Jammy Brummies..

Nottingham Forest – 1
Birmingham City – 1

Listening to some of the ‘matchline’ comments on the way back home via Radio Nottingham, some people seem to be under the impression we played like Brazil or something today.  We didn’t.  However, in the second half it was another demonstration that despite being demonstrably the better team throughout the game, we were unable to convert the chances we created to get the result our performance warranted.

Whilst I’m obviously heartened to see a good performance – particularly from a somewhat patched-up team following injuries, illnesses and a suspension – it does leave me worrying about our lack of deadliness upfront.  But on a cheerier note, Birmingham were booed off by their fans – a good following who were very noisy before the game, and up until about when we scored – then they were decidedly quiet.  We did play well against a contender in this league – albeit an out-of-form one.

Another thing that cheered me up was that the Nottingham Forest school for remedial refereeing was clearly closed today, as despite having the ‘phantom goal’ linesman today, the officiating of the game was broadly good.  It’s true that obnoxious slap-headed ex-Sheep midfield bastard Lee Carsley should’ve been booked for diving into Lee Camp, and numerous other offenses, but generally I thought the referee had a good game.

The first action for him was to book former Reds midfielder Nigel Quashie – who completed annihilated James Perch.  Had it not been so early in the game he might’ve seen red instead; it was certainly more worthy of it than McGugan’s challenge last weekend!  The visitors looked confident in possesion without creating much early doors – and it was the Reds to have the first chance on goal through Anderson, which didn’t really give Taylor much problem.

Birmingham took the lead in typically Forest comedic fashion.  Without Breckin in defence, it lacked organisation and a leader – as such it wasn’t really surprising to find a quickly taken freekick bamboozling them and forcing Camp to flap initially to block McFadden, but the striker made little mistake when the ball returned to him, nutmegging the ‘keeper into the goal – with Wilson, Morgan et al still standing perfectly still observing the scene without intervening.  Frustrating.

The remainder of the half played out fairly boringly; Birmingham were incredibly negative – defending in numbers and content to watch Forest’s labourious attempts to craft some kind of chance.  The most excitement came when Tys was bundled over by Jaidi – we thought it was in the box, the referee didn’t – and in fairness, there were no great protests from the pitch either.  Cohen duly spannered it into the two man wall.

Forest took an age to come out for the second half, the Birmingham team had been out and gone through a number of limbering up routines.  The tannoy man decided to attempt to rouse the crowd, to which my neighbour quipped ‘that almost makes me feel passionate, ready to see Pearce and Walker charge out to save the day… and then Wilson trudges out‘.. it summed it up really as the Reds ambled out to take their positions against the waiting visitors.

However, after seven minutes we’d equalised!  As Cohen stepped up to another setpiece, having been fouled by Jaidi, we joked that it would end up either into the keepers hands, going wide or not beating the first man – as it so happens, it found Chambers who conspired to flick it sideways – bizarrely perfectly for James Perch to dive headlong to get a header onto it and give Forest the equaliser.

And the Reds took some confidence from this – Garner was increasingly proving a nuisance to accompany Tyson, and they forced a decent save from Maik Taylor between them.  Tyson also burst down the left and fired a terrific cross over which Thornhill burst into the box to get onto, unfortunately it was at an awkward height and the young midfielder lacked the composure to keep it down.  But Forest were putting on the pressure and Birmingham were creaking.  

A long range shot from Heath was gathered by Taylor, and Forest seemed more assured at the back, having had a few Calamity Wes and Calamity Kelvin moments; Cameron Jerome wasn’t really able to provide much test of Camp from distance with a poorly executed lob.

Whilst we’re talking defence – Chambers impressed me today; and it’s worth pointing out since I’ve been a critic of his when he’s played badly.  On the radio after the game he intimated that he wasn’t happy with his performances so far either, and that he’s been playing with a hip injury which they’ve now “got to the bottom of”.  Now the fact that Smoulds will play someone out of their natural position whilst carrying an injury worries me – but it’s good that it’s sorted, whatever it was!

Smoulds took off the hardworking Anderson to be replaced by McCleary, shortly after Tyson really should have decided the game for us – he burst down the middle but couldn’t seem to get the ball under control – he certainly couldn’t get it onto his left foot and he ended up shooting wide from fairly close range when almost clean through.  Another chance fell to Garner who, after good work from McCleary, took it past a couple of Birmingham defenders before shooting from an angle and bringing a good save from Taylor.

Tyson had a frustrating afternoon – he worked his arse off and caused our visitors some real problems, but couldn’t quite get the break to get a clean chance on goal aside from the one he missed late on.  He was, along with Perch, a real stand out performer though.  If we were sitting comfortably in mid-table we’d be pleased this afternoon, as we’re not, it has to be considered as two points dropped because Birmingham were here for the taking and once again we didn’t punish a side we’ve outplayed.

It could be worse though, and the fans were generally pleased with a standing ovation from the home supporters – with booing and jeering from the travelling Brummies who’d not really seen much to cheer about from their side for the majority of the game.  A good second half performance; but we need to start converting these performances into wins – that’s four games on the bounce now where we’ve had the better of play on balance – but we’ve only taken five points from them.

26 Responses

  1. Happy 4 the point, happy 2 come from a goal down. 3 games without defeat!! But, if we don’t start fast those 6pts will become more. CC is on borrowed time IMO & I wish he had more experience 2 sort things out.

    I’m trying 2 b positive but its ruddy hard!! 😦

  2. cant fault the 2nd half display/effort, more of the same please !

  3. Surprised to see Brecks left out as he is a good header of the ball and gets our defence organised.
    Still another good display and the supporters getting behind the team seems to be good news. Still have doubts about cc but he´s got them working hard.
    We certainly need some wins now in the next matches to climb the table,which I´m sure we will do..
    .From the commentary Cohen seemed to be involved in everything. I hope he keeps his energy levels up !!!Well played !!!

  4. My first match of the season.
    Downsides are there was an air of relegation amongst the supporters during the first half, BC stand was only half full, CC changed the side again and put up a bunch of kids against on paper a good City side (turned out they played like robots), and, more importantly we play good football only in our own two thirds … the final third it goes pear shaped. The CG is in a crap condition and in parts needs levelling. All the recipe for a disastrous afternoon.
    Upsides, second half we got at em. The team spirit really shone thru’ and we took it up level after level after level. Camp is a top keeper, Anderson, Tyson and Perch ran their socks off. The worm has turned, there’s just something about the team and the never say defeated Forest faithful. Perhaps the last few years has made us more resilient. They have put the Nottingham back into Forest, or perhaps it’s always been there. Why and how I don’t know.
    We crack that final third and there will be a revolution.
    We are back you just know it.

  5. We didnt show up for the first 20 minutes and we lacked belief in our own ability. We got better as the half wore on and then in the 2nd half were a completely different team that chased and harried and really wanted something out of the game. ONCE we started to believe we were as good as them, then we began to play.

    John McGovern summed it for me on his Radio Nottm summary. He said that when a team has obviously better quality players than you (and Birmingham do) you have to make the difference up with effort and commitment. We did that in spades today.

    So much better. Keep it up.

    PS As a Chambers critic, I have to hold my hands up and say he played really well today.

  6. Positive team performance & despite reservations about CC improvments are starting to gather pace. Fixture list been pretty unkind as we’ve had a very tricky start to life in the championship. Nevetheless the next ten matches provide us with a very good opportunity to improve our points haul. Very impressed with the young Heath fella who grew into the game; hopefully we may have found a new number 3! Up the Reds

  7. I’m surprised that you’re not more positive about today, nffc.

    BCFC are a side destined to be in the shake-up at the end of the season. And none of last seasons Prem sides have beaten us have they. In fact, we dominated today, virtually all game. The fact they went all out for a win helped, as it opened up the game. Tys, Cohen and Perch were magnificent today.
    (The foul WAS outside the box, by the way.)
    I look at this from the view that we are bottom of the table, 6 enforced changes in the team and potentially a crowd that could turn nasty very quickly.
    But they stuck at it and ENTERTAINED the fans, got us cheering and singing. We didn’t lose, and this performance more than the previous 2 will do wonders for the confidence.

    Apart from last game last season can you remember a time in the past few years our fans stayed and applauded the players off the pitch at the CG?

    We all need to pull together right now. Last week was the catalyst, today has given CC haters (like me) the belief that we just might claw our way out of trouble…

  8. We did not dominate the match. I didn’t and won’t applaud at the end because we didn’t win (no matter how well we played in parts second half). Winning is everything, opinions are nothing.

  9. After being (perhaps duly) livid after the cardiff game i think CC deserves a bit of praise. He’s stuck to his guns, not made any un-imposed changes and bought in a keeper which has led to stemming the flow of inward bound goals. He made all the right noises at the Cloughie statue ‘do’ and although we weren’t brazil and didn’t dominate as much as the radio woud have you believe it’s been a bloomin good last few games (compared to the few before). I just hope it continues, if it does we could be mid-table by christmas. If you’re reading this Santa, get on it!

  10. Another great match report nffc, but I agree with mattyboy in that you could have been even more positive. The performance reminded me of last year’s home game vs. hartlepool – a really committed team performance with a number of good individual contributions. I thought Perch (again), Cohen (again) and Tyson were excellent – he is beginning to look fit again! The foul on him was definitely outside the box and it was a game that a few weeks agao we would have lost 2-0 or more, so i think real progress is being made.

    Chambers was much improved and his radio interview afterwards was heartening in it’s honesty. As for CC – stick with him – too many teams have chopped after a run of poor results and history shows that the best teams (& clubs) are built on stability and consistency.

    Remember also that the average age of today’s team was pretty young – once we’ve secured midtable this season and improved again next year, 2010/11 just might be pretty exciting!!

  11. Good report nffc i too feel the same frustration as your report states.I agree that we played much better 2nd half and pressed the brummies at the end.However thats about the 5th game that we should have won WE DESPERATLY NEED AN OUT AND OUT GOALGRABBER.

    Why was breckin dropped ?

    Tyson is a threat but hes not an out and out goalscorer WE NEED GOALS ?

    Wilson is fast becoming the new chambers dont we agree ?

    But on the positive we are improving and need to win those sixpointers that we have over next six weeks DRAWS ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH WE WILL GO DOWN NFFC IS RIGHT POSTERS ABOVE.

    U reds

  12. Arrived expecting to get thrashed.

    Left realising that on our day we can dominate anyone in the league.

    It was buoyant if not always fluent stuff. Garner is an outstanding striker in holding up the ball, getting his face to goal and running at people.

    Tyson has been off the boil for a long time, so it was good to see him pulling his weight today. He always works hard but he cant score for toffee.

    Shame no earnie today. I get the feeling that 3 or 4 games with earnie and garner together up front and things will “click”. I worry that they wont get it due to smoulds reverting to 1 up front.

    While I’m on it – what has happened to Lee Martin, having arrived in a blaze of glory? I’d like to see him and anderson on the 2 wings.

    Still, something to build on – we have to beat the teams in our half – so roll on donny / norwich!


  13. Quick question – can anyone tell me where Earnshaw was today? No reference to him in any pre-match news? Injured I presume…

  14. Training ground injury – again.

  15. Earnshaw’s apparently got a calf injury, Breckin apparently needs a rest and can’t manage to run for more than 90 minutes per fortnight. McGugan is suspended, the other changes were due to illness (although McCleary made it to the bench).

    The confidence seems to be back (both for the team and the supporters) – a few weeks back we would have conceded (another) soft goal in the second half; this time we went for them and they were hanging on.

    Yes we need three points, but we are looking like we are gaining momentum and getting to grips with this league. We just need Earnie to be fit.

  16. A valuable point against the team currently in 2nd place, 3 games unbeaten, tough games too, much more ‘winnable’ home games to come with key players to return. So long as there are 3 teams worse than us this season, currently I’ll settle for survival and not be moaning about why we aren’t thrashing everyone out of sight.

  17. CC hasn’t been attacked really so that’s ok. Some r convinced CC might b the man. 5pts out of 9. Not 2 bad but I’m seeing 6pts stay 6pts from safety. In 2 matches comes a massive match vs Norwich (Clingan!) Home then Donaster Away. 6pts is a must, anything less than 4 = trouble. Bristol r next & that won’t b easy either.

    CC for now remains, but the next 3 could decide his future.

  18. If Norwich play the hopeless Clingan in midfield I think we’ll certainly beat them.

  19. Steve, I must have seen a different game to you because I thought we did dominate at times, we competed, we battled and we played good football against a top 3 side.

    Very strange reaction not to clap your side after that performance, win or no win. Opinions do count, that is why sites like NFFC’s are so good.

    Still my main concern is Wilson, the defence just does not look as solid with him along side Wes. His hesitancy and dwelling on the ball seems to cause an element of panic?

  20. Paul. Agree that this is a top site. You obviously take not winning better than me.
    As I said it’s the final third that counts, pretty up to a point. Agree with Mcgovern post match 100%. Birmingham were there for the taking, just like Derby. I meant opinions don’t count in the points total. I’d never boo for clarificaton, and I know we’ve turned a corner, can’t wait for the next match (after my first this season).

  21. Steve – would you not clap if we drew with Manchester United? The effort from our players was fantastic yesterday and they deserved every bit of the applause they got.

  22. I don´t think now there is any doubt about cc staying. The team and manager have been finding their feet in this division and now they are playing attractive football with commitment, What more can you ask and who could improve anything now.
    Lets all get behind the team and manager and climb the table. When there is total commitment from the players they deserve applause whether or not they have 3 points! Ask any footballer..!10 points from the sheep, 14 points from a play off place..

  23. Lets not get carried away. Something people are overlooking that has been shown time and time again by this crop of players is that when the opposition attempt to actually play football, we more often than not respond brilliantly and often outplay them. Sunderland in the CC is a prime example. Birmingham did exactly that on Saturday.

    When teams come with a less than positive game plan shall we say, we struggle.

    So while it was a magnificent performance from the Reds at the weekend, I for one am certainly not expecting the same high standard every game. I feel we’re just not able to “mix it up” or take the game to our opponents. Lets hope this performance acts as a catalyst and it finally gets through to both management and players that we don’t have to sit back and see what the opposition is going to do before we start playing ourselves. Grab the bull by the horns and go for it from the 1st whistle to the last and we’ll surely gain another 40 points to see us safe.

    U REDS!!!

  24. I would have took 5 points from the last three games, warnock away, sheep away and brum at home. 5 points is great, the fact that it could have been more is even better, the fact that we are competing and fighting is really good to see. now we need 7 points from the next three games !!! I am confident we can do it, more importantly i think the players will as well. of curse we can get a point against bristol city, then two straight wins. CC or no CC we still have to back the team, they are responding so we need to do the same.

  25. I’ll wait for the next defeat & see how u’ll all react then….

    In the meantime think about this, it’s what I always suspected and is revealed in the Times newspaper. Here’s a paragraph,

    “It’s not the ideal ending,” Cole said of his exit from Forest, his contract having been cancelled by mutual consent after he failed to score in 11 appearances. “It just wasn’t working out. I told them from the outset that I didn’t want to go there to sit on the bench because I didn’t want to be perceived as sitting back and making easy money. I wanted to go there and offer something, but it was a strange one from the start. I never knew what my role was. Was it to lend a hand, use my experience, or was it a PR thing, to sell a few more season tickets? I still don’t know. I felt like the manager wouldn’t have a conversation with me. I don’t know if it’s the right word, but he seemed kind of intimidated by me.”

    Is this why Lennon left too? It get worse as you read on, only showing that CC has the right words to bring a player to the club but that’s where it seem to end….

    The link http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/article5127120.ece

    Make your own minds up but from any other player you might ignore it – from a player of his experience and honours you’ll be an idiot not to at least read it.

  26. I don’t know if anybody else has noticed but isn’t the same old tune being played again agian & again – Apart from we should’ve won blah blah blah we’re hearing all over again the kids can break through blah blah blah blah.

    Making this clear once again YES THEY CAN as longs as CC STOPS sending them out on loan all the time. All our young GK’s r on loan – yes the 3 of them & we get another GK in. Ok, he done well Camp & ousted the no.1 out of his posts but he is ON LOAN. Sinclair – not breaking through as much as some of the kids but sent to Mansfield & is on fire. Time & time again we see these players sent out on loan & doing well. GIVE them their chance on returning rather than sending them back out on loan. It’s annoying & frustrating to hear the same kids can break through & not given a real chance on returning.

    I hear we’re after another player again….

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