Toney scores on return as Brentford beat Forest

20 January 2024 0 By Total Football News

Ivan Toney marked his return from an eight-month ban for breaking gambling rules by scoring with his first shot as Brentford registered a controversial victory in a five-goal thriller with Nottingham Forest.

It was Toney’s first goal in 266 days since he scored the equaliser against Forest in the corresponding fixture last season on 29 April.

After running to the bench to celebrate his goal, Toney raised a shirt proclaiming ‘For You Uncle Brian’, which is believed to be in honour of a family member.

The visitors were furious with the goal, believing Brentford had been allowed to move the ball into a more advantageous position that allowed Toney to curl a low free-kick beyond Forest keeper Matt Turner.

Yet by the end, Forest had even more reason to rage.

Unusually, replays of Neal Maupay’s winner were shown on the big screen on top of the stand opposite the dug-outs at the Gtech Community Stadium. Manager Nuno Espirito Santo evidently felt the ball had hit Maupay’s hand, his assistant Rui Pedro Silva was even more sure and after the VAR decision had gone against Forest, the pair let fourth official Thomas Bramall know in no uncertain manner.

Silva was booked by referee Darren England as Nuno pointed skywards towards the screen.

The chaotic manner of victory was in keeping with a switchback contest the visitors had initially led through Danilo’s fabulous control and shot from the edge of the area after just three minutes.

Toney’s goal ensured Brentford were level at the break, with Ben Mee putting the hosts ahead when he rose to head home Mathias Jensen’s near-post corner 13 minutes into the second period.

Chris Wood flicked home Forest’s equaliser but parity only lasted three minutes before Maupay controlled and spun inside the area before applying the excellent finish.

It ended a run of one win in eight points for Brentford, who climbed above their opponents into 14th spot.

Defeat ended a four-match unbeaten run for Forest and left them four points above the relegation zone at the end of a week that began with them being charged for breaking the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules.

That ruling leaves them sweating on a points deduction when the hearing is due to be heard at the beginning of April.

Toney makes his mark

Brentford set the game up to mark the return of a hero.

Toney was made skipper by manager Thomas Frank, who admitted his side ‘needed’ the player who had scored 20 Premier League goals last season before his contribution was brought to a premature end.

For some, this was an uncomfortable decision given the nature of his suspension. There was irony in both sides wearing shirts showing a main sponsor associated with the gambling industry. On the Forest bench was Harry Toffolo, who was given a suspended five-month ban by the FA in September, also for breaching gambling rules.

These bans underline the difficult relationship football has with gambling, with the Premier League’s ban on the sector providing front of shirt sponsorship due to take effect from the 2026-27 season.

As for the football, Frank was right. Brentford need Toney.

His goal was executed brilliantly, not just round the wall but chipped off the ground with just enough force to get it over the man lying behind it.

Toney also provided the second-half cross Keane Lewis-Potter failed to covert from close range and also, through his strength and awareness, triggered an attack that ended with the former Hull man scuffing a shot wide.

Forest frustration

Nuno has vowed not to be distracted by Forest’s off-field woes but their fans will look at the Premier League table after every game and wonder if they have enough of a cushion to survive should their legal team fail to prove their innocence.

At the final whistle, he strode across the pitch towards the officials as though he was going to unload a volley of abuse. Instead, he bit his tongue and merely acknowledged them, although the manner of his march down the tunnel after he had applauded the Forest fans suggested his mood was dark.

Danilo did score the goal of the game and if the visitors had been able to build on the Brazilian’s inspired effort, they would probably have won.

Callum Hudson-Odoi in particular was a major threat, supplying the curling cross Wood clinically turned home for his ninth goal of the season.

With a succession of matches against either big or in-form – or both – clubs to come before a 16 March trip to Luton, there must be a fear for what Forest’s season will look like before famed KC Nick De Marco tries to score a victory in what could be the club’s most significant match-up of the entire season.

Player of the match

WoodChris Wood

with an average of 7.04


  1. Squad number8Player nameJensen

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  2. Squad number7Player nameMaupay

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  3. Squad number30Player nameRoerslev

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  4. Squad number24Player nameDamsgaard

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  5. Squad number16Player nameMee

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  6. Squad number27Player nameJanelt

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  7. Squad number23Player nameLewis-Potter

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  8. Squad number22Player nameCollins

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  9. Squad number10Player nameDasilva

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  10. Squad number5Player namePinnock

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  11. Squad number20Player nameAjer

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  12. Squad number12Player nameReguilón

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  13. Squad number33Player nameYarmoliuk

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  14. Squad number26Player nameBaptiste

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  15. Squad number1Player nameFlekken

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  16. Squad number17Player nameToney

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Nottingham Forest

  1. Squad number11Player nameWood

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  2. Squad number28Player nameDanilo

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  3. Squad number22Player nameYates

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  4. Squad number40Player nameMurillo

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  5. Squad number7Player nameN Williams

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  6. Squad number14Player nameHudson-Odoi

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  7. Squad number16Player nameDomínguez

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  8. Squad number32Player nameOmobamidele

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  9. Squad number5Player nameMangala

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  10. Squad number41Player nameAguilera

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  11. Squad number29Player nameMontiel

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  12. Squad number3Player nameNuno Tavares

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  13. Squad number1Player nameTurner

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Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Flekken
  • 22Collins
  • 5Pinnock
  • 16Mee
  • 30RoerslevSubstituted forAjerat 90′minutes
  • 24DamsgaardSubstituted forBaptisteat 74′minutes
  • 27Janelt
  • 8JensenSubstituted forYarmoliukat 90+7′minutes
  • 23Lewis-PotterSubstituted forDasilvaat 90′minutes
  • 7MaupaySubstituted forReguilónat 74′minutes
  • 17ToneyBooked at 66mins


  • 10Dasilva
  • 12Reguilón
  • 13M Jorgensen
  • 20Ajer
  • 21Strakosha
  • 25Peart-Harris
  • 26Baptiste
  • 33Yarmoliuk
  • 37Olakigbe

Nottm Forest

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Turner
  • 29MontielBooked at 54minsSubstituted forAguileraat 86′minutes
  • 32Omobamidele
  • 40Santiago Costa dos Santos
  • 3Tavares
  • 5MangalaBooked at 18mins
  • 28DaniloBooked at 51mins
  • 16Domínguez
  • 22YatesSubstituted forN Williamsat 62′minutes
  • 14Hudson-Odoi
  • 11Wood


  • 4Worrall
  • 7N Williams
  • 15Toffolo
  • 23Vlachodimos
  • 26McKenna
  • 41Aguilera
  • 49Osong
  • 52McDonnell
  • data-reactid=".h4uepdqhs6.$include-$panel-0.$$8PO536681">53Gardner
Darren England

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Brentford 3, Nottingham Forest 2.

Second Half ends, Brentford 3, Nottingham Forest 2.