Reds earn friendly draw with Stoke..

Billy with tonight's goalscorer

Nottingham Forest – 1
Stoke City – 1

A good workout and a promising performance from the Reds against the Potters on a horrible evening which, at least, saw me acquire a new coat since I arrived at Trentside woefully ill-prepared for the weather!

Forest lined up in this kind of arrangement:

Gunter   Morgan   Chambers   Lynch
Garner   McKenna   Majewski   Davies
McGoldrick   Tyson

The first half in particular was really good from the Reds – again Majewski stood out in an impressive performance.  Garner, oddly deployed on the wing, had a decent game too – although he looks perpetually grumpy!  The two of them combined for Garner to loft a cracking cross over to Tyson on the back stick who finished emphatically, sadly he was adjudged offside.

Stoke had a cracking strike from range via Whelan, although it wasn’t a particularly difficult save for Camp.  Ex-Mansfield and Sunderland winger Liam Lawrence was close to opening the scoring, but instead struck the crossbar.  Shortly after this Forest were able to break the deadlock giving David McGoldrick a goal on his City Ground debut.

It was that man Majewski again who played an absolutely superb chipped ball over the defence – although it was by no means a simple chance for McGoldrick, who did well to get infront of his defender and delicately cushion a header beyond Sorensen in the Stoke City goal to give the Reds a deserved lead.  There was a late chance for Stoke in the first half, but Camp was on hand to make the save.

The second half saw McGugan replacing McKenna, and immediately Stoke looking a bit more lively than they had in the first half.  Indeed, they scored shortly after the second half commenced after Beattie sent Kitson clear to finish deftly past Camp.  It looked offside to me, but from a poor vantage point – it is undeniably possible that it was just rubbish defending!

Moments later Etherington rattled the crossbar with Camp well beaten, but then Forest started playing again.  Lynch, who’d had a few moments of discomfort in the first half, burst into the area through a couple of Stoke players which made me mindful of a Pearce burst (don’t misread me – I mean that incident, I’m not yet ready to declare Lynch the new Psycho!), his eventual shot blocked well by Cort.

More substitutions and the increasingly grim weather disrupted the game.  A cracking ball in from Lewis was headed goalward by a Stoke defender with Tyson making a nuisance of himself on the back post, a left footed Gunter strike after more good work from Majewski curled just wide of the post.  Stoke applied some late pressure but the last chance fell to Forest on a quick break, Tyson looked to have finished well but Sorensen just stuck his leg out which managed to put the shot over for a corner.

A good run out, some moments of really nice football – good to see, certainly more reassuring than the preseason games I’ve witnessed so far at Rotherham and Notts County.  It’s also always rather nice to reacquaint ourselves with the sacred City Ground – now proudly sporting a Victor Chandler Corner.  I was hoping for something a bit more imaginative, but still.  Looking forward to saturday now!