Nottingham Forest secured back-to-back wins for the first time this season on Saturday afternoon, with the Reds defeating Wycombe Wanderers by two goals to nil at the City Ground.
The Reds returned to winning ways on Wednesday night thanks to Lyle Taylor’s stoppage-time penalty in a 2-1 victory over Coventry, and the 30-year-old played an influential role in helping Forest secure successive league wins for the first time in 2020/21 on Saturday.
Hughton was to name two changes to the side which recorded that last-gasp victory over Mark Robins’ side, with the big change seeing Miguel Angel Guerrero come in to the team to partner Taylor up top.
A change in system for Hughton’s men, then, as the hosts looked to take their game to the opposition and add more firepower to their attacking line.
The pair began to link up together well. On seven minutes, a quick break saw Guerrero lift the ball over the top of the Wycombe defence and through to Taylor.
Taylor latched onto the through ball, but after breaking into the area, his shot was saved well by Ryan Allsop and put behind for a corner.
Guerrero looked lively in the opening stages, with the Spaniard making only his second start for the club since joining from Olympiacos in the summer. The striker was sitting slightly behind Taylor, operating in the number 10 position and helping to connect the midfield to the attack.
Forest continued to assert their dominance on the game, passing the ball around crisply and with precision. In the 10th minute, a quick move saw Cyrus Christie charge down the right-hand side, but his low cross was cut out just before it could reach the dangerous-looking Taylor.
Guerrero was shown the game’s first card moments later, though. Growing in confidence on the ball, the striker chose not to pass to Anthony Knockaert, and instead, turned into danger and lost the ball before being booked by Matthew Donohue for hacking down Joe Jacobson from behind.
Forest were well on top, though, and on 28 minutes, they took a deserved lead.
A deep cross by Sammy Ameobi was eventually met by Knockaert with the winger supplying Cyrus Christie with the ball, before delivering a looping cross towards the back post. There was Taylor to nod home.
A second goal in as many games for the 30-year-old, who was in the right place at the right time to get up and head the ball past a helpless Allsop. 1-0 to Forest.
Wycombe, who were without their manager Gareth Ainsworth due to the 47-year-old undergoing back surgery, will have been disappointed with the start they had made given their recent high standards and performances.
The Chairboys came into this one unbeaten in three matches having recently picked up back-to-back victories with wins over Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham City, but aside from an early Daryl Horgan effort, the visitors failed to cause any real danger.
Their only shot on target in the first-half came on the stroke of the interval, with Anthony Stewart rising highest to meet a corner, before seeing his header being held comfortably by Brice Samba.
Donohue blew the whistle to mark the end of a half which Forest had dominated for large spells, and Hughton would have been hoping to see more of the same from his side in the second 45 minutes, with the 61-year-old making a change at the interval – Ryan Yates replacing Samba Sow in midfield.
Shortly after the break, Wycombe also made their first changes as they looked to get into the game. The powerful Adebayo Akinfenwa replacing Scott Kashket up top, and former Forest man Garath McCleary replacing David Wheeler, making his debut for the club after recently arriving on a free transfer.
Akinfenwa – as he usually does – looked to give Wycombe a different dimension going forward, and he was the target as Jack Grimmer curled a delicious cross into the area shortly after the hour-mark.
Akinfenwa was lurking, but Tobias Figueiredo was there put the ball behind for a corner, as Wycombe began to grow with confidence on and off the ball.
The other substitute, McCleary, was also at the centre of the action moments later, meeting Joe Jacobson’s wicked free-kick and heading straight at Samba from point-blank range.
Forest needed to get back on top, with Hughton bringing on Joe Lolley in the 67th minute as he looked to add more guile and energy to his side.
But Wycombe continued to apply the pressure, and it was the two substitutes who were causing problems. McCleary showed his pace to get past Yuri Ribeiro before floating the ball into the area, but Akinfenwa’s header across goal was placed just wide of the target.
As chances went begging for the opposition, though, Forest and Taylor were there to make them pay.
Taylor picked up a loose ball on the right before driving towards goal with pace and purpose. The striker darted into the area before unleashing a powerful effort which fizzed underneath Allsop and into the net. Two for Forest, and two for Taylor on 74 minutes.
A goal against the run of play, but relief for Hughton, who witnessed his side throw away a 1-0 lead in midweek after switching off in the second half. The Reds boss made his third and final change immediately after the goal, with Harry Arter replacing the booked Guerrero.
Wycombe weren’t planning on giving up there, though. McCleary was causing danger once again, firing a ball into the box with Akinfenwa seeing his header cleared off the line.
But as Wycombe threw men forward in their aim to reduce the deficit, this allowed Forest to counter. A rapid break on 81 minutes saw Knockaert play in Cyrus Christie, but the full-back saw his shot hit the side-netting.
A couple of minutes later, Lyle Taylor’s low cross found Arter, whose thunderous first-time effort was somehow saved by Allsop, with the goalkeeper producing an excellent save to deny his former Bournemouth teammate.
And after Arter’s late effort was blazed over from close-range in stoppage-time, that was that. Forest had recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season, thanks to Taylor’s brace.
A much-improved display from Wycombe in the second-half, with Akinfenwa and McCleary providing real threat after coming on, but a first defeat in four for the Chairboys.
FULL-TIME: Nottingham Forest 2-0 Wycombe Wanderers.