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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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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 13 26
2 Watford 13 25
3 Middlesbrough 13 23
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 23
5 Norwich City 13 22
6 Nottingham Forest 13 22
7 Charlton Athletic 13 22
8 Bournemouth 13 21
9 Ipswich Town 13 20
10 Cardiff City 13 19
11 Blackburn Rovers 13 19
12 Brentford 13 19
13 Sheffield Wednesday 13 18
14 Rotherham United 13 16
15 Leeds United 13 16
16 Huddersfield Town 13 16
17 Reading 13 15
18 Millwall 13 14
19 Wigan Athletic 13 12
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 12
21 Birmingham City 13 11
22 Fulham 13 11
23 Bolton Wanderers 13 8
24 Blackpool 13 6

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