Nottingham Forest 1-0 Millwall: Reds Scrape Opening Day Win With Sensational McKay Strike
28,000 fans filled the City Ground as Nottingham Forest claimed victory over Millwall in Friday night's exciting Championship season opener, thanks to Barrie McKay's stunning strike.
New signings for either side were on show as McKay, Daryl Murphy and Tendayi Darikwa all started for the homes side. Conor McLaughlin and James Meredith also made their debuts for Millwall in the full-back positions.
The travelling Millwall fans saw their side take dominate for the opening half an hour, creating some good chances including a Steve Morrison overhead kick that clattered off the bar.
Forest really didn't get into the game at all and allowed Millwall to have multiple free headers inside the box, with Jordan Smith having to make a host of early saves.
Eventually the balance of play levelled out, with each side having multiple chances at either end although, due to a lack of quality, neither team could break the deadlock.
However on the 41st minute a goal of superb class was supplied by McKay. The Scotsman picked up the ball inside his own half before striding forward and hitting a 25-yard shot which smashed of the right hand post, leaving Millwall keeper Jordan Archer with no chance.
The first half ended with Forest leading 1-0 despite the fact that the away side could've easily been 0-3 up before McKay's stunner.
Defensive errors had been a running theme for Forest in the first half and poor decision making at the back meant the ball was again given away to Millwall early in the second half. Luckily Forest had another huge let off though, as Gregory put his effort narrowly over the bar.
Forest continued to be the architects of their own problems throughout the second half, as they repeatedly tried to try play it out from the back, even when there were no safe passes to be played.
Millwall continued to trouble Forest in the second half, with chance after chance barraging the Forest goal. A corner in the 72nd minute caused some desperate and scrappy Forest defending, with the ball eventually clearer off the line by Traore.
The visitors did have the ball in the back of the net with the following chance, however the goal was chalked off with Morrison in an offside position.
Millwall continued to dominate the second half and Mark Warburton took Daryl Murphy off for centre-back Matt Mills, in order to try and hold onto the lead.
Forest's only shining light of the second half was the introduction of young Everton loanee Kieran Dowell, who looked a talent when he came on.
Forest managed to hold out for the win, but looked less than convincing. Barrie McKay picked up man-of-the-match but will know that his team will need to improve, if they want to challenge in the Championship this season.