Safety not assured as relegation rivals all draw!

Dexter put Forest in the lead, but it was a lead they couldn't hold..

Blackpool – 1
Nottingham Forest – 1

And so it goes to the last day, maybe.  Because Norwich City have yet to play their penultimate game, they face Reading on Monday night infront of Sky cameras.  Basically, whatever the do in this game is what we must do in our remaining game against Southampton in order to guarantee safety.  Of course, the Canaries will have to play their final game too.

We drew, Barnsley drew, Plymouth drew, Southampton drew – consigning them to a bottom three finish, a relegation and a start in League One on minus ten points.  That means they come to the City Ground next Sunday very much in ‘playing for pride’ mode.  The fact that Derby managed to scrape a win against Charlton means any of you still harbouring hopes we’d sneak above them will have to wait ’til next season too.

So, on a pitch that did a more convincing job as an extension of Blackpool’s beach, Forest lined up with Smith, Chambers, Breckin, Morgan, Lynch, Perch, Gunter, Cohen, Osbourne, Blackstock and Garner.  On the bench were McCleary, McGugan, Earnshaw, Thornhill and Redmond.

It was the visitors who started strongest, a cross cleared unconvincingly and falling to Vaughan, who was charged down and blocked by Gunter before getting a shot away.  Another attempt from Crainey required an intervention from Wes Morgan and it was looking set to be a long game for Forest to try to work their way into.

And then the tides turned quite rapidly, Forest profiting from their first foray forward – Garner found Lynch, Lynch whipped in a cross, Dexter did well to get infront of his defender to meet the ball with an outstretched foot and divert it into the roof of the net to give the Reds the lead after less than ten minutes.  We must pull out the stops to sign Blackstock next season.

Forest, tails up, continued to attack.  Garner did well to beat former Stags defender Alex Baptiste putting Osbourne through – however his shot ended up wide, looking likely to have deflected off target on the shocking surface of the pitch.

Former Reds loanee Brett Ormerod equalised for the home side, he was found by Vaughan on the edge of the area, turning and shooting inside the post to level the match.  The remainder of the half didn’t produce a great deal of champagne football from either side, and it seemed that both sides were playing out ’til half time keen to avoid errors.

After half time McCleary replaced Breckin, prompting a reshuffle moving Chambers across into the centre of defence, and Gunter to right back.  Forest immediately went on the attack, culminating with a dangerous cross from Osbourne finding Blackstock seeking to add to his tally, but his effort was put out for a corner.

Cohen had a snapshot after being setup by Blackstock, Rachubka was equal to gethering it though, however, it looked like things might improve when Garner appeared to get through on goal – only to be pulled back by Evatt, this saw Evatt red carded, and the resulting freekick by Cohen bringing a decent save by Rachubka, giving the Reds a corner.

The corner was taken quickly, and Chambers almost did everything right – but his header was just over.  Billy immediately bolstered our attack by withdrawing Osbourne for Earnshaw to try to capitalise on our superior numbers, with Blackpool withdrawing into a very defensive position.  Forest applied pressure but couldn’t get a clear opportunity to score.

Blackpool weren’t adverse to attacking themselves either, a freekick conceded by Garner was hit goalward by Crainey – producing a great save by Smith.  Forest resumed their pressure, Perch met a cross but couldn’t beat Rachubka with a header, Earnie turned and struck a ball from McCleary but could only hit the side netting.

Earnie and Perch again were at the centre of a chance, colliding and the resulting header ending up off target.  The final chance fell to late substitute McGugan, who tricked his way towards goal before unleashing a damp squib of a shot straight at the Blackpool ‘keeper.  That was pretty much the last action of the game.

So Forest miss out the chance to secure safety this weekend, with other relegation rivals not picking up wins a win today would’ve been enough.  Should Reading do us a huge favour and beat Norwich on Monday evening, then we will be safe.  Should Norwich get a draw or a win then we will need to match that result against Southampton on Sunday.  Of course, there are then intricacies involving Barnsley and Plymouth – but it hurts my brain trying to think of it all!

So it could be a crucial point, or it could be a prelude to what promises to be a very tense weekend.  Either way, if we win against Southampton we will stay up.  So our fate is very much in our own hands.

29 Responses

  1. Oh, and before I forget, best wishes to Carl Froch this evening who is defending his title over in the states!

  2. Yep, come on Frochy – knock him out!

    I’m sure we’d all much prefer it if Reading beat Norwich to make us safe on monday night. Fortunately for us, Reading now have a great incentive to win that game!

    Brum losing tonight means that Reading could still go up automatically if they beat Norwich and also Brum on sunday (and Sheff utd fail to beat Palace).

    Lots of ifs and buts but at least Reading will be going for the win!

  3. If the game against Southampton is anything like last season’s last game ….. can’t bear to think about it.

  4. I was impressed by the fact that Ormerod came across at the end of the game to applaud that Forest fans – and deservedly, received some applause back.

    Good to know that some players still have values.

    I was near the coach after the game when the players came out – they all looked very chastened and I guess BD had made it very clear to them that they had missed the chance to win the game.

    Still, a few weeks ago, I estimated that we would finish on 53 points and be safe – I hope that turns out to be true!!

  5. I like Froch´s reply when said he was unknown and hadn´t achieved much and he replied to the American press I am a Nottingham Forest supporter. Forest were average until Brian Clough took over and we were then top in Europe and we have cups and titles…. I will do the same !!!! Great comments ! Go on Carl !
    Back to Norwich, I expect a draw and us to beat Saints on sunday !!! Phew !!

  6. I Know that we are all praying for a Royals win on Monday night but i thought i would cheer you all up a bit if Norwich were to do the unbearable and win. That scenario would really frighten Plymouth into wanting to win vs barsnley at Home , or they could quite easily go down themselves if they were to lose. That victory( not too unreasonable considering the tykes haven’t managed a win in weeks) by the pilgrims then would see us safe regardless of whether we win vs the Saints or not.
    How valuable would 2 more points yesterday have been. We would be safe now regardless of what happens on monday night .

  7. Well done Carl !!! now it´s up to Forest to show the same attitude !! Fantastic

  8. Cheers for report nffc and cheers for all your good reporting this season on all things red its a big help to all us reds who live miles from nottingham.

    I always felt it would go to the last game and i think it will i expect norwich to draw on monday and all of us to go thrugh the wringer next sunday.Forest never do it the easy way i think we all know that.

    Well done to the lads they have fought tooth and nail along with billy and staff to try and stay up this will really test our bottle and will improve our team.
    Lets lift the city ground im coming down from edinburgh for the game and as you know nffc recent trips to CG have all ended in tears in recent times come on forest dont let us down this time.

    U reds

  9. As noted by Aylesbury Red, a huge win (from Reading’s perspective) for Preston last night over Brum. This means that Reading will head into today’s game with Norwich knowing two wins will give them an excellent chance of playing Premiership football next season (notwithstanding Sheff Utd vs Palace).

    Had Brum drawn or won, Norwich would have today been playing a Reading side deflated, and with nothing to play for with a play-off spot all but guaranteed by virtue of their massive goal difference.

    Now they’re playing a Reading side pumped up and with a outside chance of an auto slot.

    Unlucky for Canaries fans…good for us…

  10. red trees is right – my reckoning is we have 3 real ‘lives’ or chances to stay up

    – 1) by reading beating norwich
    2) by us beating the saints
    3) by plymouth beating barnsley

    if 1) doesnt happen and Norwich draw then we need to get a draw versus saints , if they win then its a cliff hanger for sure and if we can only draw or lose we need that to be a better/same result than norwich or barnsley.
    any other permutations ? my brain hurts !

  11. you can play with all the permutations/combinations here- i’ve wasted quite a lot of time on it already!

  12. Stop worrying! I’ve just had a few goes on Ians link and Barnsley are going down on goal difference. Hurrah!!

    Seriously though, if Norwich draw tonight next week is going to be mega, don’t you think?
    Think back to Yeovil last season and how that all panned out throughout the afternoon….how exciting was that?
    And if the crowd play their part I just can’t see us losing…

  13. Its in the bag lads. No worries!
    Southampton are going to lie down and die. They’ve no pride left to play for. They’ll all be thinking about getting out of Southampton. The titanic has already left port and hit the ice-berg. Lets see them drown.

  14. Did you see the Saints fans venting their frustrations on the Burnley fans on saturday? Lets hope they dont come up to Nottm looking to do the same!

    Putting aside our relegation battle for a minute, just imagine that Reading win tonight and then beat Brum on sunday. The only team that could then pip them to automatic promotion would be Sheffield United, who would need to beat NEIL WARNOCK’S Crystal Palace! How dodgy would that be?!

    Come on the Royals!!!

  15. 1-0 to Reading. 20 minutes away from safety!!!!

    God this is awful….!!! U Royalsssssss !!!

  16. 2-0 Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

    The Reds are staying up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. If this Norwich vs Reading game stays like it is, then the Southampton match could be pretty good – what with both teams playing with no pressure.

  18. Never ever lost the faith me …
    All credit to Arthur for his genius motivational silence.

  19. Massive up to billy and the lads they have clinched survival i think some forest fans have some humble pie to eat with respects to billy davis.

    U reds

  20. Get in!!

    Big thanks to Reading!

  21. Tonight I love The Royals. YOU REDS!!

  22. What a ROYAL favour that was by Reading. Let’s hope that they go all the way just for that. Well worth getting out of bed at 4:30a.m for.
    Well done Billy , well done lads.
    So looking forward to next season now.

  23. Massive thanks to Reading. Can’t wait to see what happens over the summer now. I hope we get to see what BD and the team can do in this league 2009/10. No excuses now, let’s batter Southampton and all relax a bit.

  24. YEeeeeeeeeeeeeees!!! Well Done Billy and the team !!
    Now clear out Mark Arthur ,David Pleat and any other deadwood that has held the club back and look forward to next season.
    Well done NFfc for the best football blog …Great job.
    So to all other readers with a drink in hand Cheers !!!!!Alan from Isla Margarita.

  25. well thank f*ck for that!

  26. Thanks for a great blog over the season NFFC- and don’t forget that promise you made to put BD on your top banner if he kept us up! i’m going to enjoy my bank holiday weekend now!

  27. Yes , thanks for a great site nffc. I turned to you religiously everyday for latest news . Your match reviews are quiet informative and have helped me develop opinions on our players (which is hard to do when you can only see 2 or 3 matches a season).You make me feel like i live in Nottingham .I also love to read everybody’s comments.
    Will be looking at the site everyday throughout your summer too to keep up with ins and outs. Hopefully a lot more ins than outs.
    Keep up the great work. Here’s to a ripper of a new season.

  28. Well reminded Ian, I shall get working on the banner right now.

    Thanks for the kind comments folks, I’m already in a fantastic mood – but you’ve made me feel *even better* if that’s possible!

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