Blues delivered a clinical performance at the City Ground back in 2014.BCFC
Going into the game, Blues had suffered defeat at home to Forest’s rivals Derby County, but prior to that had won four out of seven and were clearly determined to bounce back from the Boxing Day setback.
Boss Gary Rowett opted for an unchanged XI, naming the same team for the fourth consecutive match, and his decision was vindicated after a first-half display which took the game beyond Forest.
Live on Sky Sports, Blues delivered a clinical performance with all three goals coming in front of a packed and vocal away end.
Having already produced a series of chances, Blues went in for the kill and scored three times in the final ten minutes of the first half at a bitterly cold City Ground where snow was piled up around the field of play.
The opener came courtesy of free-kick specialist David Cotterill, with the Welshman’s devious delivery skidding unaided through a cluster of bodies to leave Forest goalkeeper Karl Darlow flummoxed. Experiencing a real purple patch, it was the summer signing’s fourth goal in six league outings.
Just three minutes later Blues added a second and it was again the result of Cotterill’s fine delivery. Collecting possession from Demarai Gray’s short corner, the winger whipped the ball towards goal where it was helped into the back of the net by Clayton Donaldson. In his first season in the West Midlands, the striker had claimed the opening goal also touched him on its way in, with Rowett joking after the game that "I don't think even Father Christmas would give him that."
The Reds were ready for the half-time whistle even if it meant facing the wrath of manager Stuart Pearce, except Blues had other ideas – landing one final blow in the last minute of an opening 45 to remember.
Having previously penetrated the home side from the left, the third goal came from the opposite side following great work from Andrew Shinnie. The Scottish international’s shot could not be held, and a rushed clearance deflected kindly into the path of Donaldson who could not believe his luck. Gift wrapped, all he had to do was turn the ball into the unguarded goal.
Blues were not able to add further goals after the break, but in truth neither did they need to, and the only blot on an otherwise spotless copybook was a late consolation goal from Britt Assombalonga.
Victory took Blues level on points with tenth-placed Forest and was the sixth win in nine as they continued to climb the Sky Bet Championship tree. The white Christmas had a welcome shade of blue.
Blues: Darren Randolph, Paul Caddis, Michael Morrison, Paul Robinson, Jonathan Grounds, David Davis, Stephen Gleeson, David Cotterill (Nikola Zigic 79), Andrew Shinnie (Callum Reilly 71), Demarai Gray (Guy Moussi 87), Clayton Donaldson.
Substitutes not used: Colin Doyle, David Edgar, Koby Arthur, Wes Thomas.