Let’s concentrate on the league!

Reds players celebrate McGoldrick giving us the lead..

West Ham United – 3
Nottingham Forest – 2

Hmm, 3-2 loss at the Boleyn Ground in the FA Cup, feeling slightly unlucky to have not finished with a draw or even sneaking a win.  Deja vu?  Much?  A little bit I guess!  The ‘reward’ for the victor is a home game against Burnley, for us the opportunity to redouble our focus on our league campaign which recommences as soon as Tuesday.

Whilst a defeat is never something I would want, you can’t – can you?  Not your own team… but certainly I can see benefits in avoiding playing a replay against the Hammers, and indeed, avoid an extra game.  A negative outlook perhaps, but made easier to stomach by a spirited and credible Forest performance that could on another day have got a positive result against the Premier League strugglers.

Billy fielded a strong team – but with some new entries as promised, opting for his tried-and-tested defence, but mixing things up in midfield and up front:

Camp
Gunter    Morgan    Chambers    Lynch
Cohen    McKenna    Majewski    McGugan
McGoldrick    Adebola

Early in the game it was the home side on the up and putting on pressure – Barrera crossed early to Piquionne who calmly got past Lynch before shooting, fortunately for us deflecting off Wes Morgan and wide.  It was only a brief respite though, the resultant corner lead to the first goal – Barrera taking it and finding Obinna to tap in his first goal of the afternoon.  Disappointing.

The Reds responded positively though, pushing forward and creating a number of opportunities.  A foul by Noble on Majewski gave Forest an opportunity through a freekick from 20 yards, which was struck by McGugan over the crossbar (c’mon Lewis, this goal drought has got to stop!!).

Eventually though the pressure did pay off on the eighteenth minute, David McGoldrick did well to get the ball to Dele Adebola in the area who poked the ball into the far corner of the net under pressure from a defender to give Forest a deserved equaliser.  Another chance from a freekick, this time taken by Majewski after Gabbidon fouled McGoldrick, but the kick this time struck the offending player.

Forest began to dominate the game, but West Ham looked dangerous on the break – Lee Camp had a tough task to claim the ball in the area, being bundled over by Piquionne in the process.  As we continued to put on the pressure eventually we were able to convert that to a lead.

A foul on Chris Gunter down the right yielded another freekick for the Reds, which was taken by Chris Cohen curling inward to the near post where West Ham player Kovac almost put it in his own goal but for the intervention of Robert Green, but he was only able divert the ball towards David McGoldrick who nodded over the line from close range.

The lead was to last only two minutes though – it looked relatively safe when Obinna had the ball around 25 yards out, and as he struck what most seemed convinced was a shot it infact went like an exocet missile over Lee Camp and into the net.  A lovely goal to look at, and a complete fluke!  Still, I suppose them’s the breaks sometimes!

2-2 at half time, pretty respectable and symptomatic of an open game with both sides showing willingness to attack.  Forest had probably shaded the balance of play in the first forty-five minutes, but whether or not they’d have the wherewithal to continue this in the second half remained to be seen.

Certainly the early signs weren’t good – after just 7 minutes Joel Lynch was hanging off Reid’s neck in the area and conceded a penalty.  This was converted by Obinna, who in so doing completed his hattrick – which was met with a rather audacious celebration involving about half a dozen back flips!  Beat that, Earnie!!

The home side had their tales up now, a great run from Barrera saw him get the ball into the area for Sears, an intervention from McKenna limited this move to just conceding a corner.  Camp too needed to be on his toes to deny Piquionne with a shot from just in the D.  Barrera again caused problems, with Camp forced into a diving save to concede a corner.

Billy opted for changes a little after the hour mark – withdrawing Adebola for Earnshaw and shortly after this putting Nathan Tyson on for Majewski to try to give a different dimension to Forest’s attacking play.  It didn’t really do much to stem the general tide which saw the home side continue to ask questions – Freddie Sears being given time and space to ping a shot goalward which was again saved well by Camp.

McCleary was the last Forest sub on around 80 minutes, replacing skipper Paul McKenna.  Forest did have a late flurry of chances – a McGugan corner was met by the head of McGoldrick but put wide, he almost made up for this moments later with a great ball to Gunter, but alas the Forest defender’s shot was pretty weak and an easy save for Green.

So it’s always disappointing to suffer defeat, even if the ‘reward’ is a home game against Burnley – however, perversely I’d rather it was decided either way today than us force a late draw and hence a replay.  I really believe that we need to focus our attentions on the league, and whilst I do sympathise with the ‘winning is a good habit’ type rhetoric, I’m also aware we have a relatively small squad!

Elsewhere in the FA Cup Notts County deserve congratulations – they took the lead at Meadow Lane against Manchester City and looked to be holding on quite well only to concede an equaliser.  To their credit they kept going at it, but a draw in the end gave them the prize of a replay at the City of Manchester Stadium, with the potential prize of a visit from Aston Villa should they manage to beat the big spenders.

Derby-beating heroes Crawley Town continued their exciting cup run and have been rewarded by a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United, whilst Leyton Orient will no doubt be excited by the prospect of Arsenal visiting them.  As for us, we have a very important trip to Coventry to contemplate on Tuesday evening, with QPR and Norwich dropping points over the weekend there’s a real opportunity here..

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9 Responses

  1. Listened to the game today on 5 live. sounded like we were all over them.

    A few annoying things from Mark Bright…

    Chris Gunter played for west ham as a youth player when it was in fact chris cohen. apparently mcgoldrick has been on loan at bournemouth according to him and he keeps on referring to us as NOTTS!

    Anyhow.. I will be attending the game at the ricoh arena on tuesday. A win would put us 2nd. Im expecting the same team that played against Derby.

    Im predicting a 1-1 draw though

  2. I went to the game today with a couple of hammers mates and sat in the home end.

    The away fans were amazing by the way, sang for 90 minutes, more even, they were still singing 10 mins after… Brilliant.

    My muckers said that we were the best away support they had ever seen at Upton Park, High praise indeed, WELL DONE LADS, made me proud ;)

  3. Disappointed with the result especially after bossing the first 45 minutes. I was really interested to see how we could compete at this level and its appears, from the radio commentary, we did ok.

    McGoldrick sounded like he had a stormer and it would be great if his form is on the up. We need every man available and at their best coming into the run in. Not being unfair to McGoldrick as hes had bad injuries but he owes Forest and now is the time to deliver.

    Ultimatley though, Im more interested in Tuesday night. Coventry is a big game for us and we need to push on in our promotion push. I’d swap beating West Ham for 3 points at the Ricoh for sure.

    Incidently I now expect Forest to sign someone before the window shuts. Billy’s (relative) silence on the matter speaks volumes for me.

  4. tomorrow will put us all out of our misery – I expect diddly squat ! . We need to be at the races on tuesday
    as we know what a huge impact a win will have on our league position .
    BTW when is Robbie Findlay ready to play ?

  5. I went to the game – we were excellent in the first half, Majewski in particular looked v good. But a few weaknesses were exposed by the worst team in the Premiership…

    - in the defence, only Gunter looked comfortable. Lynch was out of his depth. Wes and Chambers looked a bit static. We basically gave them three goals with poor defending, and it could have been more.

    - Camp couldn’t dominate his area and we looked vulnerable at every defensive set piece. (He also blamed himself for their second goal. I was sat right above the tunnel, and at half-time, as he walked down the tunnel, he apologised to one of the coaches.)

    - in the second half we couldn’t keep the ball. Lewis struggled to make an impact.

    All this confirms that if we do get promoted, we’re going to need 3/4 quality signings just to compete.

    You Reds!

  6. “west ham’s a s*** hole,,i wanna go home”,, to elaborate on your last bit nffc, cant remember wes or luke winning a single header from a hammer’s long ball…speaking to a few hammers fans after walking back to the car who we’re very impressed with our play and passing ^*#!! ffs that was probably the worst i’ve seen us play this season 2nd half… no hang on 1st half v barnsley !!

  7. Apparently from the BBC website:

    0959: DONE DEAL: Nottingham Forest’s quest for a full-back is over. They have signed Paul Konchesky on loan from Liverpool.

    No one else seems to reporting this though…!

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