THAT is why we don’t wear the yellow kit!

AFC Bournemouth – 2
Nottingham Forest – 0

It’s amazing what an anaesthetizing effect a three hour drive back to the warm embrace of Nottingham can have on a football fan. When I left the Fitness First Stadium I was livid; debate raged with my cohorts until we returned to our vehicles and the general mood was a black one as we separated into our cars and made our way into the night; but a few hours of rationalising interspersed with some good music can leave you feeling more philosophical about all things Forest.

Smoulderwood made good on his promise on Matchtalk to put the team out in the yellow away kit, presumably he was quite keen to extinguish any childish fantasies that we or the squad may have that it is “cursed” in any way; I can’t recall us ever recording a win in the “It’s not like watching Brazil” strip, and obviously this game was to turn out a continuation of that run, as we recorded our first defeat in a while, and Bournemouth ended their barren run without a win.Ā  We also lost our unbeaten away record.

The first thing to note was the pitch was excellent; one of the best I’ve seen – so no ‘boggy pitch’ excuses a la Salisbury were to be available to the misfiring Reds at the end of this encounter. Forest lined up with Pedersen in goal, a back three of Morgan, Cullip and Breckin, a midfield four of Southall, Perch, Gary Holt and Curtis, with Tyson, Holt and Commons in the forward three – so the general mood seemed to be improved amongst the travelling trickies that Grant had displaced the maligned Harris, who took his place on the bench.

Forest started reasonably brightly, but I suppose the most obvious early incident of note was Nathan Tyson challenging the Bournemouth keeper, and despite playing on initially having to be taken off for Neil Harris after around 15 minutes. Not the best of starts. The other stand out moments of the first half were two agonisingly close curling shots from Kris Commons, and eventually the Cherries becoming more dominant, with a dubious penalty claim followed by an effort that appeared to be cleared off the line.

The second half started with further pressure from the home side; Dermot Gallagher, unbelievably a Premiership referee, gave a freekick for what looked (to my biased eye, admittedly) to be a perfectly legitimate challenge, but there can’t be much arguing with the defending, which saw the freekick lofted into the box by Gillett for Connolly to rise unchallenge to head past Rune Pedersen in the Forest goal.

Forest did start to fight back in the game, but never really looked fully organised; Commons seemed determined to try to do it himself – reminiscent of the latter stages of Andy Reid in a Forest shirt, perhaps frustrated at the lack of end product from his team mates, but it lead to the inevitable skyed shots from distance. Neil Harris too had two great opportunities of note, one saw him turn cleverly on the edge of the area only to pass it into the arms of the keeper, the second saw him try a clever lob but get too little on it so again gifted the ball to the grateful Bournemouth keeper (either that, or it was his attempt at controlling the ball, a fellow fan commented cynically).

Grant Holt too had a close range bullet header, but it was straight at the keeper who aside from a couple of theatrical tip-overs had too little to do in this game. Wes Morgan was making interesting runs down the right flank, and Perch was battling like a good ‘un in midfield before strangely being substituted – I thought he was one of our better players, for Sammy Clingan. Gary Holt was later sacrificed for Scott Dobie, but in all honesty we never looked capable of breaking the deadlock.

The Cherry (sorry) on a fairly shitty cake for Forest was when Pitman was put clear through and was flattened by Wes, he duly picked himself up and despatched the penalty past Pedersen to put the game beyond doubt. Some further huffing and puffing from Forest ended with no real end product, and left the travelling fans feeling somewhat angry and disheartened – although not so much so that a fair number remained to applaud the team at the end.

A special mention should be given to the referee, who was appalling. Notwithstanding the freekick that lead to their goal, he gave unfathomable decisions both for and against Forest, and generally appeared keen to be the centre of attention himself, disappointing as the last Premiership ref (his name escapes me) I saw at the City Ground (the game escapes me too!) really impressed me. One astute fan yelled out “You might look like Collina, you bald bastard, but you’re f**king shit!” Perhaps not the most eloquent appraisal, but certainly an accurate one.

It’s easy to let these results get you carried away with doom and gloom – this was not a game on the scale of the Scunthorpe massacre at home, we did create chances and with a bit more luck infront of goal (like Tyson being on the pitch more than 15 minutes!) and we could’ve easily had something; not that I begrudge Bournemouth the points, they weren’t brilliant, but they certainly played better than their league table would suggest.

As a final epitaph for this game, I must admit, that I’m losing patience with Neil Harris, a player who appears bereft of confidence – but I’m equally not convinced that Grant Holt is the answer either – for all his workrate, which was good again, the quality of his passing or final ball left a lot to be desired, and whilst it’s well-documented that we have a glut of strikers, I am left wondering whether the depth of our strikeforce is all it’s cracked up to be – we really missed Agogo tonight, and of course the option Nathan Tyson gives us.

So my message would be, in the style of Sgt. Jones, “Don’t panic, Mr Mainwaring!” – it’s a result that looks a lot worse on paper than it really was; credit to the Cherries for taking their chances, but on reflection – frustrating as the Reds were – the 2-0 scoreline, and indeed, even winning the game is slightly flattering to the Dorset side; but they did show more willing and passion than we did to get the result, so perhaps that entitles them to it. A nice club trying to play decent football, I hope they stay up.

10 Responses

  1. Corporal Jones actually, old chap !
    But thanks for having the determination to return to Nottm and write that report ~ marked at 02:54 !
    But, yes, like Cpl Jones advises we shouldn’t panic but it was an abysmal performance last night, almost reminiscent of my trip to Woking last season which was the nadir of watching my beloved Forest for 30+ years.

  2. Spot on with your comments there! Produced some nice football for about 15-20mins out of 90, but looked inempt for the rest. Wes Morgan was ending up with the ball at his feet to cross on too many occaisions! Gary Holt also looked more and more like a hoof merchant, a la Salisbury.

    Still heard a couple of ‘supporters’ shouting Calderwood out, which defies belief! Bad performance Yes – Sack the manager – You’d have to be Nuts!!!

    Roll on Crewe!

  3. Ah, Corporal Jones; of course – that would explain why my early morning Google Image searches weren’t finding much for ‘Sergeant Jones’ šŸ˜†

  4. Thanks for the report NFFC – really enjoy reading your stuff so please keep up the good work.

  5. I agree – a very accurate report. We really were hopeless after Tyson went off though. I don’t like hate campaigns against players but why does CC persist with Harris? I have seen more effective strikers in amateur football. Clingan should always start if fit as he is our best passer and what has Jack done wrong to be constantly ignored? Bournemouth out-passed us and thoroughly deserved their win. And is it just me or is Bournemouth the hardest ground in England to escape from?!

    Keep up the good work!

  6. I found it quite easy; although I wouldn’t have liked to tackle the dodgy looking park behind the ground had the locals been feeling more vengeful!

    The area the ground was in was bloody dodgy, though.

  7. You don’t need to worry about the park, the police have it well sewn up!

    The immediate area the ground is in is one of the more expensive in the town, big houses going for Ā£300k+ and very little in the way of trouble or crime. Head just a mile the other way though and it’s chav central, dangerous at night and well worth avoiding.

  8. Oh… and the ground is difficult to get out from if you use the official carpark, the locals and their traffic restrictions… If you know the back streets though, you’re out of there and home supping tea within 10 minutes!

    If an attendance of 7,500ish is hard to get out from, imagine if we ever had crowds like you guys get!

  9. I must’ve parked somewhere near the dodgy bit then – it was some way from the ground, but heaven only knows which direction šŸ™‚

    As such I didn’t have much hassle getting out of Bournemouth, since it took a little while to find the car etc – so whilst it still took a good 3 hours, I think I made good time considering šŸ™‚

    The roads around the City Ground are a pain when it’s been busy; that said I normally go to the pub for a couple of drinks and let the traffic ebb and flow away leaving me either a clear run home or if a couple has become more, then a quick bus ride home šŸ™‚

  10. As the old saying goes… I haven’t a c*** all night drinkstable!

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