Steve Bruce named the same side that had beaten Barnsley seven days earlier to take on Mark Warburton’s Nottingham Forest side yesterday evening at Villa Park.
The home side claimed their first victory of the season which saw them climb to 10th place in the Championship – just 2 points off the playoff positions.
Forest dominated the opening 15 minutes of the game without causing Villa any real problems and they were to pay for this when Villa took the lead through Albert Adomah.
Jonathan Kodjia broke from midfield and played a beauty of a through-ball for Adomah who rounded Forest keeper Jordan Smith to give Bruce’s men the lead.
Villa could have doubled their lead just before half-time when Forest’s centre-back Matt Mills struggled to get the ball under control which allowed Kodjia to once again play Adomah through but his touch let him down and he couldn’t make the most of his good fortune as his shot went straight into Smith’s arms.
Warburton’s men would have done their homework and known that Villa generally come out slow after half-time and it was no different here.
Forest levelled just after the break when Andreas Bouchalakis found striker Daryl Murphy who showcased his strength by seeing off challenges from three of four Villa defenders to slot past Sam Johnstone.
The visitors come close to taking the lead just moments later when Kieran Dowell found himself free with the ball from 12 yards out but his first-time shot was comfortably saved by Johnstone.
Despite Forest dominating the game they soon found themselves behind again.
Kodjia was hauled down from 30-yards out and Conor Hourihane stepped up for the resulting free-kick and sent a curling shot past Smith.
The game was pretty and at times nail-biting but ultimately it is another victory and three points on the board. Bruce will be under no illusions that the team must do better against sides who are able to create more against us or we will find ourselves struggling like last season.
We have two big games coming up against Burton Albion and Bolton Wanderers where we have to be expecting maximum points.
Steve Bruce: “Forest got a bit of a break just when they needed it just after half-time, and then, of course, it’s all about the tenacity to win the game. And then thankfully a little bit of quality from Conor with the free-kick. I think that’s the fifth goal this season so terrific from him.”
Mark Warburton: “It is frustrating as we came out in the first 15 minutes of the game and we were very good. We dominated, looked bright and threatening and then we gave away a very poor goal again and find ourselves 1-0 down”