Norwich City were beaten 1-0 by Nottingham Forest in a closely-fought Sky Bet Championship encounter on Tuesday night.
City had good opportunities through Marley Watkins and Nelson Oliveira either side of the interval but the difference between the two sides came on 77 minutes when Daryl Murphy stole in at the near post to divert a Mustapha Carayol cross past Angus Gunn and into the net.
Daniel Farke made three changes to the side which drew with Barnsley on Saturday. Two were enforced with Tom Trybull (injured) and James Husband (suspended) being replaced by Harrison Reed and Watkins. The other saw Wes Hoolahan come in for Josh Murphy. On the substitutes’ bench, there were spots for Marcel Franke and Todd Cantwell.
City went closest to opening the scoring on 12 minutes. Hoolahan dinked a precise pass over the Forest defence and, despite his first touch taking him away from goal, Watkins managed to dig out an effort but the ball trickled inches wide of the post.
Then just minutes later, Forest had their best opportunity of the opening half an hour. Murphy managed to latch onto a long pass and cut the ball back to Kieran Dowell whose effort was saved superbly by Gunn at his near post.
Then on 25 minutes, Murphy managed to steal a march on Klose in the box and, after a cross from Barrie McKay, he headed over from a good position.
The two sides were restricted to half-chances for the remainder of the half, with Watkins having a shot deflected into the arms of Jordan Smith on 41 minutes and Murphy forcing Gunn into a straightforward save two minutes later.
City began the second half on the frontfoot and were almost rewarded for their superiority on 51 minutes. The referee brought play back after a foul on Oliveira and the City striker stepped up to whip a brilliant free-kick towards the bottom corner – fortunately for Forest, Smith was there to tip it round the post.
Mark Warburton’s men had rarely threatened in the second half up until the introduction of Carayol on 69 minutes and the Gambian international’s influence proved key for the hosts when, just eight minutes later, they took the lead. His low cross from the right was met by Murphy sliding in at the near post and the Irishman guided his effort past Gunn.
City’s best chance to equalise came in stoppage time when Ivo Pinto found Oliveira with a yard of space in the box but the striker’s effort rolled across the face of goal and wide, with the score finishing 1-0 to the hosts.