Just one more week to go!…

Rumoured Forest target, Crystal Palaces Ben Watson..

Rumoured Forest target, Crystal Palace's Ben Watson..

This time next week it will just be one sleep ’til the opener against Reading for us.  This time next week hopefully Donny will have heralded their arrival in the Championship by giving the Sheep a good stuffing.  This time next week, childish as it seems, I will be incredibly excited.  With positive activity on the transfer front, promising signs from pre-season games, it’s definitely reached the point where the impatience for getting started is starting to reach fever pitch.

Next time I mark a blog entry as ‘Match Report’, it will be for a proper league game!

The rumours I’m hearing are that we’re still in the hunt for Crystal Palace’s Ben Watson; although we do still face competition from Birmingham to attain the services of the highly-rated midfielder.  This signing would be a real statement of intent from the Reds; and given that despite promising performances during a trial, Stephen Hughes has ended up with Walsall, it would suggest that we do have ‘other irons in the fire’ to shamelessly pinch a Kinnearism.  No guarantees, but if there is any truth in the rumours of us signing Watson, then I’m pretty chuffed.

On the cyber-front there’s some things to be excited about, too.  A phone upgrade means I can now post whilst out and about; which I tested prior to the Sunderland game (and cleverly took a photo partially obscured by my thumb in so doing!).  I’m not sure how much writing-on-the-go I’ll be doing over the coming season, but it’s a useful option!  Elsewhere there’s lots of output coming through from the similarly-addressed-to-here Forest Supporters Blog, which will make interesting reading over the season, and perhaps most excitingly Rish and Rahoul (formerly of nottingham-forest.blogspot.com) are branching out into Podcasts via their new blog site eighteensixtyfive.

I think that’s an exciting development; and look forward to tuning in after the Reading game (if tuning in is what you do with a Podcast!) to see what the guys made of it.  Checking on iTunes if doesn’t look like anything like that exists outside of the top Premier League clubs (although I’m rubbish at searching!), so a step forward indeed.  So lots to be excited about on the ‘web as well as on the pitch – although you can probably expect the same old rambling on here, aside from perhaps the occasional ‘live’ update, I can’t think of any significant developments I’ve made!

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Counteh despatched, Earnie breaks his duck – bring on the season!

I had a wheelbaaaaaarrow.. the wheel stayed on...

I had a wheelbaaaaaarrow.. the wheel stayed on...

Notts County – 2
Nottingham Forest – 3

A comfortable run-out against our nearest neighbours was given a slightly interesting twist for the home supporters when Dale Roberts (on as a second half substitute) gifted late goals to Forrester and Fairclough with a couple of blunders; to leave a scoreline less impressive for the Reds, and more flattering to the home side.  Early reports suggest that the attendance of 7,665 had more Forest supporters in it than home supporters – it certainly looked that way.

Comfortable performances aside, County could – and perhaps should – have taken the lead early with Matt Hamshaw failing to take advantage of an opportunity.  From a Forest perspective, Earnshaw headed over early from a McCleary cross.  The Welshman didn’t have long to wait to break his Forest duck, though, latching onto a Chambers pass he was able to squeeze the ball in from around 12 yards despite the Notts ‘keeper getting a hand to it – and giving Forest fans the first of, hopefully many, trademark Earnshaw goal celebrations. 

Forest looked comfortable from here, and the home keeper had a number of saves to make, particularly from the lively Earnshaw.  The second goal came from Julian Bennett, who was picked out perfectly by a cross from Chris Cohen, leaving him the not-inconsiderable-task of heading beyond the despairing goalkeeper from around eight yards – giving him no chance at all of keeping the ball from crossing the line.

Half time saw Roberts in goal, and initially he did well to prevent Mayo scoring for the home side; but Forest were soon back on the attack – Cohen had an effort from range well saved, at which point the substitutions that you’d expect to see at friendlies started to happen; Moloney replaced Chambers, Reid replaced McCleary, Wilson replaced Perch and Sinclair replaced Newbold.  It was substitute Reid who capitalised on a poor pass from Forrester, playing a through-ball to Earnshaw which put the striker clear to slot the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper.

Another wave of substitutions saw Heath on for Bennett, Brecks on for Earnshaw and Moussi on for Cohen – perhaps this could have contributed to the two goals conceded, but really it seems the bulk of that was down to poor Dale Roberts in goal.  Initially delivering a great assist to Forrester, and then finally misjudging a cross which eventually ended up in the back of the ‘net – so an element of bad luck, but ultimately a win – albeit one in which the scoreline should really have been a lot more comfortable!

Good to see Earnie getting on the scoresheet, though – hopefully that should put him into the right frame of mind for more of the same against League opponents as the new season gets ever closer to starting.