Lyle Taylor’s first-half strike ruined Nottingham Forest’s chances of going second in the Championship as Charlton Athletic eased their relegation fears by ending a dismal 12-game winless away run.
Taylor powerfully steered home Naby Sarr’s delicious left-wing cross after Forest lost possession and the Addicks held on with little alarm to move up to 19th place in the table, six points above the relegation zone.
A Reds side missing top scorer Lewis Grabban, one of five changes from the team that so impressed in dismantling Leeds United at the City Ground on Saturday, struggled to find their attacking fluency despite the best efforts of Tiago Silva and the ever-busy Joe Lolley.
Silva twice went close before the break while Sarr very nearly put through his own net with a sliced clearance that hit the top of the bar.
Tyler Walker, Grabban’s replacement, came closest to levelling in a disjointed second period, but Forest failed to take advantage of the 1-1 draw between Brentford and Leeds and slipped to fifth spot following their eighth defeat of the season.
The Reds had six wins from their past nine games and began brightly enough in an open game on a bitterly cold evening which ended in deep frustration for the majority of a near sell-out crowd.
Home keeper Brice Samba twice had to make decent saves, stopping a fierce Alfie Doughty strike at his near post and, after Taylor struck, also pushing away a long-range Erhun Oztumer effort.
Forest’s best first-half moments mainly stemmed from Silva, who was every bit as influential in midfield as Oztumer.
Silva tested keeper Dillon Phillips with a sharp turn and shot and then bounced an effort wide from distance. The Portuguese was also involved in a slick move that saw Walker scoop a shot just off target from Adama Diakhaby’s left-wing centre.
But the closest the hosts came to an equaliser was when Sarr’s sliced clearance from Carl Jenkinson hit the bar and went over.
Chances were limited after the break, with Charlton wasting numerous good attacking positions and Tomer Hemed guilty of some wayward finishing.
At the other end, Forest striker Walker was unable to get a convincing connection on a cross by substitute Matty Cash and sent his effort meekly into the arms of Phillips as Charlton secured a first away league victory since August to go six points clear of the bottom three.
Nottingham Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi told BBC Radio Nottingham:
“Different night, different atmosphere, different result, different performance [to the Leeds game]. We made a lot of mistakes, probably me first with some of the changes.
“But the best team won, with just one chance in the first-half, and we gave them the chance to score and they scored and after that they controlled the game.
“We could have played for two or three hours and we didn’t create a lot, wrong night and a bad performance. Lewis Grabban didn’t play with a problem with the knee, same as Samba Sow and Sammy Ameobi.
“But for Matty Cash, and Yuri Ribeiro it was a mistake. Tonight was totally different to three days ago, no rhythm, none of the same fight or spirit.
“I changed because we have a lot of games, but it was my mistake.”
Charlton boss Lee Bowyer told BBC Radio London:
“Saturday after the Stoke defeat I said – that won’t happen again. I know the group I have and that wasn’t like us but tonight was the way we can play.
“From start to finish we were better than them, they created the odd chance here and there but they’re a good side. Not many teams have taken four points from Forest this season, let alone come here and got three. It should have been more [goals], we should have won by more.
“We’ve been in every game away from home except the weekend just gone. We’re now three points nearer to the target of staying up that we need. People wrote us off and said we’ll go down, but I believe in this group of players and they keep fighting and I keep pushing them. With our fans behind us, we’ve got a good group here.”
Article courtesy of BBC Sport