Unlucky Forest felled by league leaders..

Big Wes: Big performance.

Big Wes: Big performance.

Nottingham Forest – 0
Wolverhampton Wanderers – 1

Wolves fans will merrily forget the eighty odd minutes of tension they endured before their team scored the only goal of the game giving license for the nigh on six thousand travelling West Midlanders to actually find their voice.  That it was a bit fortunate won’t matter a jot as they open up a lead at the top of the Championship on the way to what looks like an inevitable promotion.  For Forest it was a disappointing suckerpunch when a lapse of concentration let Kightly, unmarked in the box, slot the ball into the net to get the only goal of the game.

Davies made five changes to the side that embarrassed us all at Burnley – Wilson, Anderson and Lynch available after injury, McGugan given the chance to prove he’s not a fatty to the manager, and Iain Turner replacing Paul Smith in goal.  The first half was scrappy, lots of unforced errors by both sides – Wolves looked dangerous on the break, but never quite broke through – Forest looked eager but short on imagination.  Iain Turner did have the opportunity to claim a cross, and also shank a clearance.

After half an hour or so it started to open up more, a Turner clearance found Anderson in a clearly offside position, the loan winger brought the ball down with a lovely bit of control, before deftly lobbing the ball over Hennessey.  A wee bit foolish, as it was not only abundantly obvious he was offside, the whistle had gone some time earlier though, and as such Anderson picked up an inevitable and foolish booking.  Forest did start to look more composed from this moment.

Some good work by McGugan gained us possession, before finding McSheffrey who then played the ball on to Anderson who was cutting in from the left hand channel.  He had what was probably technically our only shot on target – it was a cross-cum-shot that Hennessey not only saved, but held too – with Earnshaw lurking in the six yard box presumably praying like the rest of us for a spill to happen.  Shortly after Wolves had their only shot on target of the first half, which was from distance but hit with pace, Turner made the save and held the ball after some initial flappery.

Right after half time I thought we’d got a penalty when Berra felled Cohen who had latched on to a long ball by Wes Morgan – alas it was just outside the area, so it was a freekick and just a yellow card for the Wolves defender.  McGugan took the freekick which looked better positioned for a left footer to me, and promptly spannered it into the wall, hitting a second shot from the rebound which ricocheted out for a corner thanks to Earnie marshalling the ball out of play.

The impressive-yet-quiet Wolves following were tense as Forest continued to take the game to them, but there wasn’t much end product from the Reds in terms of either final passes or chances on goal – McSheffrey had a snap-shot which went over, and shortly after was withdrawn along with the tiring Anderson for McCleary and Tyson to give the Reds more pace upfront.  Unfortunately rather than giving Forest a new dimension to break the deadlock, the inevitable opposite happened.

Ebanks-Blake was left by Wes after he’d forced him wide, allowing him to cross in to Vokes who had the simplest of passes to lay off to the completely unmarked Kightly in the Forest box, who was able to comfortably slot the ball into the far corner across Turner to finally wake up the large following of Wolves fans, and whilst Forest continued to fight and try, Wolves were started to look more threatening again as Forest were still lacking ideas, and starting to lack energy.

Garner came on for the largely ineffective McGugan, Wes – who I would name as man of the match despite his bad judgement in the build up to the goal – ended up in an attacking role as the Reds tried desperately to try to dig a goal out of something.  Nothing really broke for us though, and Turner needed to be on hand to keep an Ebanks-Blake shot out, as did Lynch who cleared an effort off the line – before the end Keogh almost embarrassed the debutant by lobbing him from over 40 yards, fortunately he was off target because the keeper was beaten.

A bad result, not great results elsewhere either, but I feared a lot worse than this today – to have come home feeling hard done to in not getting a draw is – perversely – quite a good feeling.  We certainly didn’t deserve a win today given the lack of chances created – but the same would be said for Wolves, our defence just didn’t concentrate for the whole game, and theirs did – and they took their chance well.  The performance from the lads does give me some heart, though, which is good because I was proper grumpy before this afternoon!