The more considered Swansea match report..

Perchy scores, but its not enough...

Perchy scores, but it's not enough...

Swansea City – 3
Nottingham Forest – 1

It’s time for the more balanced ‘I’ve had time to reflect on this’ and more detailed ‘I’m not typing on a mobile device’ match report for this afternoon, although obviously it might be worth checking out the last few entries I made ‘in the field’, so to speak, for a sense of a more immediate reaction to how the afternoon was going.

Having picked up a few comments already, earlier updates were inevitably fixated on Forest -as I wasn’t going to sit tapping away about Swansea, now was I?  Of course I make no apology for my obvious biasedness towards my own team, but I don’t think I did so unduly.

I still maintain the scoreline was flattering; Swansea certainly played the better football, that was undeniable, and I imagine they trumped us on possession too; definitely in the final third – but you would expect that from a home side, wouldn’t you?  Forest definitely didn’t deserve to win, but I don’t think a draw wouldn’t’ve been an unreasonable result given the run of events – but alas we didn’t, so life must go on.

It’s ironic that the first half, where we were very dodgy in spells (quite worryingly long spells) we went in level, whereas we ‘lost the second half’ 2-0 despite putting in a much better performance, with Swansea looking tired and beatable until Martinez started to make some key substitutions which I believed were one of the factors that helped the home side win the game.

To clarify the scorers, it was a Britton shot that crossed the line after hitting Smithy, so unfortunately that must be an own goal for Smudger.  Perch rather than McGugan was the Forest goalscorer, Bodde as I described scored the rebound from his saved penalty, and then the final goal was a combination of an excellent cross by Gower which was expertly directed goalward by substitute Gorka Pintado.

I still maintain the referee was a complete homer.  Darren Pratley (the aforementioned number 8) was lucky to be on the pitch, with constant fouling and diving (most of which illicited a freekick from the referee, those that didn’t were not punished).  He had picked up an early booking, too.  I can’t call the penalty decision as it was at the other end of the pitch, although a Swansea fan commented on the ‘live update’ from full time that it was a dodgy one, and that’s no surprise.

The ineptitude of the referee climaxed when he gave us a throw-in, only for the Swansea bench to protest to the linesman who then intervened.  The irony being that it certainly should have been a throw to the Jacks, but having seen similar decisions being constantly given the wrong way throughout the match, it was annoying to see the referee swayed by the protestations of the home bench.  Idiot referee, and equally idiotic linesmen.

On to our players; Smith I thought was desperately unlucky really – could do a great deal about any of the goals – and perhaps given his recent performances against Swansea he was due a bad day (even if it wasn’t his fault).  The whole defence looked very shaky at times; Wes stood off Britton allowing the shot for the first goal, Wilson was uncharacteristically indecisive and both Bennett and Chambers were frequently over-pressured by the quick moving home side – particularly Chambers.

In midfield Perch was obviously a goalscorer, but was quite scrappy and certainly not performing at the level he did against Reading.  Neither was Moussi, who had some moments of brilliance, but several also of clumsiness.  McGugan looked useful at times, but needs to release the ball more quickly and play the simple pass.  Cohen was everywhere and for me was our man of the match, closely followed by Martin who looks a great talent, he just needs to learn to stay onside (or realise his teammates don’t think as quickly as him!).

Earnie had a good game in terms of movement and creating chances, but was let down by poor finishing on more than one occasion which could certainly have changed the game for the better.  That will come with time though.  Unlike Swansea, whose first substitute was on the hour mark, none of our substitutes really had the opportunity to make an impact on the game – so the ten minutes of McCleary and the four minutes of Newbold aren’t really of much note.

So anyway, I stand by my ‘we deserved a draw’ statement.  Certainly more so than last season’s performance at the Liberty Stadium; there’s no denying you could see who the home and away sides were from the performance, nor that there is a great deal of room for improvement in the link-up from midfield to attack in the Forest team (which will hopefully come once our injuries lessen).  We shall see.

As with the home game against Reading, I was disappointed with the number of Forest fans making the trip, just over 1,000.  Whilst it’s not the most inspiring of opponents over the season, and a long trip, and people are on holiday, it’s still a poor show really – as the home fans delighted in pointing out.  Perhaps people are saving their pennies for the trip to Wolves, I’m not sure, but I was hoping that we’d have a better following than that.

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The referee’s a wanker..

It looks very much like it will finish Swansea City 3-1 Nottingham Forest.

That doesn’t really tell the story, as Forest have been much improved this half, and caught out by two suckerpunches from the home side (who, in fairness, had the better of the first half).

Couldn’t tell if the penalty should have been given, but since the referee has given anything and everything involving a Swansea player falling over, it might well have been one of many other dodgy decisions from the malleable official. Smith saved Bodde’s initial effort, but was helpless to prevent him banging in the rebound.

An unlucky day for Smith in goal so far. It didn’t get much better when Chambers was once again skinned and the cross was, in fairness, excellently directed past Paul Smith to give the home side a flattering margin to their victory.

Things that will linger in the memory is their cheating bastard of a number 8, the predictably brainless anti-English/Welsh nonsense and a gutless performance from the referee and his assistants, culminating in him changing a decision after ‘feedback’ from the Swansea bench.

Spineless bastard.

Swansea were probably marginally the better side over all, but it was marginal. Lee Martin looks good, and we did enough today to be disappointed with defeat. When we gave more attacking options available games like these will be wins.

We do really need a right back, though.

Half time at Swansea

It’s one all, and in all honesty that’s rather flattering to Forest. The Swans took the lead when Morgan stood off his man allowing a shot that beat Smith, but rebounded off the post and heartbreakingly struck the prone keeper and trickled over the line.

Forest responded shakily, allowing the home side far too much space in and around the box. Chambers in particular looked particularly exposed, and Smith made two excellent saves to keep us within touching distance.

The equaliser wasn’t clear from our end, but De Vries appeared to spill an effort which was bundled over the line by an as yet unidentified scorer, possibly McGugan. Forest now regained their composure and whilst not crafting too many clear cut chances, looked at least at the same level as their hosts.

The Swans had the final say before half time, a corner headed narrowly over, and an author biting hard on his tongue as a particularly retarded Forest fan started laying into Smith for not recklessly trying to claim the ball.

I’d say it’s been a satisfactory rather than pleasing half, at times we’ve looked horrendously incompetent and shapeless, but there have been flashes of excitement. Very much hoping for able improved second half.

Shortly after Forest scored

At the Liberty Stadium..

And so the Liberty Stadium. A miniature Pride Park-like flatpack affair, with exciting local amenities such as Rossi’s fish and chip emporium, as well as a sun tan centre which no doubt Smoulds will have been taking advantage of, given it is predictably raining!

It’s a quarter to two, and our Welsh hosts have yet to open the turnstiles, and the police are stopping too much wandering – not that the immediate surroundings exactly invite furthur exploration.

Maybe it’s a deliberate plot, spirits amongst the fans are quelled as they shelter beneath the stadium awaiting the turnstiles to open. I’m sure once we are inside (an announcement has been made that the turnstiles will be open in ten minutes) the atmosphere will start to build.

I’ve got Lewis McGugan in the sweepstake, so I’m hoping the mercurial midfielder can notch our first league goal!

Sinister hand prints with police in the background

A dubious welcome to the Liberty Stadium

I can't stand the rain...

Service stations..

Service stations, those bittersweet offerings of facilities and energising treats at ludicrous prices! Just leaving one on the M5 which has been over run by travelling Trickies.

This is always promising; a healthy following is always desirable, even if the queues for sandwiches and coffee are rather dramatically enhanced by red shirted hordes. The mood is very positive amongst the travelling faithful, which reassures me.

Given our departure time, I still can’t quite work out just what time we are expecting to arrive at The Liberty Stadium, but well, roll on the four hours ‘tip kick off!

Not the clearest image in the world of Forest fans swarming around a service station!

Sitting on a Supporters coach..

… leads you to ponder many things as you sit on the tarmac of the Brian Clough Stand car park.

Why does it take some people in excess of five minutes to get on that coach, then a further eternity to find and settle into a seat?

More importantly, why on Earth are we setting off at 8:45 in the AM?! We’re going to Swansea, not Inverness!

Still, despite my grumpiness I’m very excited about a first away trip, and a chance to use my ‘roving reporter’ capabilities (battery life permitting). And right on cue, the coach is starting to move…

You Reds!