Forest can consider themselves unfortunate; they had adequate opportunity to make a nuisance of themselves, even before Blackstock failed from the spot. The former Queens Park Rangers striker should certainly have scored when, in the first half, he arrived in the Blackburn box at pace, only to allow Phil Jones to muscle him out.
Related ArticlesLeeds United 0 Liverpool 1Sunderland 2 Birmingham City 0Peterborough 2 Newcastle 0Sport on televisionIt might have been easier for Forest fans to swallow had they been confronted by a more impressive side. Sam Allardyce had made ten changes to the side that floundered so badly against Everton. But Blackburn were distinctly beatable nevertheless. Apart from when Nikola Kalinic nodded wide, with half-time approaching they had looked about as dangerous as David Attenborough.
It therefore came as some surprise when McCarthy, who had only made the bench at Goodison Park, threaded a free-kick through a bustle of bodies in the area, the ball, like a component in a physics conundrum, somehow plotting a path uninterrupted into the bottom corner.
With twenty minutes left Joe Garner tried a shot from range which looked suspiciously like creeping into the top corner until Brown proved a party pooper by tipping it over the bar. Three minutes later Steven Reid handled the ball in the area. But Brown guessed the right to deny Blackstock.
Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Smith; Gunter, Morgan, Wilson, Lynch; Cohen, Garner (Anderson, 82), McKenna (McGugan, 82), Tyson; Earnshaw, Blackstock (Adebola, 74).Subs: Camp, Chambers, McGoldrick, Moussi.Blackburn (4-4-2): Brown; Salgado (Jacobsen, 61), Nelsen, Jones, Olsson; Emerton, Nzonzi, Reid (Andrews, 74), Hoilett; McCarthy, Kalinic.Subs: Fielding, Doran, Van Heerden, Gunning, Chimbonda.Booked: Salgado.Goals: McCarthy 37.Referee: M Oliver (Northumberland)