Last gap win for Reds takes us out the bottom three..

Not amongst the goals, but Cohens grafting today kept Forest going..

Not amongst the goals, but Cohen's grafting today kept Forest going..

Nottingham Forest – 3
Bristol City – 2

I had been bemoaning my general malaise with all things Forest, but there’s nothing quite like a last minute winner to restore a bit of faith and make you remember what it’s all about, whilst today’s game was in no way a classic, the result has taken us out of the drop zone at the expense of Norwich, and hopefully given the lads a bit of confidence that on their day they can compete with teams in this league.

The headlines or reports probably won’t do this strange game justice.  It was mostly rubbish, in honesty.  Despite this, Forest fashioned more than enough chances to snag the three points, but thanks to wasteful finishing and some charitable ‘goalkeeping’ it took a fairly epic injury time comeback scenario to snag the points we so desperately needed – and I think deserved, despite there being plenty in this game to not be exactly thrilled about.

Forest lined up with Turner in goal, Gunter, Morgan Wilson and Lynch in defence, Anderson, Moussi, Perch and Cohen across midfield, and Blackstock and Earnshaw up front.  And we attacked from the off, notching a shot on target inside the first minute – albeit a fairly tame one from the edge of the box by Cohen which was fairly routine for Basso to gather comfortably.

We could and should have had the lead a minute or two later – a freekick was awarded deep on the left hand side – Cohen swung the ball in to an unmarked Blackstock who contrived to head wide with the whole goal gaping at him.  City looked dangerous on the break, McIndoe was teed up with a good chance by Skuse but wasn’t able to hit the target, Iain Turner nonchalantly able to let the ball go for a goal kick.

He was less nonchalant for the first City goal – challenging unnecessarily with Maynard (although just because the defence should’ve dealt with it doesn’t necessarily mean they would have, in Turner’s defence) and losing the ball which fell to Sproule to scramble over the line for the easiest goal he’ll probably ever score.  Turner had treatment for injury, but I fear all that was really damaged was his pride.

Forest did have a period of pressure but never seemed prepared to either take a shot or play the final through-ball or cross, so after a frustrating period of this it was City who fashioned the next chance – McCombe attempted what looked like a goalbound header, with Turner somewhat stranded on his near post he did extremely well to dive across and make the save, making amends somewhat for the more questionable goalkeeping for the goal.

The equaliser came for Earnshaw just after half an hour, Blackstock did well to chest down and slot a throughball to Earnie, who used strength belying his stature to hold off McCombe before slotting the ball under Basso who got a touch but not enough to prevent it going in.  There was no flip to celebrate, and Earnie was straight to the bench and looked to be taping himself up – so I imagine he picked up a knock in the exchange with McCombe.

We nearly snagged the lead straight after too, good work by Gunter saw him take on a couple of Bristol City defenders before unleashing a powerful curling shot across the goal – but unfortunately it wasn’t curling enough and ended up just wide.  That was the last of the significant action of the half, most of the game was scrappy with poor passing from both teams – eventually the referee called the half to a close with the scores level.

Forest again looked sure to score moments into the first half, Cohen whipped a dangerous freekick into the near post which evaded Basso, but Lynch couldn’t quite get a decisive touch on it so it ended up wide.  Anderson came close with an effort from range which was wide and rising too, and things were looking quite positive for Forest – although still vulnerable to breaks from the visiting side.

Turner came racing out of his box to challenge for a ball Lynch was also going for – I’m not sure without seeing a replay whether to call him ‘Calamity’ would be fair or not, but the ball broke for Sproule who really should’ve made sure he converted, but his placed shot didn’t have enough pace on it to prevent Kelvin from getting back and clearing off the line with Turner in no-man’s land.

McCleary was introduced for the ineffective Moussi, and he was immediately involved in attacking play – first bursting forward and straight into a City defender, and shortly after shooting from an acute angle when a cross looked the better option.  City had a spell attacking and Turner’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ performance saw the loan man make a good save with his leg at his near post from Gavin Williams.

Unfortunately, Mr Hyde was hot on his heels – because after this Turner came racing off his line for no apparent reason, leaving Dele Adebola (who, on this performance, I wish we had managed to sign) an empty goal to head into after being picked out by McAllister.  A frustrating afternoon at this point, as we’d created chances we’d not taken, and let in two stupid goals – naturally we were feeling a bit grumpy!

Garner came on for Earnie before the goal, and McGugan came on for Perch just after – and those two combined to get the equaliser.  Play had stopped for Basso to timewaste get treatment for cramp, and Gunter threw the ball back to McAllister, after a pause he then charged McAllister down – winning back possession.  McAllister took exception to this hauled Gunter to the deck.  Eventually ending up with a red card (he’d already been booked).

The freekick was taken by McGugan, and at the near post it met the head of fellow substitute Joe Garner and from there travelled decisively into the net to put Forest back on level terms.  With an extra man advantage, Forest were starting to play a bit more and McCleary did well to find Blackstock whose forward run was blocked off by Orr to give Forest a corner.  Another good effort from Garner at a stretch was well placed for Basso to gather.

Forest finally took the lead in the last minute – the game running well over normal time due to a late kick off and, ironically, no small degree of time wasting by the visitors.  Blackstock initially nodded the ball forward, the clearance was returned to him and he unleashed an absolute thunderbolt into the Trent End goal to make the City Ground erupt, and to give us the lead for the first time in the game.  He was then booked for celebrating!

Stoppage time was tense, Forest played probably their best passing football of the game in this period but a couple of times opted to take it to the corners rather than go for a final goal – which didn’t exactly work amazingly and did give City in roads to attack us again.  The final whistle was greeted with cheers, which magnified when news of Norwich’s defeat was later relayed to the crowd.

A well earned and I think deserved victory – certainly neither side produced consistently good football, but I do think Forest created more chances (admittedly doing very badly with many of them!!).  And my god did we need three points.  Faith is somewhat restored, operation ‘get points in home games’ is going well, a point or more at Bramall Lane on Monday would be a nice Brucey bonus.

Well done to Billy and the boys – a great fightback.  Man of the match goes to Cohen for me, tirelessly worked throughout the game – whilst not directly involved in the goals, he was – not unusually – our ‘Mr Consistent’.

23 Responses

  1. A good report NFFC as usual, me and the boys were there as usual, yes it was mostly rubbish but it was 3 points and boy do we need them ! My summing up is much shorter than NFFC’s. Keeper – inconsistent, Defence – shambolic, Midfield – non existent, Attack – afraid of the ball, – As a Team – no shape what so ever. Individually I thought Gunter, Cohen and Blackstock stood out, the rest went missing most of the time except for the last 5 minutes after the sending off. If we could play like that for 90 minutes we might be bashing down the door to the plays off’s. 4 games to go, 2 at home and 2 away, last game is home to Southampton – come on you reds……….

  2. Cor, at times we were really poor! If we play like that against Sheff Utd we will get hammered. But that was a deserved 3 points.
    Moussi and Perch looked as if they didn’t know each other for the first half hour, and Wilson was doing the usual “it wasn’t me, blame him” routine.
    Turner was ropey, too, but apart from a couple of kicks his distribution was good.

    These things didn’t cost us the game though. And we look galvanised and up for it now.

    Cohen easily man of the match again, McCleary looked good again.

    Great feeling at the end, bit like Yeovil last year!

    By the way, Gary Johnson; what a d*ckhead.

  3. On the official website it says turner was ill before the match & was close to being left out of the team maybe he did better than people might think?,,10308~1624250,00.html

  4. Yes, apparently so – although if he’s fit enough to play, then he’s fit enough to deal with criticism of his performance.

    Particularly when, in my opinion, we have a keeper at least as capable on the bench.

  5. cohen brill – but gunter, quality ! the game was dominated mostly by mistakes which made for much nail biting and frustration. 3 valuable points against a team iv’e come to dislike,keep it up boys please .

  6. agree nffc – smith is every bit as good as turner on todays performance and PS will still be here next season not the loanee.

  7. I’ll take the 3 points any old how thank you very much.

    Yes, I’m back. Hope u’ve not missed me!! 😛

    I haven’t lost the faith, just lost a little time.

    Glad we’re out the bottom 3. Glad we won even if it was 89/90th min. We held on.

    Hope Eion Jess is fine after his slight stroke.

    Keep the faith, keep the hope, we will stay up.

    An omen is already in place, last year the Ladies & Men’s team both won promotion, the Ladies have already ensured their survival since last week. DOn’t see why the Men can’t either.

    I told u lot many times – we’ll be in the Championship next year & I really do feel it this year unlike last when I felt so long for that we couldn’t.

    ANyway, that’s all for now. Bye & enjoy the win. MOnsday is another tough game. ANy points will do. 😉

  8. nffc – thanks for the report and the ‘tweets’ during the game – it was almost like being there (instead of being in France).

    Just had a go at the BBC’s “championship predictor” and worked out that we will finish 20th with 52 points, after losing on Mon to Sheff Utd!! Charlton, Soton and Norwich for the drop.

    Hope I’m right?? Then the fun will really start.

  9. just watched liverpool v blackburn…it was the hillsborough 20 years on tribute …at the start of the game after the 1 minute silence you can clearly hear the liverpool kop singing we hate nottingham forest!!!! they really are scum aren’t they!!!?????

  10. They aren’t my favourite fans.

    They were singing it within minutes of the start of the replay of that fateful game.

  11. Just done the predictor too…

    We end up on 50 points, behind Plymouth on GD, but thankfully 4th from bottom. Last game we draw 2-2, needing only a draw to stay above Soton, who are ahead of Norwich. Sheff Utd sneak second place last game of the season (helped by their win on Easter Monday), and Birmingham can only manage 4th!

    If I believed all that, I’d be down the bookies…

  12. This really is in our hands now. I don’t expect much from Sheff utd but Cov, Blackpool and Southampton we’ve got be hoping for two wins. Looking at Barnsley’s run in of Swansea, Reading and Wolves I think they’re the ones in just as much trouble as us and Norwich regardless of their game in hand. Its going to be a tense few weeks.

  13. RE: scouse singing ‘we hate Nottm Forest’ Thats what they sang in the late 70’s early 80’s when Liverpool and Forest were actual rivals. Its got nothing to do with Hillsborough and I’m glad they sing it, it reminds other fans, especially younger ones, that we were once a good team.

  14. Good report !I still hope we get Camp during the summer. Smith should have played today if there was any doubt on turners fitness.
    We can do it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Alan

  15. Cohen MOM

    Dexter B, what a goal and the celebrations were brilliant

    mccleary changed the game

  16. I must have been at a different match if you think Gunter had a good game. Can see why Billy wanted Adebola, very clever player. MoM Cohen by a mile. Again.

    Well done lads, great reaction from the players on the bench when Blackstock scored. To see Perch, Chambers and Earnie all up giving it the fists in the air shows there is a magnificent spirit in the squad which is vital.

    COME ON YOU REDS!! Get a spawny point against the Blunts tomorrow and I think we may, just may, do it!

  17. Was at the game but also listened to the commentry. Wish they would get rid of Jon Mcgovern. Doesn’t appreciate young talent

  18. “We hate Nottingham Forest/we hate $localrivals too” to the tune of Pomp & Circumstance no 1 was certainly commonplace amongst many other teams by the late sixties (Wolves fans have suggested to me that Elgar wrote it for them specifically for the purpose, but I don’t believe them, even if he did cycle 30 miles to the Moulinex every Saturday) – I always assumed it was just because we were the only team that scanned properly there. I think it was actually the first football song I ever remember hearing (in a largely football-free upbringing in rural Bucks). I’ve always assumed that “We all follow…” was just the natural reaction to its ubiquity.

  19. The reply from the old Trent End back in the day was,AND NOTTINGHAM FOREST HATE YOU ,YOU BASTARDS,simple………

  20. Come on you reduns if we get a point at the blades i think we might just do it nffc.Great response from the lads but we need to be much tighter in goal and at the back today.

    Lets get behind them 110%

    U reds

  21. The self Pitying scousers still sing about us, which I always find a little strange, but if they want to hate us I guess they can join the queue.

    That’s a pretty fair Analysis of the Games, NFFC. Not particularly thrilling play, but at this point in the season as long as we get the points I doubt anyone will mind. Cohen once again was fantastic, and credit to Blackstock for bagging the goal.

    It’s just a case of going to Bramall lane today and getting a point, which I will be delighted with considering their sudden gain of form.

  22. […] wrote anything!  There were two things that stand out for me this month, the first of which was that winning goal by Dexter Blackstock against Bristol City.  I spoke earlier of catalysts – well this sure was one.  The other thing April saw was the […]

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