A point at Donny; it’s not really enough, is it?

worked his arse off despite very little service from his much more lethargic colleagues.

Tys: worked his arse off despite very little service from his much more lethargic colleagues.

Doncaster Rovers – 1 0
Nottingham Forest – 0

The second game in a week billed as a six-pointer, and rather than end up with a theoretical negative points (by letting our opposition end up with more points than us), we ended up with none.  Both teams shared a point that is barely of use and does leave us contemplating the very real threat of relegation – and it’s not even December yet.  

Sometimes you talk yourself into heading to a place like Doncaster to watch Forest, and having done so twice, and ended up at home again, I find myself wondering why.  This game looked basically like what it was, two ill-equipped teams slugging it out in a lethargic fashion on a tuesday night; I suppose to expect anything different would have been foolish, but the pursuit of being a football fan is just that, I suppose!

Doncaster knocked the ball around well creating limited openings, Forest probably enjoyed the best chances which were either missed or saved.  That said Doncaster hit the bar, had what looked like a ball that crossed the line not given, and almost lobbed the randomly way-out-of-his-goal Lee Camp; ironically by far his worst performance in a Forest shirt and yet his first clean sheet for us.

So anyway, the game – Coppinger (who I’m amazed hasn’t been picked up by a higher placed team yet) unleashed a great shot toward the top corner, it struck the bar with Camp well beaten and fell to Gareth “The Elbows” Taylor, who characteristically spooned the ball well off target.  Forest started scrappily, and looked vulnerable to attacks by the home side which seemed (much like ours do) to falter when it came to playing the final ball or taking the final shot.

Martin – restored to the starting line-up – tried to tee up his opposite winger Anderson, but all Forest ended up with was a corner – and all we ever end up with from corners is bugger all.  Wes was doing a good job of marshalling the immobile Taylor, although from a corner Mills was gifted a free header in the middle of the penalty area which he conspired to put wide of the post.

Tyson was putting in a lot of running though; and the slow Doncaster defence struggled to deal with him when we actually managed to play the ball to his feet – he burst into the area, and looked for me to have time to take a touch and have a shot; instead he unselfishly attempted to cut the ball back for Garner, sadly it wasn’t the best of passes and Garner’s tame shot was straight at Sullivan.

This began probably the most mildly interesting section of the game – unusually from a corner we actually fashioned a chance; Garner rose well to head goalward, and just missed taking a deflection on the way through.  Tyson again burst into the area but dragged his shot fairly horribly wide of the far post; but Tys was causing Donny some problems with his pace – because they didn’t seem to have any at the back.

This was amply demonstrated when Tyson again burst through between two Doncaster defenders, he was sort-of clean through and hacked down by Chambers (not our Chambers!); the fact that he’d taken a touch away from the goal and there were other defenders tracking back probably made the referees decision to merely book the defender probably the right one.  Anyway, we don’t want to play another ten man team again, do we?  Once again the offense in question was just outside the box, resulting in a freekick which Lewis promptly spannered into the wall.

Garner had a decent header saved well by Sullivan after a good delivery by McGugan, and that heralded half time and much chuntering from the Forest fans; and the interlude of a bunch of cheerleaders half-heartedly dancing around.  It didn’t bode particularly well, Doncaster looked eager and inventive, but well, a bit rubbish.  Forest had looked lethargic and uninterested, and well, a bit rubbish (holistically, a few players stood out as at least not looking lethargic and uninterested!).

The second half started with Lee Camop in action; saving from Hayter.  At the other end we were convinced Tys had scored; unleashing a shot from 25 yards which looked like it had gone wide – but rebounded behind the goal in some kind of cruel optical illusion that made it look as though it had nestled into the net.  The reaction of the Doncaster fans to our initial then abortive goal celebration would return to bite them on the arse in not too long at all.

Doncaster should have really taken the lead.  Coppinger was given all the time in the world to shoot; Camp wasn’t quite enough to stop it going straight through his hands and whilst he attempted to retrieve it, it was well over the line but the dithering (sorry, I mean heroic!) linesman eventually plumped for a decision in our favour.  Naturally the home fans were seething – and we finally got to hear some noise from them!

Forest went forward but Garner shot over from around the edge of the penalty area; before being promptly replaced with ‘miracle man’ Robert Earnshaw (Smoulds had earlier said that it would take a miracle to see the diminutive striker make an appearance).  He had to be patient to get a sniff, but made Sullivan panic into a dive with a cheeky curling shot from the edge of the box which was just wide.

The final chance fell to Doncaster substitute Elliott, who spotted Camp wandering about off his line for no good reason again – he lobbed from 40 yards and even had space to bounce the ball behind Camp but it was either just wide or just over; I couldn’t really tell from my seat.  Either way, it was another let off – albeit a legitimate one this time with no interventions from the dubious officials.

The final whistle was greeted with indifference – a few boos, a few claps.  The players who approached the fans at the end were given a partially good reception, the majority of supporters were keen to get back to their transport and get home so didn’t really pause to react at all.  A disappointing result which really does bring that dreaded R word into the frame probably for both teams on the pitch; although on balance of play and chances, it’s the Donny fans that will feel most aggrieved.

Do we sack the manager?  I really don’t know – I imagine at least one commenter will be convinced of it; but I don’t profess to know the answer – but increasingly the ‘not good enough’ and ‘something needs to change’ records are getting somewhat worn out on this metaphorical gramophone.

Man of the match was undoubtedly the linesman with the plain yellow flag and the pot belly.  Forest should never wear a black shirt with red shorts and red socks again, it just looks wrong.