Reds snag a point after being sent to Coventry – but is it enough?

Earnie scores, but the celebrations dont last...

Earnie scores, but the celebrations don't last...

Coventry City – 2
Nottingham Forest – 2

But we’ve only lost one in the last eight games!” exclaimed the Smoulderwood supporter, “Yet we’ve only won two games in the same period, and we need to win more!” countered the fan keen for change.  Disraeli was probably on to something when he identified three kinds of lie, “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.”   

You see, in many ways a draw at the Ricoh isn’t too bad; but well, we do need more than that really.  Like it we may not, but time does tick tock away and we do really need to start getting wins – we aren’t quite bottom of the league, but only Charlton’s poorer goal difference keeps us from it, and frankly, an injury-ravaged Coventry side who are struggling for performances at home is the kind of game where – if we’re serious about survival – we should be looking for three points.

But to offer the counterpoint, things were looking decidedly ropey when upon a mere two minutes of play we found ourselves behind.  A cross came in and Elliott Ward – completely unmarked in our penalty area – converted from close range to give the home side the lead.  That’s the kind of thing we could do with avoiding.  Garner had a chance to level after good work from McGugan, but hit a powerful strike just over.

A frustrating half in many ways, Forest had the right posture – they pressured, they attacked in numbers, they even had the odd chance – Westwood saved well from Earnie’s shot from a tight angle, but ultimately despite pushing forward well, that final ball or shot was just not quite cutting the mustard.  Anderson had a close effort which Westwood conceded a corner from rather than risk an embarrassment, from the corner Garner had another sight of goal, but wasn’t able to keep his volleyed effort below the crossbar.

Increasingly urgency from the Reds saw Earnshaw strike wide from the edge of the box, the diminutive striker was in a great position again after Lynch found him – unfortunately Turner was equal to the task of putting in a challenge to prevent a shooting opportunity.  The persistence was to pay off, however – a Cohen cross was converted brilliantly with a diving header by Earnshaw from around 12 yards, giving Forest a hard fought-for equaliser, and an opportunity to continue to take the game to the hosts.

Or not.

You see, we had one of those lapses in concentration.  A mere minute later a corner was taken, it was flicked on by Eastwood to Clinton Morrison who bundled the ball over the line to give the lead back to Coventry.  Again, Forest responded with attacking endeavour – Garner sent McGugan clear, he blazed over from a mere six yards.  Earnshaw looked to have doubled his tally in first half stoppage time, but a deflection took it agonisingly wide with Westwood well beaten.

The second half was more tentative, Perch was clobbered by a Coventry player but carried on, aside from that it took a while to come to life.  Gunnarson forced Camp into a decent save, and from then Forest were again on the attack.  McGugan worked some considerable magic to beat a number of Coventry players, only to fluff his shot over when it came to it, Moloney did well to create a chance that neither of our strikers were able to capitalise on.  We were starting to see echoes of the first half again!

We did equalise, of course – you’ve seen the final score up there even if you didn’t know it before!  McGugan delivered a freekick into the box which Garner was able to deftly head just inside the post.  Forest had their tails up now, and didn’t lapse as before defensively – however Coventry were prepared to dig in and defend their point, and when the defence was breached Westwood was on hand to deny Garner after more good work from Lewis McGugan.

Coventry did have a few forays to claim the three points too, Morrison was too slow to react to a cross right across the six yard line, and Wilson was on hand to deny late substitute Leon Best from testing Camp in the Forest goal.  Camp wasn’t out of the woods yet though, Mifsud thought he’d scored from a Gunnarson cross but Camp dived to his right to palm the ball away – drawing congratulations from opponents and teammates alike, and apparently described by Colin Fray as the best save he’s ever seen, according to a text I received shortly after!

Forest had the final chances, which on balance of play was fair – I feel – McCleary looked to have a golden chance when he got free in the penalty area but dragged his shot wide, and shortly after Garner opted to volley first time straight at Westwood from six yards – whereas he had time and space to bring it down and do what he liked with it.  It feels like two points dropped to me, I’m afraid, given the chances.  And we’re really not in a position to be dropping points.

Of course, the real interest now lies with the persistent rumours about Smoulderwood’s future – will he leave for Swindon?  Are mischievous people making up silly rumours?  Do we really want Roy Keane to take over anyway?  These questions and more are bound to be covered over the coming days!

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8 Responses

  1. Even though many people may think that a draw away at Coventry is a good result… we did have the better of it… and possibly could have won the match towards the end…. it has to be seen as two points lost.

  2. Smoulderwood is staying !!!so forget the silly rumours. I´m not his fan,but it´s obvious with the way we are playing,with the exception of wilson, and the full support of the players, Our manager is staying ,so get used to the idea. Garner and Earnie both score and we could have had 4 goals today. I expected 3 points today so I´m disappointed.
    Now we have got chambers out,lets get Brecks ,our captain to replace dithering wilson on tuesday. The defense always looks more solid with Brecks.
    Wison just cannot concentrate for 90 minutes,which has cost us ,as today, so many vital goals. 3 points on tuesday and away we go.!!!

  3. NFFC is your analysis correct ??? According to Mr Frays commentary we would have run rings around Revelino, Carlos Alberto,Tostao & Pele.
    Seriously, great balanced article again. On the games I’ve watched at the CG this season I can’t reconcile the radio commentary to the matches.
    Coventry are a rubbish team and when the opportunity presents itself we have to kill em off.
    When we face the fact that we get what we deserve we’ll move forwards. The “glorious failure” topic needs banished from our club.
    On to Tuesday, good team we’re playing by all accounts ….. 3 points and we’re off, 6 point gap and CC should be off. I want 3 points.

  4. I agree it was 3 dropped from the radio analysis but we are improving slowly.Wilson chuckle lived up to his title again i see ! he is PANTS and alan from the isla la lambrusco is right brecks is a much better option.

    You know one of these days we are gonna batter somebody the chances are coming and at least we are scoring again.But if we can get 25 points by the turn of year and a couple of wins we are going in the right direction.

    But as we all know its gonna be a squeeky bum type of end to the season we need 3 or 4 players in january.2 defenders a quality playmaker and a target man and a goalgrabber.The boys are fighting hard just lack the cutting edge at mo i hope that will come tyson back for tuesday on the wing lets have it it it !

    U reds

  5. Today’s match typified CC’s reign; much to be positive about but also much to be negative about. Whilst endeavour, passion and quality were undoubtedly in evidence so too at times were ineptitude, lack of concentration & naivity. I again came away doing battle with the cliche about glass being half full and being half empty. However, whilst a draw away from home is always a half decent result such was our inability to defend crosses/corners that we are in trouble until this is rectified. To be fair a couple of very good saves apart from Campy, the Cov keeper was by far the busier. But why such panic/disorganisation every time a ball is swung into the box; was CC not a defender by trade!! Experience down the spine of the side must be priority, as we may have discovered a right back & we’ve definitely found a keeper!! As Colin would say do we stick/twist!!

  6. Contrary to popular opinion, I was actually expecting us to lose. Coventry are unpredictable at best and could have quite easily beaten us, fortunately I think they had an off day. One cannot be argued, Forest are playing well and if not for one or two stupid mistakes (that’s all it takes sadly) we would have won and won well today. McCleary really should have finished his effort. I personally think it’s a case of a few players, namely in defence who have been found wanting this season and for all the abuse Calderwood receives, he has got the team playing well, especially in the fashion that Forest fans demand. If we can hang in there and pick ourselves out of the drop zone by January, I would give him till the end of Jan just to see what he brings in. A decent central defender would help out no end and I agree with some comments on here, Brecks should be given a chance. The defence might be a bit slower but it always seems a little more organised with him at the back. Moloney hasn’t done too badly though, not a bad little move from Calderwood there. Well, I’ve heard no complaints about that so far. Calderwood is the boss and has to take ultimate responsibility but he can only play what he has and it seems, at least in defence, some of them are just not good enough. What has happened to Fletcher by the way? And is Moussi there or there abouts?

  7. It’s an odd thing, but I happened to go to a show in Birmingham today. As I boarded the train to come home I got swamped by masses of….Forest fans!
    It seems you had to come home to Nottm via Brum.

    Anyway, it was a good atmosphere, especially when we pulled into D*rby…!

    Thing is, EVERYONE has similar opinions.
    Dump Wilson, he’s crap. Give Heath a go at left back. McGugan needs a kick up the backside, he’s been told he’s good so apparently doesn’t need to put it in anymore. That sounds familiar.

    So Colin, do yourself a favour, drop Kelvin and threaten to drop Lewis. Don’t throw Julian straight back in, he will be a weak link in our team.

    Ho hum, I felt quite deflated when I had to continue my journey home to Lincoln in relative silence!!

  8. forest played well yesteday, too much football at times. cov were very poor, they are in big trouble as they are worse than us on yestedays showing. we gave them two goals, poor marking / no marking at all for the first. the second one was avoidable on many occaisions. Forest were the better team by far, anderson was a handful, perch was excellent, mcgugan tried hard and showed real class at times. i wish garner could kick the ball harder !!! camp made a great save towards the end but we had two crackers to win the game at the death and missed them both pretty badly to be honest. mccleary should have at least hit the target and garner’s effort was soft. overall we should have won and we dropped 2 points………….however there was confidence out there which has been missing, that was great to see. so keep the faith and we will be ok, tyson back, bennett soon , then moussi. the sheep are shite, who’s to say we will not be above them and out of trouble after they come to town in feb ???
    lets hope so

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