Back on top thanks to ‘keepers blunder..

Nottingham Forest – 1
Yeovil Town – 0

We’re back on top thanks to some decent defending, and a surprisingly low-impact but hard working Yeovil side – oh, and the small matter of McDonald of Oldham netting a late equaliser against 9 man Scunthorpe (what is it about Oldham ending up playing against 9 men?!).  All in all, it was an unspectacular but efficient performance from the Reds, which was ultimately decided by a moment of goalkeeping madness from ex-Notts ‘keeper Steve Mildenhall.

The start of the game was all Yeovil, who pressed with possession for the first fifteen minutes – but never really had anyone to link their time on the ball to their strikeforce, so whilst it was frustrating, we never really looked in too much trouble.  It took around fifteen minutes for us to get into the game, once again playing in a four-four-two formation with Curtis pushing up the right right flank, and Thompson coming it at right back.  But there were few clearcut chances – Yeovil had a shot straight at Smith, Tyson had one straight at Mildenhall, Perchy took a freekick just over (but I’d say the keeper had it covered).

Yeovil’s best chance came just before half time, Morris shot from an angle and almost fooled Paul Smith by going for the near post, fortunately Smith got a leg to it to put it out for a corner.  The last notable chance of the half fell to Forest, a freekick from around 20 yards was hit low and hard by Tyson, but wasn’t far enough away from Steve Mildenhall who did well to keep hold of it given the onrushing Grant Holt and Junior Agogo.  It was a scrappy first half, with neither side looking anything like their pre-match billing – Yeovil shaded possession, and arguably had the best chance of the game.

My companion for the game commented that he hoped for more entertainment in the second half, and we didn’t have to wait long for it.  Eyebrows were raised as Julian Bennett lined up to take a freekick that probably should have been an advantage to Forest, but Andy D’Urso’s premature whistling proved to do us a favour!  Bennett lofted what looked a fairly aimless freekick deep into the box, but Steve Mildenhall inexplicably dropped the ball – then stood motionless as Grant Holt turned and fired into the net from the edge of the area – a great finish.

Shortly after this Perchy rifled a vicious shot on goal that Mildenhall was on hand to parry wide in a good save.  After this though Yeovil began to find their way back into the game, both Morgan and Breckin looked good at dealing with whatever Yeovil could throw at us though – only one real moment of danger was to occur, when substitute Ismael Welsh unleashed a blistering shot from outside the box which Smith did well to save.  Forest had another half-chances, but a lively looking Lester – on as a substitute – couldn’t control it  at the crucial moment after good work from Gary Holt.

The most amusing bit of the game for me was when again, Andy D’Urso called a foul despite Forest still being in a reasonably decent position of possession.  Tyson had crossed the ball and was caught late, after the whistle had gone the ball reached Dobie about 2 yards out, and as he shaped up to put the ball away he just trod on it instead – the sheepish backheel into the goal only making him look more foolish!  Despite the three minutes of stoppage time, the result didn’t really look too much in doubt.

Yeovil fans will feel aggreived at giving us six points this season I imagine, but their play was very similar at the City Ground as to the game back at Huish Park – a lot of possession and endeavour, some slick passing but no killer pass and very few clear chances created.  Forest, as at Huish Park, battled gamefully and similarly didn’t create much – a draw would probably have been a fair result – but I’ll happily take a win, and of course, as other results came in it transpired that these points elevate us back to the top of the league!

Oh yes, and I can’t close without noting that Alan Rogers was red-carded in his first game for Accrington Stanley in what Radio Nottingham described as a two-footed legbreaker on David Pipe – ha ha, have that you fat useless bastard!

But anyway, back to Forest – a decent “professional” performance I’d call it – and James Perch really stood out as starting to grab at his chance to establish himself in the middle of the park, well done Perchy, and to the rest of the lads.  Of the lads only Thompson had a bit of a ‘mare – although I was concerned when Bennett seemed to drift forward in the second half leaving Tyson as a left back!  Top of the league, and having… erm, a wry smile?

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