep cross but he leapt brilliantly to loop his header over Grant.
It took a superb save from Camp to preserve the lead as Burnley sought an immediate reply. The Northern Ireland international got down well to his left to block when Austin seemed certain to score.
Forest had another let off midway through the second half when substitute Sam Vokes headed inches wide as Camp and his defenders stood statuesque.
But Sharp sealed the victory following good defensive work by Alan Hutton. The on-loan Aston Villa full-back sparked a swift Forest counter attack and Reid slipped in Sharp behind the Burnley defence and he finished confidently when one-on-one with Grant.
That took the wind out of the Clarets' sails and Forest comfortably negotiated the remaining 14 minutes.