Reds stay the course to see off Boro and go into the third round..

Majewski was tonight's matchwinner with a well-taken goal

Nottingham Forest – 2
Middlesbrough – 1
(After extra time – 1-1 in normal time)

Well that’s cheered me up no end.  First things first, those of you using Twitter should point your client of choice at @bradyo2 and thank him for being our lucky omen tonight.  You see, poor Oli finally arrived home to start to listen to the game for Middlesbrough to score against us – upon my suggestion via a sneaky Tweet he duly switched off, and well, things went rather more our way from that moment onwards! So thank you, Oli!

Right, on to business – as readers will know I was decidedly down about our chances in this game – and I’m happy to say Billy and the boys duly shoved my doubt and gloom in my face and delivered a cracking and thoroughly deserved win.  Of course, ideal preparation for a certain match on saturday would not have involved playing into extra time – but dishing out a first defeat for a side as good as Middlesbrough won’t do the lads’ confidence any harm at all.

Not too many surprises in the team, the only really unpredictable element generally in our selections these days is who will be on the wings and up front, Billy went with:

Gunter    Morgan    Chambers    Cohen
Anderson    McKenna    Majewski    Davies
Blackstock    Earnshaw
Subs: Camp, Garner, Mitchell, Fairclough, Adebola, Tyson, McGoldrick

Quite a pleasing line-up for me, because I am convinced that on their day Dex and Earnie will prove to be our most effective strike pairing (that’s not to say I don’t really like our other options too – it’s a nice dilemma to have!).  Sitting in D Block just behind the Director’s box I must admit I did get distracted a bit by stalking the people in there, namely the chairman – of course – a certain Stuart Pearce, Ian Storey-Moore, John Robertson – Billy Davies with his little control centre of screens and a phone.. it was interesting!

So, the match.  The first half was fairly even – and both sides struggled to fashion clear chances – although Smith had to be on his toes to make a smart double-save after a mere five minutes first from Aliadiere and then Arca who was following up.  He also saved from on-form Johnson, saw Aliadiere shoot wide and Williams blast over from long range – but that’s not to say the Reds weren’t creating chances either.

Robert Huth almost lay a great chance on a plate for Paul Anderson with a short backpass, with Coyne on hand to prevent the winger nipping in to score.  Earnie – who wasn’t having the best of evenings – fired wide after half an hour when Dexter set it up for him, and shortly after had another shot from the edge of the box which really never looked likely to trouble the Middlesbrough ‘keeper.

Boro’s goal came just before half time – a Forest attack broke down in what should have been a corner to the Reds, the latest in a line of hapless officials awarded a goalkick, from which – to their credit – Boro broke very quickly and effectively.  A long ball forward was helped on by Emnes finding Johnson in acres of space to calmly pick his spot and give his side the lead – at the time I thought they were fortunate to be ahead, it had been an even first half – although the visitors had created the better chances.

The second half was fast-paced from Forest, with them looking much more purposeful – Earnie again with a chance, this time from six yards out after good work from McKenna and Dex, but he just couldn’t seem to get the ball out from under his feet to fashion a shooting chance allowing the Middlesbrough back line to regroup and clear.  At the other end Davies misplaced a pass which put Gunter under pressure from Aliadiere, Gunter slipped and the striker burst through, fortunately missing the target.

Next up, the equaliser.  Brace yourself, this was from a corner.  That’s right, a corner.  Davies was the man to take it, and it was Luke Chambers of all people who powered through the penalty area to meet it with what looked to me like an audacious back-heeled volley from about ten yards out.  Coyne got a strong touch on it, but it still crossed the line – and that’s the goal that will go down as the first that Middlesbrough have conceded this season!  Well done Luke, a cracking goal!

The game was stopped for a while whilst the referee made a great drama about some minor injury he’d picked up – only to find him be replaced by somebody even more incompetent than he was.  Replacement referee was miles behind play when McGoldrick and then Adebola were bundled to the ground by Boro defenders in the area – Billy Davies and fans alike went crazy, but it was never likely he’d give the foul and penalty when he was so far behind play.

There were time for a couple more scares from Boro, a freekick was whipped in dangerously requiring Smith to save at his far post, and he needed to be alert to palm a corner over the bar to safety too.  The second half drew to a close with us reflecting positively on a good Forest showing in since half time, and slightly regretting the extra running the boys were going to have to put in given the proximity of a certain game.  But overall, the mood was good.

Extra time nearly got off to a great start – Cohen crossed from the left to Adebola whose header wasn’t powerful, but deflected wide for a corner.  The corner found Chambers who headed quite horribly wide.  From a Boro perspective Arca should probably hit the target rather than hitting it wide of the near post when it looked as though he had more time to pick his spot.

However, it was to be Forest’s night – I think it was Cohen who played the ball in from the left to Adebola, whose layoff was perfect for Radoslaw Majewski to strike cleanly with his left foot into the net much to our delight.  An excellently worked goal.  This rather knocked the stuffing out of Boro, and despite more than fifteen minutes left to play they didn’t seem able to fashion any chances – and the Reds were able to wind the game down and even create a few more chances.

Some great performances all round the team – my man of the match goes to Dexter Blackstock, very closely followed by Wes Morgan – although Luke Chambers, Paul McKenna, Radoslaw Majewski, Paul Smith, Nathan Tyson, David McGoldrick – all deserve a special mention.  Indeed, nobody had a bad game at all, Gunts and Earnie look a bit out of sorts, maybe it’s a Welsh thing?  I thought Cohen looked much more like his usual self today.  And Arron Davies finally showed us how a corner should be taken!

A very pleasing victory indeed – well done to the lads, I hang my head in shame for ever doubting you!  And so a third round place awaits us, of course, whilst this was happening utter carnage was unleashed on the streets of East London in some sort of turgid re-enactment of ‘Football Factory’ or ‘Green Street’ – sad to see, and certainly predictable from the moment the draw was made.  Let’s hope none of that nonsense occurs on Saturday when Derby come to town.

And to finish on a lighter and self-indulgent note, today the blog ticked past three quarters of a million visitors.  Three quarters of a million!  That’s a bloody lot of visitors – thank you all very much for your contributions to that count.  I’m very chuffed.

22 Responses

  1. At least from 2003, when I started keeping detailed records of Forest games, this has been the only time we have won in extra time. Up to now, we were either losing or going to penalties, usually against higher league opposition. Very well done lads, you have done the best to chase away the bad atmosphere and go to the D**by clash with your heads held high.

    I was a little afraid watching the game from the Forest Player live commentary as they were getting too many shots in the first half. But according to what I saw, it ended up all Forest in extra time (well done all for the lads’ conditioning), where Danny Coyne was supposedly Boro’s hero with a “fantastic” and a “brilliant” save either side of Majewski’s goal.

    Again for my records nffc, could you please find from your programme who the fourth official was and at which minute he replaced the ref? Thanks very much.

    Bring on the muttons!!!!

    • Now that would rely on me buying a programme! I shall endeavour to find out for you though, my good man.

    • According to the official website:

      Mr N Smith replaced the referee on 65 minutes – the time tallies with when I remember it happening.

      Mr Smith would have been one of the linesmen, the fourth official would have taken over from him, and Mr K Wright (the original referee) took up the role of fourth official.

  2. I would like to add that maybe interest has been completely lost by English fans on the Carling Cup, otherwise I can’t understand only 7,000 Forest fans turning up for a game against a club like Boro, just down from the Premiership and topping our table undefeated.

    • Disappointing crowd. I didn’t want to labour the point as I have before (with the Bradford game). Whilst there’s a fair few Boro folk settled around Nottingham, they brought 1,700odd fans with them tonight – which is a decent following on a Tuesday night which – to them – is probably not a particularly inspiring fixture.

      I know Forest fans who travelled from Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire and even London to see the match – it’s a pity more of the folks from Nottingham couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to come to the game.

      • Nothing to do with enthusiasm, everything to do with money (or lack of it); it was hard enough for me to shell out for a season ticket, paying extras on top is just too much now – which is a real shame because I love going to away games and just cannot afford it anymore…

        On a separate but related note, the cost of live music is also going up and up 😦

  3. Excellent win, really excellent win. By the sounds of it from the commentary, the lads deserved it and were more than a match for a strong Boro side. This could just be the ticket to Forest starting their season off in the league. If nothing else, it will show the lads they can play well together, create opportunities and more importantly WIN! Even the defence sounded solid. This could really give the team a the lift in confidence and a greater sense of belief in order to give the finger to bad luck and win because they deserve it. It’s a massive game on Saturday and a win will leave the boys on a massive high as the season goes into recess for the internationals and a well deserved break. Great win Forest, great report as ever NFFC (though I disagree on one little point, Adebola has proven a much more useful addition to the squad than has been stated and I think he deserves a regular starting spot over Earnie, Dele alongside Dex). U REEEEDS!!!!!!!

  4. Just read Southgates comments…. which game was he at? Apart from odd spells early on Forest were clearly the better footballing side and thoroughly deserved to win. Shut up Gareth.

  5. F!!! My post just got wiped out by internet probs 😦


  7. great game lads well done,football aside why have the ‘officials’ made the area behind the trent end goal smaller, my kids used to love standing there drinking there bovril and being that bit closer to the players.

  8. Re attendance. For the Carling Cup they should throw the first few rounds in with season tickets and sell the rest of the seasts for £5. Kids should be £1 or even free.

  9. Living in london, mid week games are impossible, so i went along to the west ham game last night. Left after west ham made it 2-1 to avoid the trouble, got clear of the stadium and called me Dad to find Forest had just scored to make it 2-1, great night of football, but sadly i missed it and watched morons intent on fighting.

  10. Just watched that football Hooligan programme last night on Fans/Firms in Holland and Argentina…rough stuff! With the recession and unemployment coming on strongly, lets hope young mens dissillusionment with life and work does not reflect itself onto the terraces. The programme somewhat glorifies hooliganism hiding behind an aim to bring public awareness to it. Got to nip it’s pending return in the bud! NFFC to keep it on the pitch and not to tread too gently on the Nigel’s soft wooley little lambs on Saturday.
    Let’s keep our good name! Ureds.

  11. Thank goodness we won, it wasn’t a bore draw & no new injury problems either. Well done to the team.

    F!! the hooligans.

    Someone on FB was sayng to keep the same team on Saturday, it’ll be nice but v unlikley. aht the heck, bring on the Sheep on Saturday & we’ll trample all over their wolly jumpers!! :p NC or no NC!!! I damn well hope there’s no repeat of any of the stupidity at the Millwall West Ham game on Saturday & I’m sure the Police in the East Midlands are more prepared than their London counterparts.

    Also, bring on the draw on Saturday & a nice sized team (meaning a lower placed Premiership team at the worst) for us so we can move to the next round.

    1 final cheeky thing, (& I hope it posts this time), Camp, 4 starts, 2 draws, 2 defeats. Smith, 2 starts, 2 wins. mmm :p

    • Yiannaki, what’s your beef with Campo? I can’t deny the statistics you highlighted. What are you saying though? Because Camp was in goal when we lost and drew as opposed to Smith who played twice and won twice, is that a slight that Smith should be in goal. Smith hardly had a lot to do in the first game, and in the second game against Boro, he hardly had a lot to do either (they had 4 shots on target and one went in). I can’t really fault Camp for any of the goals he has conceeded, Watford aside where everyone was crap (though he couldn’t do that much with any of the goals). This is not the first time you mentioned about Camp vs Smith. I think Camp would be most people’s first choice, he’s definitely mine. He might not be the shot stopper that Smith is though I have no evidence to suggest Smith is any better. Camp has a big gob and a passionate heart whereas Smudge can be a bit of a wet fish at times, no offence. If we had the defence we all hoped for, I’m sure you may be saying something different.

  12. Vassillis im signed up to forest player and can listen to games via the audio link how do you manage to watch them mate



  13. Hi,

    I tell you what really cheered me up.

    Billy telling us in the interview on Radio Nottingjam to stay with the team on saturday “even when we go a goal behind”

    crikey 🙂

  14. Re attendance. For the Carling Cup they should throw the first few rounds in with season tickets and sell the rest of the seasts for £5. Kids should be £1 or even free [2]

  15. I agree Alex. They did this a couple of seasons ago but since have had a change of heart.

    We need to keep attracting youngsters to the CG for the good of the club in the years ahead. The “Sven” factor across the river is attracting a whole new young audience and invariably once affliated with one of the city clubs, in my experience, you tend to stick with either red or black n white.

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