Hull City 0 Nottingham Forest 2: Lewis Grabban at the double as Tigers struggle to impress
Sabri Lamouchi’s side had not won in five previous Sky Bet Championship games, but they made an encouraging return to form at the KCOM Stadium as their tired-looking opponents rarely threatened.
Forest’s game management was particularly impressive – especially once Grabban scored an 11th-minute penalty.
Despite having created few chances following that early breakthrough, Hull’s most potent attacking threats, wingers Kamil Grosicki and Jarrod Bowen, were superbly marshalled by a resilient back-four.
Grabban then confirmed an away win when he smashed home from a tricky angle after 82 minutes.
This result was even more laudable as Hull had won their previous three home games. City also began purposefully in a bid to improve upon that record.
Indeed, the hosts should have gained a fifth-minute lead when Bowen’s neat free-kick from the right caused unease within the Forest back-line.
Midfielder Jackson Irvine was quickest to react from the resulting skirmish, but he somehow fired over the crossbar from four yards with a stretching lunge.
If Irvine was frustrated by that miss, the Australia international’s mind would have been even cloudier when he contributed to Forest’s opening goal when he brought down Samba Sow.
Referee Geoff Eltringham pointed towards the penalty spot, and Grabban netted.
In deteriorating conditions, Forest continued to catch the eye after the restart.
And they might have added a second after 48 minutes as goalkeeper George Long did well to stop Tiago Silva’s volley from the edge of the area with his feet.
Hull had their moments thereafter, but Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba was never once tested as a stop-start game meandered towards the final half-hour.
One glancing Bowen header after 80 minutes aside, Hull’s efforts were too predictable and came to naught. Grabban added a second on the counter-attack with a fierce hit from the right of the penalty area following more good work from Silva.