Ruthless finishing sees Forest ease past Tranmere…

Tranmere Rovers – 0
Nottingham Forest – 2

In an unusually ruthless performance, Forest made Tranmere pay by converting their two chances on target this afternoon to grab a win that the home side would have felt was a harsh result.  Goals either side of half time from Nathan Tyson and Wes Morgan were enough to give Forest the win.  It doesn’t quite confirm our place in the playoffs, but it does make the cursed circus at the end of the season seem all the more likely.

Smoulds made five changes to the starting lineup, Bennett returned in place of Lockwood at left back, Breckin came in for injured Wilson, Perch replaced McGugan in midfield, Tyson replaced injured Agogo and McCleary started over Commons.  The team lined up in the familiar widthless 4-3-3 arrangement, with Perch sitting just infront of the defence.  Predictably this lead to the home side enjoying plenty of possession early in the game.

Forest did look occasionally threatening on the break though, McCleary did well to win the ball in midfield and play a quick ball into Ormerod whose turn was good, but shot was off-target.  Former Reds striker Ian Moore had the first chance for the home side, doing well to escape the attentions of Sammy Clingan before firing a fairly tame side-footed shot straight at Paul Smith from around six yards out – a real let off.

The next chance fell to Shane Sherriff who, despite attentions from Luke Chambers, managed to get a shot away, but it was across the face of goal and didn’t trouble Smithy.  The home crowd thought their pressure had rewarded them with the lead after 20 minutes when a cross found Chris Greenacre unmarked to slot the ball into the net with ease, but fortunately for us the linesman’s flag was already up to disallow the effort for offside.

Tranmere continued to press, and an excellent cross by Shuker was met by Moore – but his headed effort was easily caught and held by Smith.  Shuker continued to prove a threat down the right had side of the the Rovers attack, and crafted an opportunity to shoot himself shortly after this, with Perchy being in the right place at the right time to deflect the effort using his head to keep Forest’s goal unbreached.

Against the run of play Forest took the lead, and it was pretty much our first decent attempt of the game barring Ormerod’s earlier miss.  Chris Cohen played a tantalising long-ball over the top for Tyson to run on to, seemingly strolling past Kay before rounding the keeper and stroking the ball into an empty net from four yards out much to the delirium of the travelling Forest fans.

The home side should have levelled it straight after – Ian Goodison having time and space to head the ball goalward, but only managing to hit the sidenetting, and so Forest were able to reach the half-time break with a one-nil lead despite creating very little, and defending resolutely, giving them the crucial lead that, had other results gone our way, could have confirmed our place in the playoffs.

The second half set itself up to be more of the same, Tranmere pushed forward and Sherriff crossed well to find Shuker on the back post, but again it was met with a tame header that was pretty much straight at Smith in the Forest goal.  At the other end, a short corner actually worked (!), McCleary playing it to Cohen whose cross found Morgan at the back post to head strongly into the top corner of the net to give Forest a very unlikely 2-0 lead.

McCleary was withdrawn for Commons as Tranmere also made a couple of changes, and Forest started to look more comfortable in the game – albeit playing very defensively.  Tyson had another chance on the break, but elected to shoot from the angle – narrowly missing – rather than setting up Ormerod or Commons who were up and supporting his run.  Tyson is to be credited with not responding to the absolute battering he picked up from the elbows of Goodison throughout the game – which the referee deigned to ignore completely.

Rovers had one more real chance in the game, a diving header from Moore that went wide after a Greenacre cross, after which they struggled to create a great deal – and Forest didn’t really look like they were wanting to create much.  Matt Thornhill came on for the hardworking Ormerod and Forest finished the game in a 4-5-1 formation, content to sit on the lead they’d somehow gained over the course of the game.

So all in all, a lucky win on balance of play – Wes Morgan was brilliant in particular – but it’s one of those wins, at this stage of the season, that makes you think back to results against teams like Bournemouth, Luton, Millwall, Bristol Rovers or Walsall where had we picked up points there, we would still be in the running for automatic promotion instead of making do with finishing in the playoffs.  Of course, mathematically speaking automatic promotion is still possible – just very unlikely.

It’s good to see a ruthless performance in terms of taking chances as they come, two shots on target and two goals is as good a return as you can hope for.  A very relaxed referee today too, who ignored countless elbows Tyson received from Goodison, then went and booked a Rovers player for taking a freekick too quickly!  It was good to see Tyson’s red mist was kept in check though, and he continued to work hard throughout the game despite unsavoury attentions from the centreback.

So we’re back up to fourth, agonisingly we’re just 3 points behind Doncaster and just 6 behind Carlisle (who lost today to a – shock horror – late Leeds winner), but with just three games remaining we’ve left any hope of catching those two far too late.  With the day approaching when Leeds should find out whether or not they are to be re-awarded any of their points back, there could be a twist in the automatic promotion tale, but not for us, I fear.

17 Responses

  1. I must admit to now hoping Leeds get their 15 points back. They appear to have suddenly found their form and I feel we would have a better shout in the play offs against a demoralised Carlisle & Doncaster should Leeds be allowed to leapfrog above them both.

    I listed to the 5Live commentary of their game today and it does appear as though the arbitration meeting this week is less of a foregone conclusion than has been widely reported.

  2. I don’t think it’s anything like concluded! Local sources in Leeds seem to think they are looking at getting 10 points back, which – as the league table stands – would put them third, but with a game in hand over Carlisle just above them… which, if won, would give them second.

    Either way, from a Forest perspective it’s largely irrelevant, although it would have a say in who we meet in the playoffs.

  3. Think I’d rather we had carlisle than Leeds in the playoffs too.

  4. Don’t want to meet Leeds in the playoff semis, but have to conceed that a Forest Leeds final at Wembley would be a mouthwatering prospect… Either way, whoever we end up playing we need to be on top of our game – which is worrying since the only consistent aspect of this season has been our inconsistency.

  5. i think yesterdays match pretty much summed up this season, we won despite ourselves. the first 25 minutes were quite frankly an embarassment to all associated with the club, all the usual problems of no shape, no syle and no idea, then we scored. I for one didnt celebrate the goal, i was too embarassed to.

    the second half was much better, we looked solid in defence and you always fancied us to score, if we do go up this season, as with this match, it will be despite colin. we seem to have booked ourselves a play off place or put another way, booked heartache and misery.

  6. leeds have got dougie freedman up front, and carlisle have got scott dobie!

    there is nothing to worry about………


  7. We’ve played a few games this season where we’ve been fantastic and come away with either nothing or a single point (Bristol away and Northampton at home spring to mind) so it’s about time we had some luck.

    Tranmere didn’t take their chances and were punished for it.

  8. It’s important that at least one of your centre halves weighs in with a few goals and I think I’m right in saying that is the first goal this season from one of our centre backs – except of course for the centre back who has been played out of position all season!

    It certainly will be interesting going into the play offs with 95% of the fans having had enough of the manager and his strange tactics. I’m sure we will all get behind the team though because there can’t be any Forest supporter that doesn’t desperately want to get out of this league.

    Relegated Luton up next. I do feel a little sympathy for them having been relegated after comprehensively outplaying us twice this season. They’ve lost their manager, their best players (We should’ve signed David Bell instead of letting L**cester get him ).

  9. I hope leeds get their points to although on both occasions we played them we looked the better team.With the players we have in the squad we should fear no one .Our big liability is the manager.!!!There must be a good manager out there looking at our squad of players and wishing they were his !!!I’m still optimistic of going up,providing the players don’t listen too much to c.c. and do their own thing because THEY want to play in the Championship,earn more money,whatever motivates them.A one on one interview with each player would soon find out what makes the players tick and then use that to get the extra adrenalin pumping for the last 10 minutes of each game to ensure at least a 2 goal victory. Come on you REDS !!!!!!!!

  10. Apologies for adding the following comments to this thread but nobody seems to have picked up on this. The Sunday People has reported that Forest are looking to take Ian Dowie as manager in the summer and have also been linked with Sam Allardyce!!

    I am assuming this is a late April Fool as I would hope that Doughty has finally learned his lesson about appointing negative defensive minded managers.

    Or maybe not!

  11. Barrow Red, I’m more surprised that you have admitted to reading the Sunday People!
    I’d rather see Darren Ferguson at the CG. My mates lad is a trainee at Posh, and after the defeat to Stockport on Saturday apparently he went nuts. Then screamed at this lad to tell the center-half and the captain he wanted them in his office ‘f**king now’.
    This is contrast to 90% of the other games this season where he has publicly told his players how good they are and that nobody wants to play against them. Good management? Maybe, maybe not, but certainly better than we’re used to.

    Nffc, I happened across a very good article by Garry Birtles at the weekend on the ‘thisisnottingham’ website, calling for united backing and singing. Unfortunately being technologically useless I dont know how to post the link on here. Maybe you could oblige? It certainly got me thinking…

  12. Of course, Freedman scored twice and Dobie once on Saturday!

    Maybe we should get them back and play them up front together?

  13. Haven’t you guys learnt nothing? Any striker leaving the City Ground get goals!! Look at then all lining up, Lester, Dobie, Freedman, Holt? – er, I have to look 2 see… amongst others, wonder what they have all in common? Well 3 of the 4 were under CC’s managemnet & all 4 are ex-Reds and 3 of the 4 are scoring…

    Anyway, I got a question for all the Trickies – if we were to get to a Wembley Play-off final should I come over from Cyprus or not? Don’t get me wrong I want to come (like last year, ask my cousins) but I’m damn scared of what CC might do!!! It’s not just a trip to Wembley but a whole amount of dosh too. Nothing would be better for me to go to Wembley & come back with promotion but like I said b4…. Damn, I’d be kicking myself if we did go up & I didn’t come so….


    Man, I hate dilemas…. but can CC deliver us promotion to the Championship….

  14. Update on Holt, in the 4 matches he’s been @ ‘Pool he’s made 3 apperances from the bench (always towards the end) and the last match wasn’t in the squad…

    Any thoghts welcome… (& I’m expecting the usual put downs too!!)

  15. Come over. It’s a no-brainer.
    I have actually already bought tickets for the Rugby Sevens at Twickenham on the same day. Although I’m desperate to get out of this Godforsaken league I doubted Calderwood had it in him to deliver, so I thought I’d take the family for a day of exciting sporting action.
    But….if by some miracle we do manage to make the final then we shall definitely go, despite the extra cost.
    35000 forest fans in that stadium could make all the difference to our lads. And I want to be a part of it if it happens.
    I tell my kids how often I’ve been there with Forest and they too are desperate to go. Come on, join the party!

  16. Blimey Matty, I have 2 agree with you there, we’ll see – step by step. Now I know the date (Sun 25th), I can start to prepare my flight plan & work details out. 1 step at a time, last year was a mess, was waiting for my passport which eventualy came after the semi defeat & on the edge before hand. Eventualy, it was a a no goer. Let’s hope for some miracle we get there ths time…. I’ve got 4 other trickies already ready to go if we get there…. yep, it’s that IF word. If, if, if & if again. Ate re, turn the if it to a definate….

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