Ryan Yates claimed his third goal of the season against BarnsleyNottingham Forest chalked up a fourth straight win as they cruised past the Championship’s depleted bottom side Barnsley at the City Ground.
Keinan Davis robbed possession from a ponderous Mads Andersen and raced away to slot past Barnsley keeper Brad Collins.
Ryan Yates tapped in Brennan Johnson’s cross after neat Forest build-up to make it 2-0 at the break.
A fine driving run from Djed Spence and pullback then teed up Johnson who stroked a finish across Collins and into the far corner to wrap up the win.
Relive Tuesday’s EFL actionBottom side Barnsley, without a win in 10 league matches, reported just 12 players fit for training on Monday and made the trip to the East Midlands without head coach Poya Asbaghi who was displaying Covid-19 symptoms.
And they were soon on the defensive as Forest defender Steve Cook headed just wide before Tykes captain Andersen gifted Aston Villa loanee Davis his first goal for Forest.
Callum Styles saw a first-time effort cleared off the line as the Tykes almost levelled, but it was firmly against the run of play.
James Garner skewed a shot just wide and Collins palmed a Yates header over the bar before the midfielder doubled the lead a moment later.
Forest were in cruise control after the break with Spence, a reported January target for Premier League clubs, impressing to set up Johnson’s seventh goal of the season and then teeing up Xande Silva whose powerful strike smacked a post.
A sixth win in eight league matches lifts Forest within a point of the play-off places in seventh, while Barnsley remain eight points from safety after a 14th defeat in their last 18 league matches.
Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper told BBC Radio Nottingham:
“I enjoyed the goals, we should have scored a couple more, I didn’t love the performance, particularly in the second half.
“We’re a much better team than what we showed so in some ways the result and the performance didn’t really match up.
“We’re trying to raise standards in every part of the club and that includes the team on the pitch and if I feel they fall a bit short then I’ll say it.
“I don’t want to sound too negative, there were some really good things today, 3-0 great, but we’ve got to keep working hard to progress.”
Barnsley assistant coach Ferran Sibila:
“We had a lot of players missing and out of position, but we still had a plan and, before they scored, we showed the belief was there.
“I was really pleased with the performance up to the point when we had that unfortunate situation with Mads, who is a fantastic player who I admire for the way he trains and plays. But we gave that first goal to them and it changed the game.
“The belief went down after that and, while we have looked at the running stats and they show that the commitment was still there, the performance was not good enough.”
Line-upsNottm ForestFormation 4-2-3-1
30Samba2Spence27S Cook26McKenna8Colback22Yates37GarnerBooked at 52mins20JohnsonSubstituted forKonateat 82’minutes11Zinckernagel7GrabbanSubstituted forCosta Silvaat 78’minutes9DavisBooked at 61minsSubstituted forLoweat 69’minutesSubstitutes1Horvath3Figueiredo10Carvalho15Lowe18Ribeiro Dias19Costa Silva42KonateBarnsleyFormation 4-2-3-1
40Collins15MoonSubstituted forVitaat 87’minutes30HelikBooked at 61mins6AndersenBooked at 12mins2Williams17Gomes21PalmerBooked at 7minsSubstituted forWolfeat 81’minutes4Styles29Adeboyejo11Leya IsekaSubstituted forBremangat 82’minutes44ColeSubstitutes1Walton23Hondermarck26Vita32Sraha33Wolfe42Bremang46ThompsonReferee:Michael Salisbury
Live TextMatch ends, Nottingham Forest 3, Barnsley 0.
Second Half ends, Nottingham Forest 3, Barnsley 0.
Attempt missed. Xande Silva (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by James Garner with a cross.
James Garner (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Michal Helik (Barnsley).
Substitution, Barnsley. Remy Vita replaces Jasper Moon.
Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Bradley Collins.
Attempt saved. Steve Cook (Nottingham Forest) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by James Garner with a cross.
Djed Spence (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Matthew Wolfe (Barnsley).
Attempt blocked. Scott McKenna (Nottingham Forest) header from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Colback with a cross.
Corner, Nottingham Forest. Conceded by Mads Andersen.
Philip Zinckernagel (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Devante Cole (Barnsley).
Xande Silva (Nottingham Forest) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Djed Spence.
Attempt saved. Claudio Gomes (Barnsley) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Devante Cole.
Substitution, Barnsley. David Bremang replaces Aaron Leya Iseka.
Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Ateef Konate replaces Brennan Johnson.
Substitution, Barnsley. Matthew Wolfe replaces Romal Palmer.
Attempt blocked. Victor Adeboyejo (Barnsley) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Devante Cole.