Kieffer Moore’s double helped Cardiff claim a 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest to increase the pressure on Sabri Lamouchi. Neil Harris enjoyed his latest return to the City Ground, where he had a spell as a player, as Moore struck twice in the first half to put Cardiff in control.
Forest were the better side in the second half but could not find a way beyond goalkeeper Alex Smithies, leaving them to suffer an eighth game without a Championship win. That slump saw Forest drop out of the play-offs last season and this term’s form also sees Lamouchi’s position under further scrutiny. Were it not for Sheffield Wednesday’s points deduction, Forest would be bottom, subject to the later kick-offs.
Cardiff were quickly ahead, from a third-minute corner. Marlon Pack swung in a curling ball from the right side and Moore arrived powerfully, shrugging off any attempt to mark him, to thump home a simple but emphatic header. It was a tough moment for his marker, the Forest defender Tobias Figueiredo, who had given away a clumsy penalty at QPR last weekend and will feel he could have done better here as well.
Forest responded as Luke Freeman, on loan from Sheffield United, delivered an enticing ball into the centre, but Lewis Grabban lifted a shot over when a more delicate touch was required a few yards out.
Joe Ralls should have made it 2-0 when he was fed into space in the box by Moore but his first touch was too strong and it allowed the alert Brice Samba to smother the ball at his feet.
Samba had to make another big intervention after Sheyi Ojo had edged his way beyond Joe Worrall and into the box, before trying to find a gap at the near post.
The home side had to make a change when Joe Lolley was replaced by Lyle Taylor in the 37th minute. There was more bad news for them when Samba was beaten again by Moore, five minutes before half time. Forest looked defensively fragile again as Sean Morrison provided the flick-on, with the powerful figure of Moore this time prodding home.
Cardiff were well on top, with Ojo forcing Samba into another save before the interval, with a long-range shot, but Forest improved after the break. Ryan Yates failed to convert a golden chance with a header, although his bouncing effort did still require a good stop from Smithies.
The Cardiff keeper also had to be alert to keep out a powerful, driven effort from Sammy Ameobi and to bravely punch clear as Freeman sent a header looping dangerously towards goal. Forest just could not find a breakthrough, with Cardiff fending off everything they threw at them.
Reaction to follow