Brentford 3-2 Nottingham Forest: Ivan Toney nets goal on return from betting suspension

After 259 days on the sidelines after breaching the FA’s betting restrictions, the much-anticipated return of Ivan Toney was finally at hand. After losing four of their last five league games and laying 16th in the table, the forward’s return couldn’t have come at a better time for Brentford.

BRE: Flekken, Collins, Pinnock, Mee, Roerslev, Janelt, Jensen, Damsgaard, Lewis-Potter, Maupay, Toney

NFO: Turner, Montiel, Omobamidele, Santiago Costa dos Santos, Tavares, Mangala, Danilo, Domínguez, Yates, Hudson-Odoi, Wood

Nottingham Forest came flying out of the gate after just three minutes, when Danilo volleyed the away side ahead. The ball came out to him on the edge of the box after a poor clearance – he then took the ball well in the air before aiming with pinpoint precision.

Brentford would fight back, and Toney would deliver the goods as he restored parity with a low-driven free kick that skirted around the timid Forest wall and into the bottom corner.

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The Englishman would be involved again soon after the goal, when a corner found him unmarked at the back post. The striker played it across goal, where it would eventually land at Keane Lewis-Potter’s feet. The youngster’s hooked shot against the bar wouldn’t cross the line though, as it bounced downwards and eventually away from the goalmouth.

As the second half kicked off, Brentford were pushing for their second goal, and it came after fifty-nine minutes when Ben Mee headed the West London side in front. Gonzalo Montiel lost Mee from a corner and the defender darted to the front post, leaping like a salmon to meet the aerial ball.

The neutral was being treated to a special as just five minutes on, it was now Brentford’s turn to pick the ball out of the net after Chris Wood equalised. A perfectly worked move found Callum Hudson-Odoi on the left flank, with the winger teasing a ball into the box that Wood latched onto, heading home to level the match.

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Not even 120 seconds had gone since the restart, and Neal Maupay was on the scoresheet. He took the ball under control from a low cross, swiveled, and struck the ball with venom on his left foot into the top corner. It would eventually prove to be the match winner, more than twenty minutes from time.

Toney’s sheer presence on the pitch seemed to give the home side the confidence to win and it looks like his impact has come just at the right time. As for Forest, they will inevitably feel wary given that they’re floating very narrowly above the relegation zone as things stand.

Nottingham Forest travel to Bristol City’s Ashton Gate on Friday to dispute an FA Cup Fourth Round fixture, while Brentford can now rest and recuperate until they face Tottenham on January 31.