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.

15 Responses

  1. Still waiting for CC’s redundency papers….

    The gaps growing bigger again….

  2. An interesting report, nffc. I didn’t go last night, so can’t comment personally. But your report doesn’t mention any bizarre substitions, or tactical cock-ups, or even an odd starting 11.
    So was all well? Was that CCs best team and set-up? And we only drew with the leagues second worst team?

    “do we sack the manager”
    In terms of results, yes. We are going down.
    In terms of stability, no. If you want a stable 3rd division team and 10,000 a week gates.

    Thing is, Norwich and Wolves apart, we have actually played some nice stuff this year, and had some shite luck.
    But we are still bottom. So he just hasn’t got the ability to turn things around, has he.

  3. No idea, mattyboy; hence the vagueness. Given injuries, his starting eleven wasn’t far off (although I’ve proper fallen out with Wilson!), Lynch was shaky too .. But there was no real passion or bite from the majority of the team; and Smoulds body language and post-match behaviour was that of a broken man.

    Last time I went to the Keepmoat I was convinced he’d be gone the next day; so this morning’s just a little case of history repeating itself..

  4. I think our impending doom has transmitted to most of us who are even the most optitmistic of fans.We are a niave team with a manager who isnt cutting it at this level no matter how romantic any us may feel about him.

    Our stats are horrendous,WE ARE GOING DOWN BIG TIME ON THIS FORM cloughie our legendary manager was clear about one thing HE WAS A DECISIVE MAN.

    Forest are too wishy washy in my opinion we are a weak club with a weak CE and also weak players and manager way out his depth.I think cloughie was such a big hit becauase he led by examlple look at keano and pearcey they are both leaders we simply dont have any .

    What a mess

  5. Another great article.
    Agree with redric that we are going down. So there’s no point dithering around and feeling sorry for ourselves we’ve got to change something pretty quickly to give us a fighting chance of staying up.
    Some of the ingredients are already probably there which we’ve not had before e.g. some good signings, creating chances, fighting spirit (e.g. Tyson), and some really good youngsters who are starting to perform.
    What lies ahead might just be one of our finest hours (or best half seasons).
    As I’ve said before there are an additional 10,000 nffc fans not currently turning up, itching for an excuse to get down there and tell the Mrs to stuff the bloody xmas shopping.

  6. I was there last night and I disagree with you regarding the effort from the players. All eleven tried really hard last night, you could not fault the effort in any way. What we do not have though is;

    1, Confidence, you can see it their faces, some of them are really low and afraid to express themselves. This could be seen as lack of effort, but it is not. Every one tackled hard last night and tried to encourage each other. The defence did well to be honest and again commitment was there. With two wingers Perch and McGugan covered a lot of ground and kept them a bay pretty well.

    2, Ability, probably down to confidence but also some are clearly not good enough and never will be.

    3, Strategy / Decision Making / Tactics, just like on Saturday there was nothing last night. We played with two wide players that are just not cutting it. When you think of how gutted the Swansea gaffer was that Anderson choose Forest it makes you think what did he say or do to Anderson last year to make him such an impact player ? is it CC’s fault ? is the team he is now playing in ?

    I think we are well and truly buggered now unless there is a change of manager, but one things for sure they are trying hard for CC, it is just not happening though.

    One last thing, Garner is a strange boy, he plays like the world and his wife is against him or someone has nicked his lolly. Not sure if he has a positive impact on the team, I don’t think I would want to play with him. He seems happy to let Tyson chase and harass on his own instead of doing his fair share. He has minimum yellow card written all over him in every game cos his tackles are reckless and his inability to keep his gob shut. Cloughie would have had a few words with him by now !!!!. I also thought there was nothing wrong with Tyson’s pass to him last night. It was his fault 100%, he hit it first time when he had time, he also side footed it which gave the keeper the a better chance of saving it as there was little power in the shot. Ernie would have buried that chance.

  7. Good comments. A win would obviously boost confidence,but the one certain thing now is that cc´s time is up.
    He has the swindon job to go to ,and our new manager with his contacts will bring in the players he knows have the leadership qualities to help get us up the table. Whatever brand of football we play for the rest of the season,points are the priority !!!It´s a shame but we have to face it. I´m sure Garner will prove a good signing. It sounded like he was not afraid to perform defensive duties for the team when called upon,unlike sharpe.

  8. Oh so someone else has picked up on that rubbish – it 3.10Cy time & still no news of CC leaving.

    So, Barnsley on Saturday & another we must get 3 points from this game. BTW – I thought that Camps saves would’ve given players confidence – looks as I was wrong…

  9. Has he gone yet ???????

  10. He must have gone.
    I think interviewing people for your job whilst you’re in it is constructive dismissal & potentially pretty expensive.
    Also there are no articles today from the players saying how good we really are, the best is yet to come, we’ve been unlucky, the tide will turn, we can only get better ……

  11. i am a true Reds fan, but who would want to manage a second rate Div 2 or 3 side like Forest!!!???? No big name for sure and old hands (Kinnear, Megson) with some pedigree have been awful. Lets give CC till end of season at least to prove himself like last year. The club needs stability more than anything. Unfortunately, mine is a minority opinion I fear and the boo boys will get there way and the booing will continue.

  12. Sorry Eliot,but cc has had more chances.
    Davies has said yes, and if he could get the sheep into the premiership with their team,I should imagine he could do the same with us in a couple of years.
    He knows the championship teams and knows what is needed so either him or Laws will certainly lift the team as all the players will want to impress the new manager. Should be a good game on saturday !!!!I know the vast majority of fans will be happy to see the back of him,and maybe the players too as they may be able to play in their own positions !!!

  13. I hear you Elliot, but what point is stability in League 1? CC is a League 1 coach in fact he probably is a good one. But if we want to stay up in the Championship we a change. Imagine the players knowing that Big Sam will coach you? Put Stuart Pearce in front of them and they will be playing on fear alone.

  14. Lads just got a wiff of news we are in talks with Sam. The board have already talked to CC and settled on a payout…….. watch this space.

  15. According to the Daily Mirror Davies is set to take over today…..presumably after they sack CC. But yesterday’s Mail ran the story Big Sam was the man….

    So who’s better……….as Harry Hill would say…..”FIGHT!”

    Any opinions???

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