When are Forest going to learn? After fighting back from a goal down to lead 2-1, the Reds again went onto the back foot and paid the ultimate price.
After a first half performance that can, at best, be described as dire, Forest could count themselves very fortunate to go in at the interval only one goal down. Bolton dominated the first 45 minutes and squandered several good chances, Gudjohnsen in particular. Amazingly, it took Bolton 32 minutes to get ahead. Excellent interplay allowed Cox to get in behind Louis-Jean and his low ball into the box evaded both Matrecano and Scimeca, Gardner nipping in to steer the ball past the stranded Beasant.
Forest started the second half like a different side and were level after 47 minutes. Rogers broke away down the left and crossed a low ball into the area. Bergsson and Branagan both appeared to leave the responsibility to each other and the ball rolled to an obviously startled Freedman, who somehow managed to shin the ball onto the inside of the post. Time then seemed to stand still as all three players watched the ball roll all the way along the goal line and end up nestled just inside the net. But hey, beggars can't be choosers as they say, and they all count, don't they?
Even better was to follow a minute later. A long ball over the top was controlled by Rogers, who displayed all of his pace to burst past Cox. All the defender could do was yank Rogers down and the Reds had a penalty. Up stepped Ian Wright. 3 paces,1 side foot, the keeper dived the wrong way and Forest were ahead. Surely Forest would go on and win it now.
Chances fell to both sides, but after some dreadful defending by Forest it was to be Bolton who would score next. When Quashie collected the ball just outside his own box there seemed little danger but an awful piece of control saw him somehow gift the ball to Gudjohnsen. He made a bee line into the area and was promptly flattened by Hjelde. Another penalty, another goal. This time it was Holdsworth who stepped up to beat 'Lurch' with a low shot into the corner.
The game was now very open and both sides had four or five chances apiece to score. Gudjohnsen rounded Beasant after 82 minutes but somehow managed to shoot wide, and right on full time Freedman cut inside a static Bolton defence but could only direct his shot straight at Branagan.
Just when it seemed certain that the points were going to be shared, more dreadful defending by Forest cost them the match. A quick one-two, Bolton were in behind the Reds again and the ball was fired in low. Somehow the bal evaded about six defenders and three attackers, but there alone at the back post was Cox to tap the ball into an empty net from no more than a foot out.
So Forest left the Reebok Stadium empty handed and slid into the bottom half of the table. Things have to improve soon, or we will have too much ground to make up.