Forest have enough to overcome poor Millwall..

Nottingham Forest – 2
Millwall – 0

Forest continued their excellent form at home in terms of results.  The performance wasn’t particularly brilliant, but two goals from corners was enough to get the three points against a particularly poor visiting Millwall side.  Indeed, checking my email upon getting back (thanks, mate!), I was amused to receive the below picture of a chap catching up on 40 winks during the first half!  If you encounter amusing sights you decide to photograph at matches, please feel free to email them to me!

The Millwall fans were a bit of a disappointment too, normally they’re good for a spot of amusement, but the ragtag bunch who turned up today seemed to alternate between three songs (‘No one likes us.. *YAWN!*, the ‘special’ roar, and derogatory things about Brian Clough, which frankly used to piss me off – but now just makes me pity them, since none of the Forest fans could think of anything approximating legend status for Millwall to retaliate with).

The roar is worthy of comment, though – it’s one of the few chants Joey Deacon of Blue Peter fame could manage, although I like to think that our chums from Millwall are perhaps more cultured than we give them credit for, and it is inspired by Sir Harry Secombe’s performance as Mr Bumble in classic musical Oliver!  Perhaps not.  It was amusing when the Forest fans imitated it, though.

So anyway, to the game.  We started well – and the lively looking Will Hoskins nearly got a dream start to his debut, a through ball from McGugan gave him a chance to connect after an instinctive run into the box, but Millwall ‘keeper Rhys Evans was able to just get a slight touch on it to take it wide.

The game was pretty anonymous for much of the first half, sadly – and when the likes of Tyson et al did make a foray forward, it seemed that their first touch wasn’t quite right, or the final pass was poor.  Lewis had a good effort with his left foot, with nothing on aside from a shot from range he made life uncomfortable for the diving ‘keeper.

The remainder of the half played out in a fairly boring manner, Smith had had nothing at all to do, but Forest had been largely disjointed and looked low on confidence – certainly not aided by an increasingly impatient home crowd who greeted the half time whistle with boos – which was slightly harsh, I thought.

Early in the second half the ‘Calderwood out’ chanting was starting to gain some momentum around the ground, but was quelled quite emphatically after Commons whipped in a corner which Julian Bennett almost flew to connect with, almost pirouetting in midair to power a header goalwards which Evans could only push into his own goal.

Forest’s tails were up, Tyson chipped the ball to Commons whose snap-shot from the edge of the box brought a save from Evans, giving the reds another corner.  Commons again took it, and Morgan headed goalward but was blocked, a bit of a melee took place before the ball fell to Chambers who was able to sweep the ball into the net from around 12 yards out.

Millwall all but wilted, and it was great to see Hoskins get the better of numerous defenders to cross the ball in, which I’m sure was handled, but the referee was having none of it.  Hoskins perhaps should have sealed a decent debut with a goal after this, brilliantly getting himself free of the last man but dragging his shot wide.

He was taken off, having taken a slight knock, to a standing ovation from the home fans – with Grant Holt coming on to a smattering of booing, which is disappointing from ‘support’ers, particularly since he almost glanced in a Sammy Clingan free kick with his first touch of the game.

Shortly after this Commons whipped in a dangerous cross which almost went in on its’ own, forcing Evans into a save, he was withdrawn after this for James Perch, it was good to see Commons back in the side and his corners alone had provided us with our two goals.  Perch was again in a midfield role, and as we’ve seen recently, looked very low on confidence.

Davies was introduced shortly after for McGugan, who also enjoyed a deserved ovation from the home supporters.  Davies was soon involved down the right and a cross towards Grant Holt saw the ball end up just over.  He spoiled this by picking up his fifth booking with a petulant foul with literally seconds left on the clock – both he and Bennett are now out for the Swindon game.

All in all a necessary three points, not a sparkling performance but some positives were evident.  Hoskins looked composed and quality, it was good to see Commons back in the fold and McGugan too returned with a vengeance.  The tactics and formation were still wrong, and hamstring some of our better players (including Hoskins) – you have the personnel to play 4-4-2, Smoulds – the formation they all grew up playing, why not try it you beligerant bugger?

As it is, the result spared the club a ‘protest’ in the carpark.  The pretend journalist in me would’ve been quite intrigued to see it – the last protest I can remember was against Kinnear, and whilst was noble in sentiment, twenty odd people shouting in a carpark is never going to have too much dignity – it’s true to say that history shows us that when the fans do turn, managers don’t have long to sort it out.