Reds sign off preseason in style..

Nottingham Forest – 2
Birmingham City – 1

The heavens veritably opened for this game much as they had for the midweek game against Stoke.  The passing of Sir Bobby Robson was marked with a minute’s applause which was well observed, and also by black armbands worn by both teams (and, indeed, even Chris Fairclough had one over his training jacket, I noticed at half time).

The Forest line-up had similarities to Wednesday, perhaps starting to offer clues as to Billy’s thinking for the big kick off next weekend, Cohen returned to the side and Blackstock took the place he was scheduled to against Stoke but for a last minute mishap, relegating Tyson and Davies to the bench.

Gunter   Morgan   Chambers   Lynch
Garner   Majewski   McKenna   Cohen
Blackstock   McGoldrick

Forest totally dominated the first half an hour of the match, albeit mainly in possession and territory – with a few neat chances.  Garner looked much more adjusted to a midfield role and scrapped well to win the ball to feed to McGoldrick who produced a decent save from Birmingham ‘keeper Joe Hart.

Cohen on the other wing seemed more inclined to drift inside and get forward down the middle – which at times (and this will sound familiar) left our left flank looking exposed.  A couple of times Majewski looked to flick the ball out to the wing, only to find no winger there – obviously something he’s not quite used to yet – I imagine he’ll get used to it quite quickly!

As the half wore on the visitors looked a little more awake, former Reds loanee Gary McSheffrey had one chance to head goalward but missed the target, and Wes was on hand to prevent Johnson endangering our goal from a McFadden corner.  After sustaining a ten minute spell of improved play from the visitors though, Forest wrestled control of the game back from them.

A Majewski corner produced a great chance for Dexter Blackstock which was saved, with Birmingham desperately clearing their lines.  Forest retained possession deep in the Birmingham half, and eventually Joel Lynch delivered the killer ball into the box.  It was flicked on by Blackstock across the goal to McGoldrick who struck it in from no more than a yard out.

The second half saw the resumption of the horrendous rain, and it looked certainly like Birmingham might’ve had some stern words said to them at half time.  McSheffrey struck an excellent freekick into the box that found Martin Taylor who looked sure to have scored a header but for an excellent instinctive save from Lee Camp in the Forest goal.  The incident saw Taylor fall awkwardly and require stretchering off after lengthy treatment.

Forest introduced Adebola, Tyson and Earnshaw on the hour mark at the expense of McGoldrick, Blackstock and Cohen – the latter looking none too happy about being subbed!  Dele was immediately involved and a handful – finding himself on the end of a Majewski corner, creating another chance and shooting at the ‘keeper.

There was another chance for Adebola as the Birmingham defence had the terrifying prospect of both Wes and Dele attacking them – this time his shot deflected for a corner.  Forest introduced McGugan and McCleary for Garner and Majewski, and Lewis was soon in the fray unleasing a powerful 20 yard drive which Hart turned away.

Despite reasserting themselves on the game, it was Birmingham who next scored completely against the run of play.  Damien Johnson was completely unmarked as he was picked out down the right flank, pulling the ball back for Carsley to lash into the net giving the ‘keeper very little chance.  I’m not sure whether it should have been Tys back with Johnson – but Camp and Lynch seemed to think so.

All’s well that ends well, though, and Paul McKenna – capping off an excellent performance – fed the ball to the sharp-looking Robbie Earnshaw who made a monkey of Johnson before beating Hart with ease to restore Forest’s lead, before running off to perform a celebratory flip infront of the Main Stand.

A late chance to cap off his and Forest’s afternoon was Earnie’s too, after he dashed onto a loose ball to get there before Hart could – hurdling the ‘keeper’s late challenge and attempting to score from a pretty difficult angle.  He could have probably teed up a teammate in the box, but having created the chance and being the goalscorer he is, we can perhaps forgive his impulse to shoot!

The game ended with handshakes and applause to the crowd – except for Tyson who hotfooted it down the tunnel.  I can only assume still feeling indignant at whatever was said in the aftermath of Birmingham’s equaliser.  All in all, a good entertaining performance – from a more elevated seat it was clear the pitch has been narrowed, but I don’t think this made Forest play any less entertainingly.

Roll on next saturday, where a wedding means I’ll be trying to sneak my way to a radio rather than travelling to Reading.  Rubbishness!

As a sidenote, BBC One are currently showing a tribute to Sir Bobby Robson, it’s got to a re-run to his lifetime achievement award presentation – what an inspirational man he was.  Once again, may you rest in peace, Sir Bobby.

16 Responses

  1. Nice way to end of a pretty positive preseason. Now the fun really begins. Still in need of a central defender though Chambers and Morgan have given a decent account of themselves so far, bar a few slips that have led to goals for the opposition. Competition for the central defender roles will be welcome. The current stock may improve as a result and if nothing else, the back 4 is pretty thin. We have little to no cover for those central 2 positions. Let’s hope this next week continues to bring us good news. Uuuu rrreeeddssss!

  2. Well that’s it, practise over so let the games commence. Can’t wait but wonder if I’ll feel the same in 2 months time; finder nails have only just recovered!

  3. Clearly, I meant finger nails. Come on you reds!!!!!

  4. Nice to see on the Forest site the goals and interview with Billy straight after the game.
    Things are coming together nicely and I´m sure we will be signing at least one defender next week. Looking at preparations for other teams,Ipswich look like the positive ones. West Brom maybe, Middlesboro are keeping quiet,Newcastle in a mess,so it´s going to be exciting thats for sure !!!!!!
    Come on YOU REDS !!!!

  5. Anybody know anymore about the Jon Harley rumours doing the rounds. A potentially experienced left back (not from what I’ve seen)???? I guess we’ll see whether it has any truth in it or not.

  6. Nothing to do with Forest,but with Opera I had problems with downloading from u tube and yahoo e mail so I now have google chrome and everything including videos on Forest site ALL working.This might be useful to someone……

    • Alan – Why EVER use Opera? Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3 and Safari are all superior. And free.

      Good performance yesterday, but Tyson and Cohen playing as wingers concerns me.

      • Remember Tys hat-trick, he was moved to the middle & scored them… Is BD gonna learn from that or we gonna have another repeat of square pegs in round holes? Oh I damn well hope not… (& so far we haven’t really seen that..)

  7. We played well yesterday and Im optimistic for the coming season.

    Im sure Garner out in right wing midfield was just about him getting some playing time under his belt and wont be a regular thing…well at least I hope not!

    Majewski impresses me greatly and with McKenna happy to sit a bit deeper, Im hopeful he will be given the chance to roam further forward. His footwork and turns are rather nippy so we might see a few goals from him.

    Ive also been impressed with Adebola too. I thought he was a bit of a one trick pony but he’s strong and powerful on the floor too and he commits defenders which I always like to see forwards do.

    So far so good. Next week is where the business begins so bring it on I say. U Redssssssss!!!

  8. Goals here

    who do we blame for their goal ??? lol

    • well, we can blame the defence for being totaly asleep & giving the player all the time in the world to get the cross in & also Camp for waiting for the shot to come before reacting… he was in the right corner but look at his reaction time, the shot had gone then he moves & still couldn’t save it… he waited for it, was in the right corner but was so slow to react to a sweet shot. Now, how many shots like that did Smith save last season?… Not that Birminghams defence was much better than ours…

  9. This is going to be a season of defensive howlers so let’s just ignore that bit and revel in Earnshaw’s shoulder wrong-footing 11 players at once.

  10. Was in Newcastle today so went to St.James’ Park to pay respect to “Wor Bobby” – it was like a shrine to him – very fitting & fully deserved – a real legend.

    Also, just read that Reading are signing Mills for £2.3m!!

  11. Lets hope we match Reading´s bid for Mills !!!
    Come on Billy, never mind the panel,Go and Get Him !!!!!

  12. Morning trickies, yep, I just read that Reading got a bid in for Mills.

    Asking me sounds cheecky!!! Just like Clough putting in a cheecky bid for Tyson.

  13. A friend in Doncaster told me Mills wanted to come to Forest so lets see if we can hi jack him. Until he signs he is available !!!!!!!F…k the panel.!Come on Billy !

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