“You’ll never beat the Saddlers!” Forest left saddle sore again…

Nottingham Forest – 1
Walsall – 1

The chants from the away end were inevitable, it must be one of the few perks of being a Walsall fan that you can plan a trip to the City Ground with basically a carte blanche to get at least a point from the trip.  Today’s game was a frustrating one for us, largely due to the result – as there were plenty of positives on show from the Reds, but alas, given the timing, it was too little and too late yet again.

Forest began the game very brightly, lining up in something approximating 4-4-2 with a back four of Perch, Morgan, Wilson, Bennett, and a midfield of McGugan, Thornhill, Clingan and Cohen – with Tyson and Ormerod leading the line upfront, and – d’you know what? – it looked like it just might work for a while, too.  Cohen and McGugan were by no means out-and-out wingers, but did put in plenty of wide-time to give the midfield outlets.

Walsall had us change ends, meaning Forest attacked the Trent End in the first half unusually – and we came flying out the blocks.  Within four minutes Thornhill had twice been denied by Clayton Ince, the first chance smothered at source and the second a tremendous diving save conceding a corner with the young midfielder having shot from around 6 yards out.

Forest dominated in terms of possession, and a series of corners – there were few absolutely clear-cut chances in the following exchanges, but there was a feeling of optimism amongst the fans as well as the inevitable growing unease at the lack of direct opportunities as balls into the box just didn’t quite fall for us in the penalty area to get a clear shot fired off – we really needed it to.

Tyson looked sharp and fast, breaking at pace on numerous occasions, managing to get a ball across the face of goal just evading Ormerod on the back post.  Again, he was put clear by Cohen and – beating a defender when he really didn’t look odds on to, before hitting a powerful drive on the run from a tight angle, it was heading towards the top corner at the near post but struck the crossbar.

Moments before half time the referee almost conspired to give us a kick in the proverbials, he gave a throw-in to Forest, and as we prepared for it changed his mind giving Walsall a chance for a quick throw-in which eventually gave Sonko an opportunity to shoot on goal, which Smith saved before the clearance was made after a followup from Mooney was put clear.

We didn’t have long to wait in the second half to take the lead – Tyson was operating further left and was giving the rightback a torrid time, running at him and beating him seemingly at will.  Around four minutes into the second half, he did just that after good work from McGugan, drilling the ball across the box to find Ormerod arriving at the back post to put the ball into the net.

Perch was withdrawn for Chambers at this point, appearing to be ill rather than injured having been treated by the physio briefly after going down well away from the action – it’s a shame as he’d had a good game at rightback (despite what some of the inevitable groaners sitting around me might have said), although it was some comfort that – whilst I don’t consider Chambers a fullback – we had a ready replacement on the bench.

A carbon-copy opportunity that gave us the lead happened later – again Tyson left Roper in his wake and unleashed a very similar cross to Ormerod – this time on the near post – but sadly the loan man couldn’t find the target this time, from where I was sitting this looked the easier of the two chances too, of course at the time we were still leading so not too heartbroken.  The wonders of hindsight, eh?

Tyson was looking incredibly threatening down the left – again he burst past his marker to give himself a shooting chance from around 18 yards – and whilst it was well struck and on-target it wasn’t too difficult for Clayton Ince to deal with in the Walsall goal.  So we were feeling quite comfortable at this point, we were controlling the game and looking dangerous, whether this made the players feel too comfortable I’m not sure.

Because obviously Walsall are about due their equaliser about now – and it came from absolutely nowhere.  Sonko received the ball on the right who crossed to the back post where Mooney was lurking, with no route to goal at all, unless of course he headed the ball into Wilson’s midriff and got a lucky ricochet, which is exactly what the wily frontman did – the delay in celebrations from players and fans alike indicate how unlikely it seemed!

Walsall never exactly dominated, but did wake up and realise they could get more than the point they clearly came for – they broke quickly and looked dangerous on the break.  Clingan had to be onhand to clear a header off the line after an excellent flicked header from Mark Bradley looked goalbound all the way – so today could’ve been a lot worse.

Walsall defended in numbers and doggedly, and for their part Forest struggled to make any meaningful inroads.  Tyson, who had looked so dangerous on the left, was playing more centrally, and despite Smoulds chucking Agogo on for Cohen, and eventually Holt on for Thornhill, there were never any further clearcut chances for the Reds – indeed, it were Walsall again that caused home hearts to flutter with a header onto the bar from Mark Bradley again.

So 2 points from our last two must-win games offers no optimism to overcome my previous comments writing off our chances of automatic promotion – there were loud cries for the manager’s head from the mainstand in particular, a sentiment I’m sympathetic with.  Whilst today’s game was unlucky, and not really his fault nor the players, what has gone before means that we don’t even have the luxury of being able to write games off as bad luck.

A tough trip to Smoulds’ former club on friday – a trip Swansea made today and got a sound beating – offers us another big challenge, and to stand even the vaguest chance of getting that essential 2nd placed finish, we basically have ten must-win games remaining us.  I can’t see that happening, but the silver lining is that Tyson is looking fit and sharp, and the emergence of Matt Thornhill who looks set to be a real talent for the future.

21 Responses

  1. Sounds like Tyson had a good game.I was praying he didn”t get injured in the second half as it sounded as if he was instrumental in all Forests good moves.We have 10 cup finals left.Dony losing helped today .Lets have a big crowd wednesday night at the City Ground!!!!!!!

  2. NFFC, overall after today are you confident we can do well in the playoffs with tyson and thornhill making the difference ?

  3. i thought forest played very well today in the first half, but couldnt get the winner they deserved in the 2nd half. fair enough, we didnt create much after their equaliser, but i thought this wasnt down to lack of effort.
    the thing that did annoy me, and undoubtedly affected the players was the negativity of the fans. we must have the most negative HOME fans in the country! moan, moan and more moaning around me in the trent end upper! no trying to get behind the players!!!!
    on the way out there was a man effing and blinding about the state of our club, and what a bag of shite forest were! Why bother coming! i didnt say this to him as he was both angry and big.
    I know its frustrating being a red at times, but stay positive! it might just rub off on the team! its got to be worth a try!
    good work on the blog by the way!

  4. Alright Ash, I would never ever feel confident in the playoffs if we had Ronaldo and Rooney on loan 😆

    But Tyson is always a danger, and Thornhill looks a real prospect – so you never know!

  5. Bugger!! was hoping you were going to be more positive. Our only chance now is to get some consistency and confidence in order to go into the playoffs with some form.

  6. Whoopiedo – I’m positive.

    Come on, even John McGovern has started to say how shite it is week in week out, and he’s always been Mr Positive in the past.

    It is heartbreaking.

    The real problem is that there isn’t really a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Jeez – even freakin’ Dougie scored two today!

  7. I thought the fans stayed fairly positive for most of the game today.
    We played very well in the first half, and were unlucky to go in level. Problem was after they scored the equaliser you could see the confidence slowly ebbing away from our lads. Barry Richardson only has one goalkeeper to work on at the club – the other two have been farmed out – but whether he’s a shit coach or Smith isn’t listening I don’t know. As the game wore on he just got worse and worse. But am I alone in thinking our delivery from set-pieces is a poor as it has ever been? Our free-kicks were aimless, throw-ins were too high/hard to control and as for the corners…well they were just embarrassing. Especially McGugans with 2 mins to go.
    I am definitely of the opinion that CC must go, but to be fair I think the players let him down in the 2nd half today.

  8. I hope smoulds finally gets it… TYSON IS BEST ON THE WING. He murdered Charltons full back, and murdererd walsall today. Agogo and Ormerod in the centre, with tyson on the wing.

    It’s got to be worth a go – whatever we’ve been doing so far has not exactly been working too well in attack has it?

  9. good report, ormerod’s miss was gilt edged. couldnt believe our lucky stars. tyson scared us, your right winger? wasnt bad either. revelled in bennetts poor display 🙂 cant believe you’re struggling for promotion with ‘home’ refs like todays tho! hopefully see you all in the play offs 😛

  10. Home ref? He didn’t do much about your rightback hacking Tyson down more than once in a cynical manner 😉 He was a generally poor ref though, we don’t often get what I’d call a ‘home’ ref!

    We’ll be lucky to end up in the playoffs at all on current form!

  11. hey forest looks like you are staying where you belong .well at least chesterfield are in a play off spot.it gives you a big derby game .lol

  12. I wouldn’t be so smug, you might be joining us – not that anyone will care a great deal…

  13. fox 4 life ??? this website is to do with football not fox hunting. try this site mate http://www.league.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=1712

  14. For an hour, we looked decent. Thornhill had a great game and should play ahead of McGugan who is looking more and more out of sorts each game. Why-o-why did we stop playing the ball into the left channel for Tyson to run onto? And what the fk was Agogo doing when he came on? I think the substitutions played a big part in our not winning. The almost 4-4-2 formation was working so why the fk change it? Although Cohen was running around an awful lot without actually producing anything. Reminded me of someone who always manages to look busy when the boss is watching.

    But overall, not too dissapointed, never expected 3 points today and a pretty good performance – was wondering who the team in red were for the first 15 mins, it certainly wasn’t Forest! – and the effort was there.

    Keep it up lads! Just make sure playoff place is secured before we play Walsall so we can lose that game because we WON’T win 4 on the trot.

  15. Radgie, I think you’re a a bit harsh on Cohen. Yeah he does a lot of running around, thank god. Without him and Sammy putting the effort in and restricting the opposition time and space we’d be further down shit creek in my opinion. I agree with you about both Mcgugan and Agogo though. Lewis is in desperate need of a rest and/or kick up the arse. Whereas Agogo needs to remember whose paying his wages…and start putting a bit of effort in. Then he might just get his wish of a move to a big club, until then I can’t see a queue of Premier League clubs beating our door down.
    For what it’s worth, here’s my assessment of yesterdays team;
    Smith, poor.
    Perch, did well (why was he subbed?).
    Kelvin, not the dominant force he has been, but still quality.
    Wes, well, he’s Wes!
    Bennett, worst game all season. Then again, thats been coming, I think he’s a pub player…sorry, but I do.
    Thornhill, did well.
    Sammy, my player of the season so far but struggled yesterday.
    Lewis, couple of nice touches, but overall poor.
    Cohen, industrious as ever, needs to play in the Championship though, where he’ll get more time on the ball.
    Tyson, played well.
    Ormerod, did ok, but blew the chance of a 2nd goal.
    Agogo, oh dear.
    Holt, as Agogo.
    Chambers, poor.
    I’d like to say we missed the guile and craft of the 2 best wingers in the league, but as CC is loathe to play them in those positions I cant!

  16. Having re-read my above comments, it’s looks like I thought we were poor, which I dont For an hour we were excellent, but once they scored we ran out of ideas and the lack of a leader on the bench/pitch was evident.
    I’m not ususally a grumpy thirtysomething!

  17. Pete what planet r u on !!!
    Forest fans have been unbelievable patient so far but we’ve had enough. I do not advocate abuse during the game but afterwards is fair in my view.
    I also believe that abuse is not levelled at the players its meant for one person only!!
    Forest fans can, and have been, the most passionate in the country, if given something to shout about.
    When we get a manager who shows he’s taking us forward he will get massive support, role on that day !

  18. I hear there are going to be a few banners shown on wednesday night,not sure if they are for C.C.s benefit or for Pemberton and his Forest team.Should be interesting!!I look forward to hearing your comments on thursday.

  19. I bet Colin is really looking forward to Friday evening in Northampton! Which set of supporters will he get the most abuse from?

    Who’d be a football manager eh?! All of us probably…

  20. After wednesday night ,with a bit of luck he might not be going to Northampton on friday——or is that just wishful thinking……

  21. URed,

    is being patient booing cos its 0-0 after 20 mins?

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