10 man Reds battle to deserved win against 12 man Huddersfield..

Nottingham Forest – 2
Huddersfield Town – 1

There’s a few talking points about today, but obviously the upshot of the day is that despite the most apalling refereeing decision I’ve ever bore witness to, Forest rallied and attained a deserved victory.  Given our last result, and the results of the teams around us today, what should have been a fairly routine win against a very poor and unconfident looking Huddersfield side was hard work for the lads.

The first half started tentatively, Huddersfield encamped deep but chased down well – driving us to play the ball repeatedly between defenders.  Grant played Commons through who played the ball aside and was felled by a Terriers defender, to be fair, I think it would’ve been a harsh penalty anyway, but given what was to follow, in this clueless referee’s world it should have been a cast iron one!

Booth had a chance in the air, but fortunately it went wide.  Shortly after Brecks got on the end of a Commons cross/shot, but he could only direct his header straight at the ‘keeper.  Shortly after this again the Terriers had a chance from a freekick, Williams striking it well, but fortunately close to Paul Smith who was able to make a fairly routine save.

Good work from McGugan found Agogo out wide, and his cross in found Holt, but it was a fairly challenging attempt to head the ball – so he was only able to put it just over.  It was after this that all rhyme and reason left the game, I made a conscious decision to try to deal with this rationally in my write-up – but you may have to forgive the occasional expletive.

From where I sat, and this has been ratified by other reports I read, as well as folks sitting more ideally in the Trent End.  Wilson – playing at rightback – was under pressure from Kamara, but still easily goalside of him.  He headed it back to Smith, who duly collected it, at which point there was a three-way collision between Wilson, who had remained between Kamara and Smith, and the Forest goalie.  When the twat, sorry, referee blew the whistle I expected a foul on Smith.

To say I was dumbfounded when the referee pointed to the spot, and then sent off Wilson, is rather an understatement.  No matter what scenario we reconstructed after the event, there is no conceivable way that decision should have been as it was – Kamara didn’t appeal for anything, because nothing untoward happened.  The referee didn’t bother to confer with his assistant, he gave the penalty, sent of Kelv, and on another day would have condemned us to defeat.  What a complete arsehole.

Jevons made a good job of the penalty into the Trent End, sending Smith the wrong way in the process to give the Terriers a very controversial and ill-deserved lead.  Not that we can blame the visitors for the referee being a prize idiot, of course.  The final moments saw a good move from the Reds fall to Sammy Clingan who unfortunately blazed wide from the edge of the box, leaving us to go in at half time a goal, and a man, down.

The boos that rang out from the City Ground were all for the Anthony Taylor, there seems to be something written into Forest’s recent League One contract that we have to have the most clueless buffoon available to officiate our games – this time last year, you’ll remember we had the equally clueless Kevin Friend sending Sammy off for absolutely nothing at Oldham.  Fortunately this new year holds more promise, because we didn’t collapse as we did that day at Boundary Park.

Smoulds made a change at half time, sensibly replacing Neil Lennon with the more energetic Perch, who moved to rightback putting us into an almost 4-3-2 formation.  Huddersfield started the second half the stronger, showing perhaps the most positive play they did in the entire match, Booth had a great chance from close range but couldn’t get good enough contact leaving an easy diving save for Smith.

Forest started to get in gear, though, and increased the tempo of the game – whenever they took the game to the Terriers the visitors were visibly terrified, a side that I would suggest are very low on confidence despite at this point defending a lead.  We did look in danger of being caught on the break when going forward, however, as both Perch and Lockwood pressed forward to try to support the attacking play.

Cohen was brought on for Grant Holt – I had assumed that Smoulds made a good tactical move, as Holt had been remarkably ineffective – it turns out the striker picked up a knock.  It was to reap rewards though, Perchy and McGugan combined well on the right, and Lewis’s cross fell for Cohen to get past a defender before hitting a shot that deflected wickedly to loop over the goalkeeper and into the net to give us a deserved equaliser.

It was the substitute again who was this time the architect for a great chance for Commons, he crossed it in but it was a difficult volley which Krissy conspired to spanner over from about 7 yards.  Commons’ landing from this saw him limping on before being replaced by Arron Davies, so at least this week Smoulds gave himself some attacking options on the bench, eh?

In a rare foray forward Williams hit what looked like a speculative shot, but it was an absolute piledriver, from 30 yards – striking the base of the far post and almost falling for Booth, fortunately the striker couldn’t control it and it enabled Lockwood to get the ball clear of danger for the Reds.  Forest continued to pile forward, with Huddersfield often having all twelve men behind the ball (sic) despite their obvious numerical advantage.

The hardworking Agogo was unlucky to be denied by the keeper after curling a great effort from the edge of the box.  Shortly after this four minutes of added time was announced, which was greeted with cheers from the home fans who – like the home team – could scent blood from the weary looking visitors.  The winning goal, of course, did come – Clingan found McGugan in the box, who showed tremendous strength to hold off a defender whilst turning and lashing the ball into the top of the net.

Huddersfield responding by piling everyone forward, a late corner even saw their keeper up to try to get an equaliser, but the ball was cleared to Agogo, who was too knackered to put anything but a nominal effort into trying to exploit the unguarded goal from very wide on the right of the pitch, just in the Huddersfield half.  Eventually after Smith took a freekick the buffoon blew for full time, giving us a three very valuable points.

Before the game I would have said that three points was essential, but given the nature of the game and the results around us, a draw would have been forgiveable.  So I’m very proud of the lads today for showing such great fighting spirit in adverse conditions and delivering a win that they deserved, and can feel rightly proud of.  For the fans of Huddersfield I feel sorry, as their side lacked so much confidence in their ability it would have been painful to watch but for the fact we profited from it.

With Swansea and Leeds dropping points, it’s great for us to have capitalised on it for a change.  And finally Smoulders deserves some credit too, I rarely hold back on offering criticism, so praise when it’s due – he made the right substitutions today, firstly in Perchy and then Cohen and Davies – whether forced by injury or not (not convinced Holt was injured at all), they were pivotal in helping change the game in our favour.

So well done all, 1st January 2007 saw a ridiculous red card, this time for Sammy Clingan, and a 5-0 drubbing.  1st January 2008 saw a ridiculous red card for Kelvin, not to mention a ridiculous penalty which was converted, and a 2-1 victory for the Reds.  Is this a sign that this year is to be better than last?  I do hope so.  You Reds!

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25 Responses

  1. Fabulous, absolutely fabulous. Just shows what we – THE CROWD – can do when we actually get behind the team and gee them on rather than sit and wait to be inspired! Come on you Reds SUPPORTERS!!

    Somewhat of a rose-tinted report I think there but I forgive you on this occasion 😉

    We’ve had some awful ref’s at the City Ground this season but Mr Taylor goes into pole position for his decisions today. We’ve come to expect ref’s at this level to not be able to tell who a ball came off last and give corners/goal kicks the wrong way round at least half a dozen times a game but to award a penalty against Kelvin was just down right ridiculous. When he then (after some considerable delay) sent him off, I could only assume it was for his reaction and he must have said something he shouldn’t. Apparantly not, it was for the “foul”!!

    To not consult the linesman, sorry, assistant referree, sorry, fat b*stard was absurd. Wilson’s reaction should have sent an alarm bell or two off in his head indicating that maybe, just maybe he’d got this one horribly wrong. From my viewpoint, it looed as though Smith already had the ball in his hands before the cheating Huddersfield muppet even went down.

    Where abouts do you sit? Smithy’s save late on was simply stunning from the Trent End – can’t believe its not mentioned in your report – surely you had a better view if you couldn’t see the Wilson “penalty” incident clearly. And Commons bit of retribution on the aforementioned cheating Huddersfield git forcing him to go off was priceless.

    YOU REDS!

  2. You’re right, Smith’s save was some omission – it was a great reaction save… that and the effort off the post were our ‘get out of jail’ moments in the game.

    I sit in the Upper Bridgford 🙂

  3. Well done for a good result for Forest & good luck for the rest of the season, but don’t be so bloody patronising about other teams…you’ve a long way to go before you can do that!

  4. Thanks – and I don’t think I was patronising, certainly not intentionally… admittedly the 12 man bit was a bit childish, but that’s part of football supporting.

    All I said was that Huddersfield played over-defensively and looked low on confidence – the fact we were able to overturn falling behind with one man less would kind of bear that out!

  5. Wel done Forest ..and the crowd!! Lets hope an appeal overturns the red card as we need Wilson!!

  6. Wils should only be out for 1 game even if not appealed, as laughably is was a “professional foul” he was supposedly guilty of!

    We do need him, but not as a fullback please, Smoulds.

  7. Briefly about the ref………well for those who can be bothered, look at his Wiki page and you will see that he has a reputation for being an arsehole and giving strange and contentious decisions so he simply ran true to form.

    But as for the Reds, a truly magnificent effort and praise to every one of them. You made me very proud today.

    Some great performances out their today, Wes and Lockwood to name but two but I thought Lewis McGugan was simply outstanding and with 5 minutes to go, looked dead on his feet so how he managed to appear in their box and crash home the winner, is way beyond me.

    Its said sometimes, seasons have defining moments and you never know, this might just be ours.

    GREAT STUFF!

  8. How did Perchy play at right back as I have been waiting for him to get a run in the team in that position all season?
    On that note did Lockwood play any better?
    I notice from your match report that Cohen was pretty influential- would that have to do with him playing centre midfield.
    By the way the ref looks a bit like Everton’s Andy Johnson’s stupid older brother.

  9. Perchy played very well, as did Lockwood 🙂

  10. I know sometimes the debate about formations can be a bit futile as both teams always start with 11 men and depends highly on the players intelligence and movement, which I find only teams in the prem and the top of the championship have the players with the correct attributes to play complicated formations. At this level I think it is better to keep things simple and play 4-4-2 (you can complicate tatics in this framework, as it makes it easier for the players to get the most out of it). In a long winded way what formation did we play today- was grolt up front with junior? Plus who played right wing until the kelvin incident?

    Thanks

  11. Sounds like your lad got an undeserved red card but unfortunately Forest will be totally wasting their time in appealing against it. As we have found in the past, even with clear video evidence, the authorities always side with the ref… 😦

  12. We started 4-3-3 N Ireland Red but ended up effectively playing 4-3-2 after half time. Grolt and PieBoy were out wide to start with, leaving Junior alone in the middle. BTW, I do question why Grolt plays left and PieBoy right when its obviously their wrong sides -answers on a postcard please…..

    It got a bit manic when down to 10 men though, especially as McGugan was all over the place and was in defence one minute and scoring the winner the next!

    I agree with NFFC, as both Perch and Lockwood played well. Lockwood shone today and for the first time in a Red shirt, looked like the player I thought we’d bought from Orient.

    I think your point about a relatively simple 4-4-2 formation is a very valid one.

  13. Transfer window..Spurs fans don”t want Darren Bent,but I reckon he could do a good job for us as a loan deal while Agogo is away!!!

  14. A fantastic second half performance. I’ve been waiting for Forest to prove they have character and the stomach for games like this and they certainly did that today. I can’t even remember the last time I was this proud of a Forest performance (Coventry away in similar circumstances about 5/6 seasons ago?)

    Huge credit must go to all the players and management. Other than the players already mentioned, I thought that Breckin was fantstic today and finally showed the characteristics of a captain. Lockwood’s distribution needs to improve and he can’t go past players like Bennett, but he showed today how good he is defensively for this level. Also, I know it was just coincidence, but it was great to see all the Nottinghamshire born players (Morgan, Perch, McGugan, Commons) leading by example and throwing themselves into tackles and generally giving everything for the cause.
    I hope Calderwod realises soon that if absoloutely necessary Wilson can play right-back but only with a winger infont of him in a 4-4-2 formation, to expect him to play right-back and to also do the job of a wing-back/winger like Chambers and Perch do is unrealistic as he is really an out and out centreback. Having said this, I would really just prefer 4-4-2. In Calderwood’s 4-3-3, Holt finds himself on the left wing and often Aggogo is the only target in the box. The only circumstances 4-3-3 should be used is late on in games when things need to be changed to grab a goal, and even then, only if Aggogo and Tyson are playing. Holt is not suited to 4-3-3 and with Davies and Commons it just turns into 4-5-1. Still, today was fantastic and l hope that we can show the same spirit and fight for the rest of the year.

  15. I had meant to single out Brecks, well, I think I did a bit – but yes, I’ve often had reservations about whether or not he could lead – today he did just that, and boy did we need a leader in a game like that.

    He’ll always have those folks who have written him off regardless, but since he’s been back in the side I’ve been happy with his performances.

  16. Nice report, as usual.
    That’s why I go to football; passion, singing, skill, controversy and goals. Marvellous!
    Mind you, it didn’t look like that for the first half an hour. Funeral atmosphere, mis-placed passes, wilson horribly out of position. Then it happened, and thank god. The ref may have been an arsehole, but he may also have saved our season! From my position (lower trent), Kamaras ‘tackle’on Smith was a free-kick all ends up. So to give a penalty was amazing. But if Kelvin did block him (which he didn’t), the correct decision is an indirect free-kick in the area. Or as an FA Coach have I been told wrong?? After the sending off my main concern was the ability of Breckin to cope. But credit to him, he proved me wrong and apart from a couple of wayward passes played a blinder. As did they all. Even CC’s substitutions were right.
    And isn’t it kind of poetic justice that the time added on at the end allowing lewis to score (and he rolled the defender brilliantly, by the way) was due to that horrible cheating tosser Kamara going down like he’d been attacked by a gang of skinheads, trying to get Commo booked.

    Great atmosphere, great performance and other results also going for us (well, Leeds losing, anyway!).

    Nice little break now, get the injured players fit again, bring in a couple of strikers…aah, suddenly life’s not so bad after all!! You reeeds!

  17. Nice report, as usual.
    That’s why I go to football; passion, singing, skill, controversy and goals. Marvellous!
    Mind you, it didn’t look like that for the first half an hour. Funeral atmosphere, mis-placed passes, wilson horribly out of position. Then it happened, and thank god. The ref may have been an arsehole, but he may also have saved our season! From my position (lower trent), Kamaras ‘tackle’on Smith was a free-kick all ends up. So to give a penalty was amazing. But if Kelvin did block him (which he didn’t), the correct decision is an indirect free-kick in the area. Or as an FA Coach have I been told wrong?? After the sending off my main concern was the ability of Breckin to cope. But credit to him, he proved me wrong and apart from a couple of wayward passes played a blinder. As did they all. Even CC’s substitutions were right.
    And isn’t it kind of poetic justice that the time added on at the end allowing lewis to score (and he rolled the defender brilliantly, by the way) was due to that horrible cheating tosser Kamara going down like he’d been attacked by a gang of skinheads, trying to get Commo booked.

    Great atmosphere, great performance and other results also going for us (well, Leeds losing, anyway!).

    Nice little break now, get the injured players fit again, bring in a couple of strikers…aah, suddenly life’s not so bad after all!!

  18. It was that good I wrote it twice!

  19. First of all I have to praise the lads for a great fight back which completly cured my hangover, However……….
    Calderwood’s idiotic tactics of playing Holt on the left wing (although he was so deep it could have been left back !) and Commons on the right wing with Agogo on his own caused us to be at 0-0 when the penalty(?) was given. Huddersfield were there for the taking had we played an attacking formation. Only the sending off and injuries forced Calderwood to change tactics. I believe that had the penalty incident not occured we may have ended up at 0-0 or worse at the end.

  20. I think we all agree that Holt is not the right person to play on the left in a 4-3-3, however playing this formation does not mean he has to hug the touchline as an out and out winger, he should be a lot closer to Agogo when we are attacking.
    However CC got it right yesterday with the substitutions and what ever was said at half time, so credit where credit is due.
    How about as a gesture of new year good will, we get of the managers back for a few days ?

  21. That’s what I’ve been trying to do, Paul – I think even the most drooling optimist accepts that we need to see consistently good behaviour from the gaffer, and that the starting formation was once again strange (could he be preparing for when we really only have one striker in Holt, and actually planning to play him as a striker with Commons and Davies the ‘widemen’?).

  22. Just picked this up from the Huddersfield Daily Examiner…

    ‘The right-back was sent off for pulling back Malvin Kamara as he bore down on goal after being freed by Andy Holdsworth.

    The decision went down like a lead balloon with Forest fans in an 18,762 crowd (920 Town supporters), but Greater Manchester referee Anthony Taylor was well positioned and contact certainly appeared to be made.’

    Malvin Kamara ‘bore down on goal after being freed by Andy Holdsworth’ (er, fell over after bumping into Wilson following his failure to catch up with the defender’s header back to Smith) and ‘…referee Anthony Taylor was well positioned’ (on the halfway line?!)

    Was their reporter at the same game as the rest of us?!?!

  23. Maybe the reporter was in the away end?

  24. What a fantastic second half performance. Plenty of Passion and Commitment. Nice to see Calderwood excited for a change. Best game I’ve seen this year !!!!!!! My seat’s not available for the 12th …. I’ll watch the kids Sunday league that week. Keep it up “YOU REDS”

  25. […] was the referee, Anthony Taylor.  I’ve had some very cross words about him before (here and here), so let’s hope that in the intervening years he’s learned a little more about his […]

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