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The City Ground (ATT 27,856) 18th April 2009 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: S Tanner

N Forest Nottingham Forest vs Coventry City Coventry

Perch gives Forest hope

Reds out of drop zone as Sky Blues struggle on the road again

Last Updated: 18/04/09 6:00pm

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Perch: Match-winner

Perch: Match-winner

A solitary strike from James Perch just moments after the half-time interval helped Nottingham Forest to a much-needed 1-0 win over Coventry on Saturday.

The Reds eased out of the Championship relegation zone as a result and are now three points clear of trouble with two games remaining.

For the Sky Blues, their woes on the road continue and they are fortunate to have been spared a basement battle this season by their form on home soil.

Both managers made two changes from the sides they fielded in their respective Bank Holiday Monday fixtures.

One was forced upon Billy Davies after Kelvin Wilson was sent off in Forest's battling goalless draw at Sheffield United.

Another defender Ian Breckin also dropped out of the starting line-up as midfielders Paul Anderson and Lewis McGugan were recalled.

Aron Gunnarsson and Robbie Simpson returned from injury to boost Chris Coleman's options for Coventry.

They came into the side at the expense of Marcus Hall and Kevin Thornton.

Problems

Gunnarsson's long throws caused Forest problems early on and it was from one of his long launches into the box that the first chance arrived.

McGugan's headed clearance only went as far as Guillaume Beuzelin on the edge of the area and the Frenchman's first-time shot flew just over the crossbar.

Beuzelin flashed another effort wide after 11 minutes before Clinton Morrision warmed Paul Smith's palms from 12 yards out.

Despite Coventry's dominance it was Forest who came closest to scoring after 20 minutes when Luke Chambers headed McGugan's inswinging corner against the crossbar.

The half-time introduction of Garath McCleary for the injured Anderson breathed new life into Forest, who went ahead immediately after the restart.

Following good build-up play down the right, Dexter Blackstock held the ball up and laid it into the path of Perch and he guided his shot past Keiren Westwood from 12 yards out.

It took two Coventry defenders to halt a marauding run from McCleary and the 21-year-old threatened again with a 15-yard shot just before the hour mark.

Westwood kept the Sky Blues in the game midway through the second half with a parrying save to deny Chris Cohen.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Norwich City 10 20
2 Nottingham Forest 10 20
3 Watford 10 20
4 Derby County 10 19
5 Ipswich Town 10 18
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 9 18
7 Charlton Athletic 10 18
8 Middlesbrough 10 17
9 Sheffield Wednesday 10 16
10 Reading 9 14
11 Blackburn Rovers 10 14
12 Brentford 10 14
13 Cardiff City 10 13
14 Leeds United 9 13
15 Bournemouth 10 12
16 Millwall 10 11
17 Rotherham United 10 11
18 Brighton and Hove Albion 10 10
19 Birmingham City 10 10
20 Wigan Athletic 10 9
21 Huddersfield Town 9 8
22 Bolton Wanderers 9 5
23 Fulham 9 4
24 Blackpool 10 3

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