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Newcastle United 1-3 Nottingham Forest: Chris Wood nets hat-trick to put former employers to the sword in Boxing Day clash

Newcastle were beaten for a third straight game across all competitions as Nottingham Forest triumphed 3-1 at St James’ Park on Tuesday.

Off the back of respective defeats last time out, both sides made a fast start to the clash but it was Forest with the game’s first real chance as Morgan Gibbs-White pounced upon a Lewis Miley error, before dragging his effort just wide of Martin Dubravka’s goal.

The deadlock was broken after 20 minutes as Ola Aina fouled Alexander Isak in the box and the Swedish striker made no mistake from the resulting penalty.

After scoring the opener, Newcastle took control of proceedings as they looked to double their advantage with Forest still licking their wounds.

Anthony Gordon was presented with a good chance inside the box before a last-ditch intervention from Gonzalo Montiel thwarted the Englishman.

From a long throw, Anthony Elanga had a sniff at the Newcastle goal just past the hour mark, although the former Man United man was unable to get any real power on his effort.

Elanga was in the thick of the action again moments later when he raced through in goal before unleashing a tame effort, much to the anger of Chris Wood, who was well-placed for a cross.

Isak had cut a peripheral figure since burying his penalty but the striker showed great footwork to skip past a couple of challenges and his cross-cum-shot needing saving from Turner.

Having come deep to receive the ball, Isak exchanged passes with Miguel Almiron who let fly from the edge of the box, albeit to no avail, as his effort sailed harmlessly wide.

Perhaps against the run of play, Forest got back on level terms in first-half stoppage time when Wood finished a sweeping counter-attacking move involving Gibbs-White and Elanga with the latter turning provider.

Seeking to restore their lead before the interval, Newcastle came close to a second through a looping header from Isak but Turner was on hand to deny him a second.

Forest broke down the other end and could have taken the lead themselves with the final kick of the half as Callum Hudson-Odoi called Dubravka into action.

Buoyed by their equaliser just before the half-time whistle, Nottingham Forest came out firing in the second half and had an early sight of goal through Gibbs-White’s glancing header.

That set the tone for the early exchanges of the second half with Forest threatening the Newcastle goal shortly afterwards through Elanga.

Full of confidence from his leveller, Wood haunted his former employers for the second time on the day when he showed great composure to skip past Dan Burn before producing a deft finish past Dubravka.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe sent on Callum Wilson and Valentino Livramento as he looked to get his side back on level terms, but his headache was doubled in next to no time as Wood rounded Dubravka to complete his hat-trick and put Forest 3-1 up.

With the home side pushing further forward aiming to get themselves back into the contest, Forest came close to extending their lead following yet another counter-attacking scenario which provided Elanga with a big chance to score.

Miley dragged an effort narrowly wide after which Isak and Gordon almost pulled one back for the home side.

Newcastle continued to mount pressure on the Forest goal for the remainder of the contest, but Nuno Espirito’s men held on to secure a first win under their new manager.

As a result, the Tricky Trees have moved up to 16th in the Premier League table, five points clear of the drop zone.

Newcastle are sixth in the standings, seven points behind Tottenham Hotspur in fourth position.

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