Reds drop to 19th with Brum defeat..

Forest were unable to maintain the silence at St. Andrews Library

Forest were unable to maintain the silence at St. Andrews Library

Birmingham City – 2
Nottingham Forest – 0

Forest’s tricky run continues with defeat at St. Andrews.  I can only go from reports of friends and the media as I conspired to miss this game and the majority of the commentary.  In front of perhaps one of the few crowds who are harsher critics than our own on their own soil, Forest started well in the first half before fading into a defeat which perhaps most of us expected before a ball was kicked despite City’s poor run of form at home lately.

Early chances were created by Cohen for Tyson, but unfortunately the uneven pitch surface caused the ball to bobble and him to miss the target.  Minutes later Cohen again found Tyson who got to the line and cut the ball back with pace, unfortunately not quite finding either Joe Garner or James Perch, both of whom were on standby in the six yard box awaiting the ball.  Tyson’s pace was causing problems, but so was the appalling playing surface (for them as well as us).

Smith did well with ten minutes of the half remaining to save from a Ridgewell header – diving to his left to parry to Joe Heath who made the clearance.  He wasn’t on the end of a good header by Bent from a Sinclair cross, but mercifully for Forest the effort rebounded from the crossbar.  As Birmingham came to life somewhat and awakened their rather dormant crowd until that point, Ridgewell had another headed effort which Smith was able to save at the far post.  Smith’s final action was to save a Larsson freekick right on the stroke of half time.

Early in the second half Ridgewell should have scored, Smith was rooted to his line (a critism oft unfairly chucked his way – this time it sounded pretty damning) – allowed a free header from four yards out but fortunately for us he put it wide.  Forest seemed largely restricted to counter attacks, on one of these Chambers did well getting forward but into a narrow angled position which wasn’t conducive for the shot he attempted – although it did win us a corner.

Smith was under scrutiny again after punching weakly at a cross, fortunately the Birmingham player to whom it headed wasn’t able to direct his volley on target.  Shortly after the home side took the lead, Forest’s defence playing statues as he was able to find some space and turn smartly at close range to score the opening goal of the game.  Forest reacted by withdrawing Moloney and Garner for McCleary and Newbold, and for a moment looked like they might still be at the races.

Maik Taylor found himself horribly out of position and as Perch got the ball to Chambers, the defender went for goal which the ‘keeper them fumbled almost straight to Tyson, but not quite – the panicking home defence were eventually relieved to be able to clear.  Shortly after this though, the suckerpunch was to come – Fahey did well to get into the penalty area and effectively toe-poked the ball which looped up and over Paul Smith and into the goal at the far post.  Part cracking goal, part flukey so and so.

Birmingham continued to pressurise, buoyed by rare vocal support from the St. Andrews crowd, and Jerome should really have done better – heading over a Sinclair cross from just five yards.  Tyson had another chance to score, but his shot was pushed around the post by Maik Taylor.  Billy’s last throw of the dice was to take of Heath for Breckin and push Wes up front – frankly, it was a desperate plan that had not real impact as Forest limped through the rest of the match with Birmingham in control.

Once again our horrendous frailty in numbers is exposed – I imagine that Billy Davies has probably spoken of this post-match, that we have injuries, a young squad and that Birmingham have a bigger, more experienced squad.  There’s a simple solution to these problems, and if Forest are not scouring the loan market for players who can improve our lot, then we should be pretty worried.  Other results didn’t go to badly for us, and in all honesty I didn’t expect much from this, I’m glad I didn’t go!

I hope you’ve had suitably good Valentines Days, all – and thanks for the Twitter updates, it was much appreciated as I was running numerous errands during the first half away from any form of match updates.  Down to 19th, still four points from the drop zone – but well, we could really use a few more points over our next few games.  Certainly starting on saturday would be nice.