Reds denied by Alexander the great..

Nottingham Forest – 1
Burnley – 2

I can’t quite make my mind up about this afternoon; of course, having a few pints post-match isn’t necessarily going to lend clarity to my analysis, but I shall plod on regardless.  Todays game was more like what we were used to last season, albeit with more talented opponents.  But the tactic was similar, load men behind the ball and hit us on the break, and two excellently taken set-pieces were enough to give Burnley the spoils today at the City Ground.

For chunks of both halves, Forest looked comfortable knocking the ball around; just as a ‘robust’ (read: cynical) Burnley side looked comfortable knocking our players around; they had quickly clocked the referee was, frankly, pretty weak and therefore generally they would get away with it.  Mind you, that worked both ways in the first half when Wes hauled over their striker and sat on him, not conceding so much as a free kick!  So yes, the referee would certainly have a part to play.

Joe Heath came in at left back for the injured Bennett, with the usual remaining defensive unit in place.  Moussi, Cohen and Perch held the middle with an attacking trio of Earnshaw, Tyson and Martin.  The game was open and scrappy at the start, Forest moved forward well, but lacked the final ball until Cohen released Tyson with great throughball, it took the striker slightly wide and unfortunately he elected the blast rather than the place, and it ended up in row Z.

After a counter attack a soft freekick was awarded by the referee when Moussi made what appeared to be fairly limited contact with a Burnley player.  It was played to Alexander who spannered it into the Trent End goal giving Smithy little or no chance to keep the chance out.  Forest resorted to hoof ball for the remainder of the half, with Cohen manfully attempting to be the target man, needless to say, it didn’t really work very well.

We did have a chance at the death, Tyson rarely managed to get a cross in without being booted all over the place by one of the Burnley players, and Earnshaw was on hand to put it goalward, only to be confounded by the visiting keeper who appeared to to save the ball with his face!  So half time, and I think it’s fair to say we were unlucky to be losing, but didn’t really deserve to be winning either – we’d been disjointed and inconsistent, whereas Burnley had been counter-attacking and well drilled.

The second half started with more purpose from Forest, Tyson appeared fired up – which is understandable given the total absence of protection he received from the referee.  It was a foul on him that lead to our goal, Martin clipping a freekick into the box which a defender headed onto his own bar, with Earnie quickest to react in the box to convert the chance into his latest goal for the Reds from close range, putting us back on level terms and seemingly into the ascendancy in the game.

The excellent Cohen combined with the Moose shortly after, with Moussi forcing a corner from Jensen, although Smith had his own work to do at the other end, pulling a characteristically excellent reaction save out the bag to deny McCann a headed goal from close range.  Then came the pivotal point in the match really, and it’s a tricky one to make a call on.

Wes Morgan slide to block Akinbiyi’s cross; the ball undoubtedly hit Morgan’s arm, there was no question of that from where I was sitting.  However, I must confess some ignorance of the precise rules – because I didn’t think Wes deliberately handled it, he wasn’t facing the direction the ball was coming from, the ball struck his arm – I don’t think he moved his arm to block it.  I’m not sure.  I know if it were at the other end I would be screaming for a penalty though, so perhaps thems are indeed the breaks.

Alexander stepped up and predictably spanked the ball hard into the ‘net.  It does seem that we’re not ‘getting the rub of the green’ as the radio commentators so love to say, I have no idea what this mythical green is, nor how we should go about getting the rub of it, but we’ve conceded a lot of goals this season that I would count as unlucky – including two arguably dodgy penalties (from this biased reporter’s standpoint of course!).

It could have been game over shortly after, with a cross right across the area, but thankfully no conversion from Caldwell.  Smoulds sensed things weren’t going our way and took off both his fullbacks, putting on McCleary to take up residence on the right, and Andrew Cole to have his customary ten minute amble around the pitch and perhaps get a couple of touches on the ball.  In the meantime, the earlier introduction of former Forest loanee Robbie Blake had been causing us problems, the veteran had given Chambers a torrid time – fortunately Perch was oft on hand to support his colleague.

The Moose had another ‘Sunderland moment’ with a godawful clearance that allowed Akinbiyi to have a chance which Smith was alive to deal with.  As much as Ade Akinbiyi is a bit of a joke to football fans, he looked very effective today – and was oddly reminiscent of Tony Daley with his new hairstyle (for those of you old enough to remember the Aston Villa winger of the 80’s/90’s era.  Robbie Blake, who received a disappointing number of boos from some Forest fans when taking corners, hit a shot from range just over.

The final chance for Forest came when McCleary crossed towards Tyson, who proceeded to collide with Jensen and need treatment – although he carried on.  Five minutes of stoppage time were given (which seemed a lot, although Burnley weren’t shy about a spot of timewasting) but it did increasingly appear that five hours of stoppage time weren’t likely to be enough to get a goal, and so Burnley registered their first win of the season – as did the Sheep botherers in their late kick off, which puts us below them again, to cap off a rather disappointing afternoon on all fronts!  We’re beneath the Sheep due to a dubious penalty (and indeed, dubious freekick), and their own dodgy hand-ball infested goal against the Blades!

Still, at least they might not sack Paul Jewell for a bit now.  And at least now they can’t break a formidable run of league games without a win against us.  Do we need to panic yet?  I don’t think so, just yet – but it is a worry to see a home defeat in this fashion.  With a tricky trip to Preston to contemplate and then the visit of Charlton to the City Ground, we could do with a couple of points, and if I’m absolutely honest, I’m not sure where we’re going to get them from!

A disappointing attendance, a disappointing (in some aspects) performance, and a disappointing propensity for the man behind me to keep calling Paul Smith useless.  Sometimes I despair of the intelligence (or absence of) that some of our so-called supporters exhibit.

12 Responses

  1. It looks like Burnleys game plan worked fine,with more than a little help from a poor ref,CC has got to get that back line sorted pretty quick,as you stated in your report to slag Smith off is totally stupid the lad saves the teams blushes on many occasions he needs help from those in front of him.We looked like it was not to bad a start to the season but now the sheep move above us for the first time,as for the low crowd again its got to be down to cost 25-30 quid to get in,football needs to get real,my first season ticket back in 1976 was 26 quid and you did not get the army of jobsworth stewards telling you what to do.

  2. I didnt hear game on radio as i was working doesnt sound good nffc does it fella.There is no doubt we are not good enough at the back and teams are xposing wes and chambers regulary.The sob story has to stop we are being punished evrey week

    4 points out of 5 games is not good enough on that form we will get relegated ,although you arent worried i am i personally think yes we have aquired some decent players and are playing better football .However in my heart i dont think calderwood has what it taked to take us to the next level.i PREDICT WE WILL BE IN THE RELEGATION ZONE AT CHRISTMAS TIME memories of kinnear and co and megson are starting to surface.Andy cole also is a passenger if he gets 5 goals it will be a miracle.

    A disgruntled ric sorry

  3. I think your report NFFC nicely sums up my feeling about the game.

    Burnley were downright cynical in my view though. A real niggly bunch which, teamed with a piss poor ineffectual referee, always made for a crap disjointed game.

    The penalty was shambles. Wes threw himself full lenght to block the cross and yes the ball did hit his hand but he was looking the other way and the ball hit his body first and ran up his arm! Hardly deliberate handball!!!

    Finally, as for Andy Cole, I was never bowled over with the wave of optimism voiced by the majority of Reds fans when he was first signed. And from what Ive seen so far (albeit not a lot due to his injury) hes yet to convince me of his “desire” to play for us.
    You are right NFFC, he came on an ambled around. He needs to show a lot more to me yet to justify him signing for us.

  4. we played nice football until we conceded the goal at which point it all went out the window. Chris Cohen was our best player by far. Tyson looked weak and ineffectual, I don’t understand why CC didn’t replace him with Cole much sooner. Paul Smith made an absolutely outstanding reaction save in the 2nd half, what would we do without him? This is a game we should have won – we need to show at least some backbone…

  5. very unlucky to lose, a draw would of been a fair result but we need to improve fast.

  6. I agree with red beaver in some aspects re:tyson, But their number 6 was, in a biased way, all over him but from a neutral i suppose he kept Nathan under wraps?
    I left the ground with disapointment of course but not angry as i did many times last season, as i can see more commitment and quality out there.
    BUT as we all know can happen, we need to win games because if we get stuck in the relegation zone its gonna be one hell of a struggle against the opposition this year

  7. unfortunately Forest could not manage a home win against a very average side in this division. Wake up everyone the signs are not good. Again we had no width and continued time after time hoofing the ball up front when our strikers had no chance of winning the ball. In his programme notes Calderwood was delighted with 2 weeks break after the wolves defeat, but it didn’t look like we were desperate to win this game, despite lots of possession going mainly sideways and backwards Forest were clueless.
    Starting from the back, Smith is a great shot stopper but he is very very poor at commanding his area. Chambers is a centre back full stop!! and should be played there or not at all.
    Wes is a liability-sorry Forest fans- I know he gives 100% but this simply is not enough, whether he is unlucky or clumsy he will present the opposition with at least one golden opportunity per game-and usually this results in a goal.
    In midfield Cohen was excellent, his work rate tremendous, Moussi works very hard and I think will be a good asset. Perch was steady and worked hard but he always looks to pass sideways or back. Up front Forest strikers have a thankless task, apart from the Tyson chance in the first half the quality service to them was non existent.
    We can complain about referees (yes he was poor) and the opposition continually fouling but we should be good enough to win and leave these as irrelevant excuses.
    We MUST win our home games to stay in this division and so far we have a success rate of 1 from 3!!
    I admire Chris Cohen saying we are targeting the play offs but we need a vast improvement on what i saw on Saturday to be able to stay in this division

  8. as my mate from burnley said “dont be too disheartened you’ve bin beat by an established championship side !” my response “f**k off”-“thats all you ever will be playing with 11 behind the ball negative tactics” and guess what he totally agreed. as for the bloke siiting behind calling smithy useless, point out its the back four making him look stupid!!!

  9. It’s only the beginning guys – hardly any disappointment other than we didnt get what we were entitled too in terms of performance.
    By the way – did Smith indeed captain the side as seen on the official website or was it Kelvin again? For my records.

  10. No one likes a defeat in this manner – so the pen was iffy. No-one has mentioned Joe Heath at all – was he invisible, was he useful or not a game he should have played in?

    Anyway, I’m sure they’ve dusted themselves off & are ready 2 give Preston a good game with a point (@least) from it.

  11. From the Trent End, we couldn’t work out what was going on with the pen. I’ve just watched the highlights on Forest World and that was one of the most diabolical decisions I have seen.

    Redric, I’m not sure how you reach your conclusions if you missed the radio commentary but I can’t agree with your comments on Wes. I said after the Yaovil playoff game that I wouldn’t ever want to see him again in Red’s shirt again but I was proved wrong on a number of occasions last season. What was it that he did wrong on Saturday, fail to charm the arsehole in black? The problem with the back four is that they get overwhelmed by opposition midfield running at them. We need a John McGovern, Scott Gemmil or a hard working Neil Lenon to give them some protection. Perch did a good job in that role against Watford but its our inability to pick up in midfield that led to both goals on Saturday Wes – you’re doing alright!

  12. I read all the reports on the game anglia red.Was probably feeling a bit disgruntled too ,however im not anti wes mate just realistic every forest report for the last 6 games we have played has flegged up chambers and wes as weak links.Teams are xploiting them its obvious

    We are weak in defense and yea cover in midfield is also poor ,i played semi pro for 10 yrs im no armchair critic kenny burns just wrote an article basicly saying the same things .If were not careful our beloved forest will be in the shite if we don t address these issues and soon.

    U reds

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