New season, same old story. New manager, multiple new players, high hopes. So far, so Forest.
That the toothless Reds enjoyed lots of possession, but were undone by two mistakes and were then bullied out of the game by a strong, accomplished West Bromwich Albion side just strengthened the feeling of deja vu as 25,000 disappointed Forest fans made their way out of the City Ground after an opening day defeat to one of the Championship's promotion favourites.
There was a surprise before kick-off as new manager Sabri Lamouchi showed some faith in youth, with Joe Worrall preferred at centre back ahead of the likes of Toby Figuereido and Alex Milosevic, while Jayden Richardson, Brennan Johnson and Jordan Smith all earning places on the bench on the back of impressive pre-seasons performances.
New signings Aro Muric, Alfa Semedo, Tiago Silva and Albert Adomah all started the game, with Yuri Ribeiro, Rafa Mir and Sammy Ameobi on the bench - only the very last of the seven summer signings, Samba Sow, failing to make the matchday 18.
The game started at a frenetic pace, with Lamouchi's approach quickly apparent in Forest's play. A quick press without the ball and possession based with it, looking to use Silva to pick out the wingers and for the full-backs to get high up the pitch.
And it was a full-back who got Forest's season off to a flier inside 10 minutes as Cash played a neat one-two with Adomah before firing low past a weak dive by Sam Johnson at his near post.
And it was another goalkeeper error that allowed West Brom to equalise within five minutes. Kyle Edwards exposed Cash's defensive inexperience before firing straight through Muric and in.
And another Muric mistake allowed Albion to take the lead, when Matt Phillips's cross deceived a flapping Muric to end up in the net after 25 minutes.
In truth, only Semedo of Forest's debutants was impressing, showing good athleticism and tackling, but Adomah was isolated on the wing. while the game was inccreasingly passing Silva by.
In truth, from the moment Forest took the lead, Albion dominated the game, and Edwards was only denied a second in the second half by a fine stop from Muric - who then completely missed the corner.
Forest livened up after the introduction of another new signing in Mir for the ineffectual Silva with half an hour to go, as Mir injected energy into an otherwise flat Forest forward line, while West Brom looked to stretch Forest with the introduction of fleet-footed Forest old boy Oli Burke at centre forward for Kenneth Zohore.
Forest's second change saw Sammy Ameobi come on for his Reds debut for reigning player of the season Lolley, but it failed to make a difference and Albion saw the game out comfortable.
In truth, this was the like the early days under Martin O'Neill, lots of sideways possession, but relying on Jack Robinson long throws to get forward. Mir, Ameobi and Adomah all showed glimpses they can offer something going forward, but, after 10 minntes of early effort, Kyle Bartley had Grabban in his pocket and the Forest striker disappeared into one of his ineffectual afternoons. Watson and the particularly impressive Semedo were Forest's two stand-out performers, that they were the more defensive midfielders says a lot about Forest's blunt-ness going forward.
Forest: Muric; Cash, Robinson, Worrall, Dawson (c); Watson, Semedo (Johnson), Silva (Mir); Lolley (Ameobi), Adomah, Grabban. Subs not used: Smith, Ribeiro, Figuereido, Richardson.