Match: Villa v Nottingham Forest
Date: January 13, 2018
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: The City Ground
Attendance: 25,433 (2,004 Villa supporters)
Weather: 6c, cloudy
Scott Hogan’s first-half header was enough to seal a 1-0 success for Villa at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground.
After Forest’s Matty Cash had stung the palms of Sam Johnstone, it was the visitors who were celebrating just past the quarter-hour mark.
Robert Snodgrass whipped a teasing ball into the box where Hogan was perfectly-placed to glance home from a central position.
John Terry was the headline inclusion before the game for Villa, passed fit to don the captain’s armband for the first time in the league since November and the skipper was close to doubling Villa’s lead shortly afterwards.
Snodgrass was again the provider, sending in a dangerous free-kick that was met by a meaty header from Terry but the ball clattered back off the underside of the crossbar and down onto the line before being hacked away.
Kieran Dowell’s free-kick whistled narrowly past the upright for the hosts in the only other chance of note in the first half.
The second forty-five began in similar fashion, with Snodgrass forcing Jordan Smith to paw away a thumping free-kick at his near post.
Jack Grealish curled inches wide and Scott Hogan’s snapshot from a Hourihane lay-off was claimed by Smith at the second attempt as Villa looked to extend their advantage.
Looking for a way back into proceedings, Forest substitute, Barry McKay twice fired at Johnstone while Cash saw his header sail over the crossbar.
Ben Brereton then forced a fine save from Johnstone with a fizzing effort from distance.
Villa did have the ball in the back of the net again but Albert Adomah was flagged offside after a neat finish from Grealish’s clever through-ball.
ASTON VILLA: Johnstone; Elmohamady, Terry, Chester, Hutton; Snodgrass, Whelan (Bjarnason 45), Hourihane, Adomah (Taylor 90); Grealish, Hogan (Davis 83). Unused subs: Bunn, Elphick, Lansbury, Onomah.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST: Smith; Lichaj, Mills, Mancienne, Traore; Vaughan (Bridcutt 81), Osborn, Cash (Ward 81), Dowell; Clough (McKay 64), Brereton. Unused subs: Henderson, Darikwa, Bouchalakis, Walker.
Referee: James Linington
Assistant Referee 1: Neil Davies
Assistant referee 2: Robert Merchant
Fourth Official: Mark Heywood