Sam Gallagher brace sees Blackburn past Nottingham Forest

Sam Gallagher brace sees Blackburn past Nottingham Forest

Sam Gallagher's first-half brace hauled Blackburn out of the Championship's bottom three as Nottingham Forest's travelling troubles continued.

Philippe Montanier's side remain without a victory on the road in the league this term and Rovers coasted to a 2-1 success with on-loan Southampton striker Gallagher taking his tally to five goals.

His cool finish in the driving rain 11 minutes in was followed up by a tap-in laid on by Corry Evans to earn Blackburn just their second home success, enough to lift them above Wigan and Cardiff.

Damien Perquis pulled one back late on for a Forest side who ended with 10 men when Hildeberto Pereira picked up a second caution in stoppage time.

A difficult start to the season at Ewood Park has frustrated a fanbase with gripes over both the ownership and their choice of manager, Owen Coyle.

However, there was little sign that such concerns were transferring themselves onto the pitch as Rovers' first attacking move ended with a reward.

It featured excellent link-up play - Jason Lowe into Marvin Emnes and back to Ben Marshall, whose flicked pass set Gallagher free. And though the striker's touch appeared heavy, Vladimir Stojkovic did little to impose himself when coming out to meet the shot as Gallagher shuffled it past him and into the net.

That strike enhanced Gallagher's confidence and he drove at Forest's defence again with a solo run that ended in him bending a left-footed try wide of the post.

With their visitors unable to muster anything to test Jason Steele, Blackburn doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time.

Danny Guthrie's precise pass was collected by Evans in the box and, rather than going for goal, he selflessly squared for Gallagher to roll home his second of the evening.

Forest's cause was not helped by the need to make a pair of first-half substitutions, though they failed to take the opportunity to get back into the match six minutes after the restart.

Eric Lichaj's left-wing cross was directed right at Apostolos Vellios, yet the big Greek's header was directed straight at Steele.

A third goal would have killed off any hope for Forest anyway and Blackburn thought they should have been awarded a penalty when Perquis seemed to push Tommie Hoban in the back from a corner.

Referee Tim Robinson refuted their claim and was unmoved when the same Forest player tried to nick the ball away from Gallagher in the box shortly afterwards.

A hat-trick chance was not forthcoming for Gallagher, though he almost got on the end of Craig Conway's whipped cross, and the home side had to concentrate on defending three days on from their first clean sheet of the term.

With the need for a goal evident, Montanier introduced the fit-again Britt Assombalonga from the bench with 16 minutes remaining.

They had a great chance to reduce the deficit when another substitute Nicolao Dumitru was released by Vellios but he woefully steered wide.

Perquis did grab a consolation for Forest by stabbing in after Steele flapped from a long throw, but the visitors could not claim an equaliser, even when Stojkovic came up for a late free-kick.

That meant the keeper was stranded as Conway led a counter-attack and he was hacked down by Periera just after halfway to earn him a second yellow card.