Rampant Forest hit Orient for four!

Nottingham Forest – 4
Leyton Orient – 0

It was a game of two halves, and two halves of four quarters.  Orient showing why they’ve been contenders at the top of the table in the first quarter of each half, but Forest responding in the remaining three-quarters of each half to show that, despite being thin on the ground in the striking department, we should still not be written off.  That said, I do feel that Orient will feel hard done to with the resounding scoreline.

The win puts us back up to second in the league, and also gave us very reassuring signs from Grant Holt – who I’ve been giving a hard time lately – well, credit where it’s due, he made a valiant contribution today; and was visibly much improved upon getting on the scoresheet with a thumping header in the first half – perhaps it was a confidence thing from him with a lack of goals this season, who knows, but I’d like to see more of it please, Grant!

But it wasn’t all swashbuckling attacking – it was Orient who drew first blood on the chance from, the dangerous Sean Thornton forced Smith into a save from a freekick in the first half, a decent save from close range when Barcham looked through.  We rode our luck slightly too, Thornton again the danger when he unleashed a powerful shot from around 30 yards, crashing the ball against the post and out – fortunately the Orient striker following in wasn’t able to connect, and eventually Forest conceded a corner.

It was around the half hour mark that Forest registered a first chance on goal, Holt did well to get a head on Commons’ cross, but it was weak and perhaps the better option would’ve been to swing a speculative left-footed shot at it.  However, it wasn’t long before the goal arrived, a short corner by Davies was whipped in perfectly by Commons for Grant to plant a header into the net from close range.  The final act of the first half was some delightful skill from Davies; McGugan chipped the ball forward for the winger to chest down and volley, but he didn’t get much power on it, and Nelson in the Orient goal did well to save it.

The second half started with Orient again piling forward.  Gray looked certain to score when played through brilliantly by Thornton – leaving the Forest defence rather flat footed – but Smith was off his line quickly and gave him very little to aim at, blocking the eventual shot with his legs.  It took some solid defending from Lockwood – who got an excellent reception from the good number of travelling Orient fans – and Breckin to block another chance before Smith could gather the ball.

Forest started to get back into the game though, and claimed a penalty (there was a decent shout for a penalty in the first half for us, I thought, too) when Holt latched onto a throughball from Davies, he rounded Nelson but was brought down – oddly despite giving the penalty, the referee only opted to book the goalkeeper.  Given the horrendous decision we saw on New Years Day that rankled a bit at the time, but given how the game played out, I’m not too concerned.

Grant stepped up to take the penalty himself, planting it firmly to the left – the ‘keeper looked to have gotten a hand to it, but it was well struck and gave Grant, and us, our second goal of the game.  Orient responded to this with a couple of substitutions, taking off the ineffective Gray for Echanomi, and former-Stag Wayne Corden for Demetriou, but the game remained firmly in Forest’s favour until the final whistle came.

Commons was next on the scoresheet, he’d just been blatantly fouled and the very l’aissez faire referee had waved play on.  Kris responded to this by making a great run to pick up on a ball played forward by Breckin, and after a couple of stepovers gave him room just inside the box he coolly struck the ball into the net off the post – with the Orient keeper completely rooted to the line to put the game beyond doubt.

At this point Smoulders took the opportunity to put Sinclair on for Davies, putting the youngster upfront and Grant back into midfield (don’t get me started!…).  Smith was still performing heroics when required, making an excellent close-range save from Barcham, and a more routine one from another long-range Thornton effort.  Another youngster, Matt Thornhill, was introduced for Cohen with ten minutes left, and Chambers came on for Perch who’d picked up a knock.

Sinclair almost got a quick goal after Commons fired in a vicious cross with the youngster and Grant Holt just unable to get on the end of the ball.  Sinclair was to have an impact though, with just a couple of minutes to play Emile found himself with the ball at his feet in the box, with defenders blocking his route to goal he had the presence of mind to square the ball to Thornhill, who miscued slightly but still manged to bundle the ball into the net to give us four goals.

An excellent win, and very heartening given our obvious lack of striker options – I hope that this isn’t used as an excuse not to strengthen in the window; but having heard Smoulds’ post-match interview it would suggest not.  He suggested that the chase for Leon Best is not over yet, and another bid would be going in.  There are plenty of suggestions around the ground that the Nottingham-born striker is keen on a move, so it remains to be seen whether we can make it happen.

But for today at least we can be delighted with an excellent win with a resounding scoreline against a promotion rival.  Every player had a decent game, and as a team at times we knocked the ball around very well and with confidence.  Certainly there are areas for improvement, but when is that ever not going to be the case?  A solid win that certainly exceeded my expectations upon leaving the house. Well done Forest!

11 Responses

  1. Big Grant for England!

  2. We should sign Matt Thornhill – he was very impressive!

  3. Someone’s having some fun, ok how’s this – Best to join up with the Reds for £1.25m & helps sends the Reds back into the Championship forming a formidable partnership with Holt keeping Agogo & Tyson on the bench…..

    Ok, I’m stretching it a little but hey, why not after a 4-0 win.

    4-0 today and that’s without Tyson & Agogo. Who need’s strikers when we got Holty?? Still saying that, Best coming (hopefuly) and that kid on the way, looks like we’re set. Don’t forget our kids out on loan for “1st team” experience.

    Put putting our feet back on the ground, we cannot – I know, same old cliche – think about not getting back into the Championship. We all know who’ll be the 1st player out & on a free….. -((

    Thought just dropped in, a nast one but still, how are we gonna cope away….

  4. I meant Thornton!

  5. I’m totally and utterly unconvinced that this fixation on Best is a waste of time. Our reserves have been in excellent form, we need to reward our own crop before spending a fortune on an unproven player. Yes, we are light up front, but I just can’t see how we can justify 1 mill on best and yet pre-season say goodbye to JackLester. Judgment is not something Forest hold, spend this money wisely, panicking is not an option now.

  6. Great team performance today. Holty looked a different player, especially after he’d scored. Dropping deep to pick up the ball, leading the line and making runs, challenging for everything – superb all round forward play. Just shows what a difference it makes playing someone in their preferred position.

    Martin: You are UNconvinced its a waste of time? 😉

  7. I thought 4-0 flattered us a little but hey, its great for the goal difference. Great performance from Wes and certainly we saw the Grolt we know of old, but my MOTM was Sammy who appeared to cover every blade of grass out there.

    A word about our defence though…. the O’s had two great chances right at the start of the 2nd half and it looked to me as if their half time chat had targeted Breckin as being “the weak link” and deliberately tried to exploit his lack of pace. To be fair, he did start to drop off his man a bit soon after which made things a bit easier for him.

    So, coming to my point, SURELY CC must realise that Wes and Kelvin must be his best option for his two central defenders??? Both are class players, being lightning quick and strong in the challenge and for me, head and shoulders above Breckin But perhaps Im missing something here so welcome being told what!!!!

  8. No Egor, you’re not missing anything. Wes and Kelvin are easily the best pairing we have, and I would even drop Chambers in there if either one of them gets injured. That’s no disrespect to Breckin, but he is the one player who worries me. Having said that, his best game so far this season came against Huddersfield AFTER we went down to 10 men, so what do I know?! I do know that the reason Breckin hasn’t been dropped yet is because Calderwood hasn’t got it in him to make a big decision, hence the amount of games we have struggled in due to players playing out of position just to keep certain players in the team.
    All teams at some point in a game will create chances, look at Newcastle last night. Should have had at least one goal before Man U upped their tempo. So I’m not too worried about the odd breach so long as the goalie does his job (and he certainly earned his money yesterday) and we can go down the other end and create a few of our own.
    By the way, that blonde haired midfielder (thornton?) ran the game yesterday. Top player, but why could everyone in the ground see it except Calderwood, or even our lads? At no stage in the game did we win a 50/50 with him, or even get close when he had the ball. Come on Colin, get him signed, use Davies as a swap if you have to….ooh, that’ll upset one or two of you out there!

  9. I agree totally with Martin’s comments re Leon Best. Has anyone seen him play? Is he really worth over a million quid and if he was so keen to come here then why didn’t he come in the summer?

    With this current formation it only leaves room for one striker. When we already have a Holt, Tyson, Agogo and Sinclair coming through, to me there seems little point in paying over the odds to bring Best in unless you are going to sell someone.

    Thornton is a good player and I also have been very impressed with Miller at Gillingham and Bell at Luton against us this season. But it is also nice to see our promising youngsters given a chance.

    Is Dobie injured again? I wonder if he will be moved on in this transfer window?

  10. Nigel Clough’s comments about Paul Taylor following Burton’s game with Vauxhall Motors on Saturday….see 4th paragraph…


    Sounds like he might be about to join us?

  11. I think CC is shit scared of what happened last season. We had about 7strikers in March but only 2 fit ones come April and after all, we were all very critical of him for that.

    Im like you Aylesbury, that is unsure of Best’s potential and not sure if hes worth £1m. And its a fair comment about Dobbin. Where is he? Is he fit? He’s certaily very low in the pecking order if he is.

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