You’ll enjoy watching this…

Thanks to an incredibly optimistic fan who opted to record a video of us taking a corner; since when did we score loads of goals from corners?!  Nevertheless, optimism was repaid, and we get this multimedia treat as a result!

YOOOOOOU REDS!

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Controversial derby day ends in stalemate…

Lee Camp - already a Forest legend?

Lee Camp - already a Forest legend?

Derby County – 1
Nottingham Forest – 1

It was shaping up to be a fairly run-of-the-mill game that had been hyped up and then played out in swirling conditions between two mediocre sides.  Until the last few minutes when everything went a bit crazy with a dodgy penalty (that did us a favour as Derby had the ball in the net a split second after it was given), which was saved, and then a disallowed goal for no apparent reason.  

Stuart Attwell, the one of the FA’s shining young lights of refereeing – apparently – and his team exemplified some of the shambolic decisions football fans up and down the country tolerate; in this instance, unusually, Forest probably had less of the dodgy decisions.  That said, we saw Garner put the ball in the net in the first half but assumed to be offside when he wasn’t, we saw McGugan sent off for winning the ball – but rather crucially we saw the decision described above, too.

The first half is broadly forgettable; neither side crafting much at all – Garner should have done better to play Earnshaw through, and he wasn’t offside – however, the Derby defence and goalkeeper had stopped playing as he stroked the ball into the net.  So it wasn’t exactly a disallowed goal as I’ve seen it described elsewhere, although the offside decision prevented a more contested effort on goal for the striker.

Probably the only other interesting feature of the first half was Garner’s needling with Derby defender Leacock – needling that you could see was carrying on into the tunnel at half time.  Whilst it’s great to see a player with a bit of fire in his belly, Garner needs to be careful not to become basically a gobshite; because there was a fair bit of moaning and gesturing at the referee which personally I’m not a fan of – so I hope he cuts that out.

The only other thing of note really was that Fletcher got himself in the book mighty fast, which didn’t do us any favours really given his role is to sit in midfield and kick people.  Also in-form Hulse went off injured after only half an hour, to be replaced by both hero and villain to both teams, Emanuel Villa.  At half time Smoulds took of yellow-carded Fletcher for Chambers, and the sex-pest Paul Jewell replaced the ineffective Teale with the highly rated youngster Nacer Barazite.

So, on to the second half.  It took us ten minutes to break the deadlock – and it was thanks to Derby’s half time substitute; Anderson put the ball into the danger area, and it appeared that Bywater palmed it onto Villa’s arm – with Garner diving through after it – before it bobbled into the goal at the end with the Forest fans.  Garner made like he’d scored it, but frankly, I don’t think he was anywhere near getting a touch on it, bless him!

Shortly after the goal Garner picked up a booking that had been coming for some time; and predictably Smoulds started warming up Tyson as the Derby defenders were quite cunning in winding him up further.  Before that, however, the rather quiet Commons did have a say on the outcome with a rather poorly delivered freekick, which I think Ellington got a touch on before it struck Villa’s knee and looped over Camp into the goal.

It’s fair to say that before the game I don’t imagine Villa was expecting to have scored with his arm and his knee; so one scrappy goal a piece, and Derby were starting to put on the pressure a bit.  This wasn’t helped by McGugan putting in a solid tackle on Paul Green, unfortunately he did so with his studs showing – and whilst there was no contact made with the Derby player (it looked like Lewis actually made contact with Tyson!), a harsh red card for the youngster, I thought.

It was towards the end when the craziness started.  After a melee in the box Emanuel Villa headed the ball into the net to cue delirium amongst the home fans, only to see it disallowed – naturally this cheered us no end, until it became apparent that the referee had awarded the home side a penalty thanks to a totally accidental hand-ball by Chambers.  So a bitter-sweet experience really, until of course Lee Camp guessed right and made an excellent save from Barazite’s penalty resulting in tears from the youngster.

It does rather make you wonder why Kris Commons didn’t take the opportunity to seal the game for his new club.  Aside from him being a coward, of course.

From the resulting corner Camp again was called into action, making an excellent save to again deny Villa – his reaction showed how much it meant to him to have made these saves too, which is why within minutes of the final whistle he already had his own Facebook group!  He couldn’t do much to prevent what looked like an excellently taken header by Addison though, as the defender rose amongst a group and powered it home.

Luckily for us, the referee had other ideas – and while he was explaining this to the protesting Derby fans, Anderson was bursting forward after Camp had taken the freekick quickly.  Undoubtedly had Anderson done better with the chance he ended up with, it would have been disallowed – it would have been funny, though!  As the game wound down full time came with an understandably hostile reception for the referee.

Unusually, I’m tempted to agree with Paul Jewell, who said after the game that he thought a draw was a fair result.  I do too.  Having seen a lot of the Reds this season, we didn’t play anything like as well as we can – and having already been in touch with a couple of Derby fans, they felt the same about the Rams.  As is often the case with local Derbies, this one kind of petered out a little – but had a memorable finish, and an all-too prominent part was played by the referee – for the first time this season, I think we got the better of his and his assistant’s controversial decisions…

  • Garner wasn’t offside; but he still had work to do from the position he was in – and whilst he put the ball in, nobody tried to stop him.
  • McGugan’s red card; I’ve seen numerous replays, it still seems harsh to me – even given the ‘studs up’ rule I think a yellow would have sufficed.  If you consider the ‘studs up’ rule is basically over-soft bollocks, then it isn’t even a foul!
  • Breckin’s shove on Commons; it was pretty blatant, and fair play to the chubbster, whilst he went down almost, he got up and carried on – even Jewell said it wasn’t a penalty, I think I would have wanted one had a Derby player done that to one of our players.
  • Villa’s goal; the one that counted.  If Villa was onside, so was Garner in the first half.  I think both of them were onside, just.
  • Chambers ‘handball’; it wasn’t deliberate, no way – although oddly giving Derby a penalty did Forest a huge favour – because Villa had put the ball in the net after the ‘handball.’  So much for playing advantages, eh? 
  • Addison’s header; absolutely nowt wrong with it – I’ve heard combinations of it being disallowed for pushing, or for the ball going out of play when it was crossed in (which I’ve not investigated).  Either way, if that happened to us I would be furious (and slightly amazed, given the likelihood of us scoring a towering header from a corner is slim to none!).

So I’m feeling pretty pleased with the result; of course it’s disappointing taking the lead and not keeping it – but when you consider the things that happened, we should be very pleased to have picked up a point.  So well done lads, some spirited performances – and who would have expected us to get four points from the last six with trips to Palace and Sheepland on recent performances?  No?  Well I don’t expect much from the visit of Birmingham next weekend either!

Oh, and on a final note – what was with the Sheep masks and the crappy clap-a-long fest from the home fans at the start of the game?  That was pretty cringeworthy.  I hope we don’t do anything like that in February!

Big Sam to BUY Forest?

According to the News of the World the rumours linking Sam Allardyce to Forest; speaking of meetings, of him being lined up, were perhaps not as far-fetched as first thought.  But rather than as manager, he is being touted as a member of a consortium looking to buy the club.  Interesting, for sure!  Reliable?  Not just yet.

There are certainly plenty of fans around the forums who often gun for Nigel Doughty and his representatives; so it will be interesting to see – should this story have any truth at all – what the reaction will be like.  Of course, with such little information available to us it’s impossible to make a judgement call either way.

I shall resume this topic at a more suitable time; it’s rather irrelevant right now given that mainly it comes from a source that can hardly be described as watertight, and there’s the small matter of it being less than twelve hours until our boys take to the pastures of Pride Park to face Derby.  So I think I’ll resume thinking about that for now.