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Middlesbrough 0-1 Forest - immediate reaction

Forest chalk up their first win at the Riverside and extend their unbeaten run.

Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Come on now - own up and be brutally honest. Who saw that coming?

The unbeaten run now stretches to 12 games. Prior to today, some naysayers were pointing out that Forest have faced none of the top sides during the course of the last three months. Boro are not only a top side but one that has not conceded at home since Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon. Moreover, Forest had never - NEVER - won at the Riverside until around 30 minutes ago.

For Freedman's team to smuggle three points away and a clean sheet to boot, a few things would need to go their way. And they did: George Friend departed injured early on, the home crowd grew frustrated and the game plan was on point.

The team selection was a curious one. With Jamie Ward preferred to Nelson Oliveira, it seemed that some kind of False Nine role was to be asked of Ward, with Oliver Burke and Ben Osborn supporting when the time suited. Jack Hobbs was also drafted in to line up alongside Matt Mills in the centre of defence with Michael Mancienne nudged a few yards upfield to patrol the midfield. As long as the concession of an early goal was avoided, it might, could, possibly all come together in a moment of beautiful perfection.

In the 70th minute, that moment occurred with Ward netting a cracking winner.

This was no 'park the bus' performance either as Forest enjoyed a very healthy 43% possession away from home at the league leaders. Given the conditions under which Freedman is working, he deserves evenings like this:

So did anyone really see this coming? Kind of. Sort of. Bets were hedged:

So as Forest chalk up their first win at the Riverside, let's bear this in mind when QPR rock up to to town on Tuesday. Remember, they have never - EVER - won at the City Ground. Now wouldn't that be ironic. However, let's let Tuesday sort itself out - it usually does. For now, sit back and enjoy that warm, fuzzy feeling.

Heck...go celebrate with a long kneeslide.