Forest hold on for a point as ‘Liability Luke’ saw red..

Chambers red card marrs an otherwise good point for the Reds..

Chambers' red card marrs an otherwise good point for the Reds..

Reading – 0
Nottingham Forest – 0

All the headlines and comment will inevitably focus on the late dismissal of Forest defender Luke Chambers, much as I have.  Late in the game the referee was summoned by one of his assistants, and after a conversation Chambers was shown a red card due to some kind of off-the-ball altercation between himself and Reading’s Shane Long.  A draw is a good result away at Reading regardless, but with the extra pressure invited upon us by the red card, it is even more so!  More on the red card later, though.

With pretty much no choice in his defensive selection, Davies opted to throw in a surprise or two in his starting line-up by going for:

Camp
Gunter    Morgan    Chambers    Lynch
Garner    McKenna    Majewski     Cohen
Adebola     McGoldrick

So my pre-match predictions were, well, mixed – defence and central midfield were correct – and my bet-hedging on strikers means I could claim that too, I suppose!  Now with seven substitutes, Forest’s bench consisted of Smith, Anderson, Earnshaw, Blackstock, McCleary, McGugan and Tyson.  A very attack-minded selection – although given our lack of senior defenders, not particularly surprising, although I had half-wondered whether Mitchell might earn a place on the bench.

A tentative start from both sides saw Reading enjoy greater possession, albeit not often in dangerous positions, and Forest content to allow their hosts to keep hold of the ball.  Indeed, despite the disparity in possession it was Forest who had the first shot on goal, after a quarter of an hour McGoldrick brought a save from Royals ‘keeper Federici after being played through by Radoslaw Majewski.

After a mix-up by the home side Adebola was able to tee Majewski up with a great opportunity from 15 yards out, unfortunately the Polish midfielder wasn’t able to hit the target.  Chambers picked up a booking shortly after this – probably falling foul of a couple of Reds players earlier escaping bookings for late challenges on Reading players.  Reading capitalised with a quick freekick that Forest weren’t alive to, fortunately it was eventually intercepted.

Majewski again combined with McGoldrick to give the striker an opportunity, but unfortunately he dragged his shot wide from the edge of the arc of the penalty area.  Almost immediately after Reading again caught Forest napping with a quick freekick that was rolled to Scott Davies who looked to have Lee Camp well beaten with a 25 yard drive, which fortunately didn’t find the target.

The second half – much like the first – had a slow start to it, but Forest started to gain a real foothold in the game.  Adebola and Garner worked well together to create a chance for Majewski whose route to goal was blocked off by Rosenior.  The ball broke for Joel Lynch who struck the ball firmly and on target with his right foot, but straight at Reading ‘keeper Federici at his near post.

Reading had good chances too – Kebe looked certain to score at the back post after a good cross but for a crucial intervention by Chris Gunter.  Cohen beat two players with a great piece of skill and picked out Joe Garner who was rather well-marked by Reading players, and only able to strike the side-netting from a tight angle.  Earnie was introduced for McGoldrick at this point to give Forest a new dimension up front.

Lynch – having a rather torrid game – lost possession to give Davies a chance which was well-saved by Lee Camp with Gunter on hand to ‘clear up’ afterwards at the expense of a corner.  Davies again was the danger-man when he rifled what looked like a goal-bound shot which struck his teammate Kebe just two yards from the goal and spun wide of the goal – so that really could have gone anywhere.

Forest had chances too, a cracking cross by Gunter picked out the magnificent leap by Adebola who beat everyone in the box to reach the ball – but unfortunately could only head over.  Adebola and Earnshaw combined well resulting in Earnie being fouled on the edge of the area to win a freekick – unfortunately the diminutive striker struck the freekick himself straight into the wall.

Tyson replaced Cohen, McCleary replaced Garner as Forest continued to attempt to forge a way through Reading.  A great ball from Lynch into the box found Earnshaw whose close range strike looked certain to score but for a great save by Federici, immediately after Karacan strolled past Chambers but then shot over from 15 yards.  Camp had another save to make from low cross, the ball falling to Davies who conspired to shoot over from close range.

Then came ‘the incident’ – the referee was summoned by his assistant and after a brief conversation he dismissed Chambers with a straight red card.  Reading piled on the pressure but despite the five minutes of stoppage time, were unable to find a way through the Reds resolve with Lynch moving into the middle, Gunter at left-back and McCleary back at right-back to earn a well-deserved point.

Billy has said post the game that Chambers’ side of the story is that Long had elbowed Chambers in the stomach, who ‘put his arm out’ to stop the player running away from him in order to remonstrate with him presumably.  The Reading player presumably then gave the impression he’d be struck rather than simply held back.  It of course remains to be seen whether or not any video footage of the incident will come to light.  If anyone saw what actually happened, I’d be very interested!

With Earnie and Gunter on Wales duty on Wednesday and ‘Liability Luke’ suspended, it will certainly be an interesting line-up come Bradford City’s visit in the League Cup.  Bradford City, of course, who today lost 5-0 to Notts County at Meadow Lane.

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34 Responses

  1. We’re thin on defenders and what do we do in the first game of the season? Get one suspended. Regardless of who was to blame Chambers is well aware of the position Forest are in regarding defensive cover. This will not only pîss BD off but he’s let down the team and fans with that one. He would of been a certain starter as well. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot – he’s let the team have one with the other barrel as well.

    We need a centre half now more than ever. If we can’t get the right player in then a loan signing could be the best way?

    • If Chambers side of the story was legit, I see absolutely no reason why he should be ridiculed for this.

  2. Maybe Reading will loan Mills to us since he didn’t make it into their squad today!

  3. very difficult to see what happened as it was the other end from the reds’ support.

  4. Always worried when I see either Lych or Chambers in the first team; so to see both… Still good platform to build on and we avoided defeat. Defenders required!

  5. Mid-table obscurity – sweet!

    • Mid-table obscurity, talk about high hopes… I’d take that anyday rather than a relegation scrap again.

  6. On browsing the different Forest sites, i get the impression we have already been relagated,Billy will sort the defence out,the 6 strikers will score goals,for gods sake why so many negative vibes no wonder we get called fickle,we all no the weak points a point today was a good result against a team who will be up at the top end come May…….

    • Exactly MickF – a point on the 1st day & away from home & already the moaners are out the woodwork!!

  7. A point is a good result at Reading, no mistake.

    I hadn’t thought my summary implied anything too negative though!

    However, there’s a lot of good teams in this league – so struggling isn’t beyond the realms of possibility with our current lack of defensive options.

  8. Its the comments on the sites NFFC,not your first class blog mate………

  9. Fair dos!

    There’s a lot of complaining, but there generally is at the start of seasons – it will take Forest fans a while to get used to the idea of Forest not doing too badly I guess!

    It’ll be interesting to see what defence we utilise against Bradford! Maybe we should recall Moloney back from Notts County…

  10. From the commentary Earnie and Adebola looks like the first choice strike pair although I´m sure wednesday will be used as a way to give players who need it a full 90 minutes
    I expect Mc Cleary to start with Mcgugan.
    Well done today, a good point !!

  11. Well, I’ve had a whole train journey home to consider the game and I’m still feeling pretty pleased.

    Overall, I think Forest looked comfortable, the midfield was solid (particularly McKenna who is that ‘boss’ we have been seeking for years) and the strikers always posed a threat irrespective of which options were playing. Adebola wins everything and once a partnership develops with Earnie, they will be an absolute handful!

    Also, the defence was mostly “OK”. Gunter is a class signing and looks comfortable, Wes was rarely in danger and I also wouldn’t criticise Chambers too much – I think he was made to look a bit young and naive by some very good players. His 1st booking was clumsy and a bit unlucky and to be honest, I’ve still no idea why he was shown a straight red – that’s a 3-match ban isn’t it?

    The weak link was unfortunately Lynch and he was made to look like a £200k player against Gunter’s £1.75m!

    So, overall, lots to be encouraged about – I didn’t see the games against Reading last year so can’t compare, but make no mistake; Reading are and will be a very good side, so an opening point is a solid start.

    Also, looking at the fixtures, I wouldn’t expect us to be ‘high flying’ in the early season. Have no doubts, BD knows his stuff and everything about what was happening on the pitch was so much better and stronger than this time last year.

    I will confidently predict that we won’t be in a relegation battle this season, but would also suggest that we need to temper the early season excitment and enthusiasm for instant promotion. At this stage, Victor’s ‘season ticket’ offer is safe, but football is a funny old game ……….

    • Even the Reading Fans who I spoke to after the game didn’t know what Chambers got the Red for. We’ll have to see if we appeal after watching the video

  12. Unfortunately I saw the chambers incident. Their striker, as
    reported, elbowed Luke in the stomach but he responded
    with an elbow to the face.
    He should have kept his cool, but fell for it and was given a
    deserved red. Their played should also have been shown a
    card. Stupid of chambers as he was already on a
    yellow. We looked so much more organised than last year, and
    I expect us to be more of a threat at home. Looking forward
    to WBA.

  13. Cheers for that, Marc.

    Hopefully it was caught on film so Billy can deal with it appropriately.

    Might find out shortly as the highlights are on the Beeb as I type!

  14. Good point, I agree with Billy. We need defenders, I agree with you all. Nffc, are you sure that Chambers was shown a straight red? Coz all stats and live commentary sites including skysports talk about a second bookable offence, which is certainly not punished with a 3-match ban. Can’t wait for the West Brom game, for which in case you forgot I’ll be there! See you for drinks at the “Lady Bay” before? Cheers!

  15. People at the game and commentary said straight Red, I think the stats sites got it wrong.

    I might struggle to make it before the game v West Brom but will certainly try to at least pop in for a flying visit at the very least!

    Let me know what time you’re planning to arrive there 🙂

  16. Maybe a couple of hours before the game, depends on my hosts! Certainly hope to see you!

  17. It was definitely a straight red – even mentions it on the official site in the piece about BD’s post-match thoughts.

    Who is the tall kid who is on the fringes of the 1st team – looks like he will get his chance on Wed? What does anyone know about him?

  18. Aaron Mitchell is the Crouch-a-like.

    He looked composed when he came on against Notts County, I thought.

    • Cheers – let’s hope he is just as composed on Wed – I’ll look forward to your twitter update whilst I’m flying the flag for England in Amsterdam!

  19. great point considering Reading are no mugs!

  20. morgan played well and we did look like an organised side. mckenna is the type of player you would love to hate. he knows every trick in the book. gunter played well as well. tys and garner played out of position. my biggest concern is the type of football we played yesterday. far too many long balls up to a big bloke for knock on’s. not the type of footy i like to see. on bbc reading radio they mentioned we were a billy davies team now, time waters and long balls. i really hope we don’t turn out to be the type of team we would hate if they came to the city ground.

  21. W was at the game today
    Did not see the Chmabers incident, but to give Chambers some partial defense, he was exposed on the left side due to the Left Back Lynch being out of position
    Time and time again in the second half (plus a couple in first half) Lynch was caught out, sold dummies and all in all looked no better than at best an average Division 2 defender or weak Division 1 Defender
    May be Billy long term sees him also as a Central Defender but at present he is absolutely Shi*e and has been in the last three pre season games I watched
    Given the last time I saw him play was the Doncaster at home game, where prior to getting injured he had assumed the role of right wing for Doncaster with his distribtuion of the ball to the Doncaster lads and doing it to perfection), I am absolutely amazed he was brought back by BD
    It is human nature we all get blinded by a favorite or have a “soft spot” for a player, which is clearly where BD myst be with Lynch, who to me is much more the problem area than Chambers (who actually other than his first half booking had looked OK, since Morgan was outstanding in the Middle of the back Four)
    Seems the threads suggest the Foxes Mattock is WBA bound, I hope not, as we need someone there ASAP and send Lynch out on Loan with some clear instructions on learning the basics of dendening such as closing his legs, not getting turned, not letting the winger get to the bye line and all the rest you would expect, but currently he is incapable of providing
    90% of Reading’s second half chances originated from the Lynch area of the pitch and I can only assume Cohen was getting tired, as he was having to play a very deep left half role in front of Lych, so to be honest I would have Cohen as a temporary left back till we sign someone for the useless Lynch who needs to be dropped
    Finally back to Chambers, it must have been elbow or punch since it was a straight red, young, got suckered but I do believe if he can work and watch how Wes gets very close to the forward and does not let them turn at any cost without giving too many fouls away in the danger zone, then he currently can provide cover for injuries and suspensions during the season at Centr Off, but I cannot see Lynch doing that at present
    Perhaps BD does want to see who between Lynch and Chambers comes out best this season and just keeps one of them, we will see
    I will take my youngest to see us beat Bradford 3-1 but I am looking forward to having to sit on the edge of my seat for the 90 minutes against WBA next Saturday
    at this stage of the season, hopefully we will nick a 1-0
    If we do great, but it will take time to see this side bed in
    I get the feeling BD will away from home, will try to absorb the pressure of the home team and then stretch them in the last half hour with the pace and trickery with our array of forwards from the bench. But at home will send out pace from the beginning and mix it up to get the support from the home fans
    I see us on the edge of the play offs, we will not lose too many away under BD and look at the results yesterday, it is clear this year more than any, in the Championship, any team can beat any team on its day (just like the Premiership used to be!) and there will be only 10 points between 4th and 14th come the end of season, so that is where we have to be and will be under such an experienced Manager as BD
    See you next week

  22. also I don’t remember a minutes applause for Sir Bobby Robson

  23. A good point in my view, mid table is our target.
    But Chambers..why can he not understand he’s playing for the team, not himself?

  24. Chambers has always been a me me me type player. Read his interviews, he talks himself up constantly. Well this time I hope he holds his hands up and apologises to his team mates for falling for one of the oldest tricks in the book.

    The defence can be tightened easily…recall Moloney (who shouldn’t have been loaned out in the first place) and play Gunter at centre-half. Then recall Heath (another error there BD) as cover for the obviously under-par Lynch.

    I’d have taken a draw at the start, so not at all disappointed with that result.

    Onward and upward. At least we’re not Norwich!!!!!

  25. Yeah mattyboy, thank God we’re not a club as big as Norwich according to good old Sammy! Is that lad still there? I wonder. If he is, he must feel soooo sick in his stomach, coz 7 goals cannot be digested easily! lol

  26. Just listened to the post-match interview with Billy Davies. Anyone think he is taking the piss a bit with talk of his being ‘dissappointed’ with the lack of balance in the squad, and how he said ‘i told you so’ about our current defensive crisis?

    He’s been given 5 – 6 million by the board and he’s spent it on getting us 6 strikers! He should have gone for some defenders.

  27. I see a bit of action on u tube.
    I hope Forest are making wednesday´s match a kids for a quid. ! It seems a good match to take youngsters to to see Forest for the first time and also give a better atmosphere for the players !
    I wonder if anyone in Marketing though of it. ??
    West brom should be a full house and a cracking game !!!

  28. None of the kids should’ve gone imo but I’m not the gaffer. I’m sure the kids left ‘ll be all right but y oh y have the reserves seemingly been disbanded. I say seemingly as I recall on the announcement of our sponsorer there was a mention it’d be on the reserves shirts too….

    All in all, my prediction 2 my cousin of a 0-0 draw was right & I’m happy for it.

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