It proved to be another disappointing evening for Stoke City’s as two second half goals from Nottingham Forest means the Potters are still in search of their first three-point haul of the season.
Despite Lee Gregory opening his Stoke City account on the night, and a lively first half showing from Nathan Jones’ men, Sammy Ameobi and Lewis Grabban added to Joe Lolley’s equaliser as Sabri Lamouchi’s side departed North Staffordshire sitting top of the Championship table. James McClean’s flick pulled one back late on for City, but it proved too little too late. With the Potters still looking for that first win of the campaign the signs were certainly bright at the beginning of the contest.
Just two minutes were on the clock when Ince’s searching ball found Gregory. The former Millwall man rounded Brice Samba in the Forest goal, but his effort was cleared off the line by Michael Dawson. City didn’t need to wait long to have their opener. Peter Etebo’s free-kick from distance was tipped over by the Forest stopper and from the resulting corner the Potters had their breakthrough.
The visitors managed to clear the initial cross before the ball fell to Ince, the winger’s volley was blocked but Gregory was on hand to rifle the ball into the top corner to give the Potters lift off. Despite City’s domination, Forest would go in level at the break. An offside Grabban challenged Jack Butland from a Matty Cash cross and Joe Lolley was on hand to bring the visitors level. The Reds could have turned the game on it’s head just minutes before the break when Tom Edwards did well to turn away a dangerous looking cross from Grabban.
Just two minutes after the restart it was Lamouchi’s side who took the lead when Sammy Ameobi rose highest to head home Cash’s cross. Twice the Potters created half chances to draw themselves level when Tom Edwards blazed over, and the ball just evaded Ince following McClean’s cross. Moments later however, Lamouchi’s men wrapped up the three points. With 30 minutes left on the clock Grabban fired home when the Potters failed to clear Ameobi’s cross and he poked the ball beyond Butland after Cash’s and Lolley’s efforts were blocked.
McClean turned in a testing ball from Edwards to reduce the deficit with time running out.
It proved too late for the Potters.