Nottingham Forest fell to their sixth defeat in seven games on Saturday afternoon, falling to a 3-1 defeat to Brentford at the City Ground.
Goals from Henrik Dalsgaard, Josh Dasilva and Ivan Toney fired the Bees into the play-off places, with Forest falling to their 11th defeat of the campaign.
Forest came into this one on the back of six games without a win, scoring just one goal in that time.
In fact, they were to come up against a player in Ivan Toney who had scored 14 goals in 17 league outings coming into this one, with the striker scoring four more goals than Forest have all season.
It didn’t take long for Toney to have his first sight of goal, either. A slip from Joe Lolley as the winger attempted to deliver an in-swinging cross allowed the Bees to throw numbers forward and counter with such speed.
Mathias Jensen was the one driving forward and orchestrating the attack, before playing in Toney who fired just wide with a left-footed effort.
Brentford continued to dominate the early stages, and on 15 minutes, they took a deserved lead as Forest’s defensive frailties continued.
A dangerous Jensen corner was fired towards the front post, with Henrik Dalsgaard losing Tobias Figueiredo in a crowded area and glancing a header past Brice Samba.
Dalsgaard ran off celebrating with his teammates, with Forest players left to wonder how the defender could lose his marker and find so much space so easily.
Forest struggled to ignite a response following the game’s opening goal, and it was Thomas Frank’s men who had the majority of chances in the opening 45 minutes.
The visitors were moving the ball around precisely and sharply, and their confidence was typified when a quick break saw Ivan Toney attempt to chip Samba from all of 30 yards.
Samba, rather gratefully, saw the ball float over the goal and into the Trent End, after Cyrus Christie had gifted possession away far too easily.
Toney was in the thick of the action once again moments later. A slick passing move saw Emiliano Marcondes deliver a cross into the centre.
Toney met the cross with an acrobatic scissor-kick, which sailed just inches over the crossbar.
It took 37 minutes for Forest to register their first shot on goal, with Sammy Ameobi driving forward and firing a well-struck effort straight at Samba.
The half-time whistle blew, and after witnessing such a lacklustre performance from his side in the first-half, that prompted Chris Hughton into making two changes at the interval.
Miguel Guerrero and Anthony Knockaert were to come on, replacing Joe Lolley and Harry Arter as they looked to add a much-needed spark in the final third.
Knockaert’s introduction did give Forest a lift, with the winger pouncing onto a loose ball and winning a free-kick on the edge of the area shortly after the interval. Lyle Taylor could only fire into the gloves of Raya, though.
Knockaert and Taylor should have found a leveller only a minute later, the pair failed to find a connection with the ball after Ameobi’s cross was fired across the box.
Knockaert did have the ball in the net on 58 minutes, though, with the winger side-footing home from Cyrus Christie’s low cross. The referee hesitated, though, before ruling the goal out for offside moments later.
Nevertheless, Forest had improved and they were on top, with Thomas Frank looking to combat that by making a double change on the hour mark. Josh Dasilva and Sergi Canos replacing Jensen and Fosu respectively.
Forest continued to assert their dominance on the second-half, and had a penalty appeal on 74 minutes.
A precise, lofted through-ball by Yates saw Taylor through on goal, and amid pressure from Mads Bech Sorensen, the striker went down inside the area. Geoff Eltringham was to wave play on, much to Taylor’s frustration.
A minute later, Raya had to be there to tip over Knockaert’s teasing effort from distance, with Forest the team now playing with confidence.
But as the hosts pushed forward, another individual error wrapped up the points for Brentford.
Guerrero was guilty of giving the ball away far too easily in midfield, allowing the Bees to break forward with Canos and Bryan Mbeumo.
The latter found Dasilva on the right-hand side, before the midfielder cut inside and curled a fabulous left-footed effort into the top corner on 84 minutes. 2-0.
That was to be Mbuemo’s final involvement, with the dangerous attacker being replaced by Saman Ghoddos, but there was time for Brentford to add salt to the wounds moments later, with Toney getting himself on the scoresheet.
A long ball forward was latched onto by the forward, before poking underneath Samba on the volley for his 15th goal of the season. 3-0, and a demolition job on Trentside.
Forest did manage to find a consolation, much to the frustration of Thomas Frank. Joe Worrall heading in from close-range following a teasing delivery into the box in stoppage time.
Moments later, though, Forest’s afternoon was made even worse, with Anthony Knockaert being shown a second yellow card after diving inside the penalty area, very much summing up a frustrating afternoon for the Reds.
They now sit outside of the relegation zone only on goal difference, and were left to lick their wounds after a bitterly disappointing defeat.