Let’s concentrate on the league..

Wes shoots wide of the mark

Nottingham Forest – 0
Blackburn Rovers – 1

Ooh, don’t you just hate it when people say concentrate on the league?  I sort of do, although I certainly do think we should be concentrating on the league.  A frustrating evening for Forest which was partially reminiscent of the weekend performance.

The odd boo from the home fans at the end of the game were unjustified as a battling Reds made a good showing.  Billy suggested it should have been four or five one at half time – I’m not so sure about that, but certainly Forest created a lot of chances, chances they should be converting to more shots on target – and it would follow, I’m sure, more goals.

Billy also underlined Blackburn’s Premier League status – which is a fair observation but for the distinctly weakened look to the side.  There were a few well-known faces in there too, and the Reds did indeed look a more than a match for them in all aspects of the game except for taking their chances.  The visitors really only had one, and they took it.

The Reds lined up with:

Smith
Gunter    Morgan    Wilson    Lynch
Garner    McKenna    Cohen    Tyson
Blackstock     Earnshaw

The first chance of the game looked like it took Blackstock by surprise, a good delivery from Cohen sent back across the goal by Garner and it certainly struck Dex, but ended up straight into Jason Brown’s arms in the Blackburn goal.  Shortly after Tys destroyed Salgado with a burst of pace and drilled the ball into the box, it literally stuck to Earnie’s feet which seemed to shock the striker into not getting a shot away.

Wes had more time than he realised after a bit of Reds pressure, the ball falling to him in the penalty area – he did well to bring the ball down on his thigh and then proceeded to spanner it wide from eight yards as only a centre half can.  Blackburn did press forward occasionally – the warning signs were there when Kalinic was able to head unchallenged in the box, fortunately wide.

Blackburn though are a team of big strong players who fall over easily.  Olssen had cut inside with Garner tracking him – he fell over, the referee gave a freekick.  McCarthy – with what I reckon must have been close to his first touch – hit it firmly towards the back stick, I think it evaded everyone and went straight in to give the visitors a fortunate lead.  Well struck freekick though.

Forest came closest to the equaliser minutes later – a freekick was given after a foul on Garner thirty yards from the goal just left of centre.  Earnie lined it up and struck the ball well – but struck the top of the crossbar with the ball ending up out for a goalkick.  As half time arrived fans were already drawing comparisons with the weekend’s game against Blackpool.

Certainly Forest looked more composed and had a better shape to them – and were undoubtedly working hard – but we just couldn’t seem to shake the idea that no matter how much time we had left we weren’t going to breach the Blackburn goal.  It was nearly academic after the restart – McCarthy used his second touch (sic) to plant a free header from a Reid cross comfortably wide from close range.

Lynch was getting forward well to support either Tyson or Garner ahead of him (why oh why oh why do we swap wingers over – it never works!) – at one point he drilled a brilliant ball to the near post where nobody was gambling so Brown was able to deal with it comfortably.  Tyson too was still working hard down the left – his cross almost found Blackstock but Brown was able to claim it.

A speculative cross/punt into the box by Cohen nearly bore more fruit that we could’ve hoped – Brown had to backpedal and concede a corner incase it looped into the top corner (I think it was going wide, but I don’t think the ‘keeper could really take that chance!), and shortly after that probably the best chance of the game arrived for us.

Reid handled in the area and the ref pointed to the penalty spot – the tension around the ground was palpable and to be honest, I never felt particularly confident as we should when we have this kind of opportunity.  Dex claimed the spotkick and struck it firmly and fairly low – but Brown did very well to dive low to his left and get two hands to the ball.

The visitors had another rare spell of pressure – McCarthy’s third touch was a whipped in cross which Wes put out for a corner, from this Blackburn did force the ball goalwards but it was cleared before it crossed the line.  At the other end Wes won a great ball in the air only for Tyson to miskick from close by.

Final frustration came at the death with Cohen whipped in a corner which Adebola met with his head.  At the time I thought it was going in, but I was told on Twitter it was heading wide – so Earnie’s intervention on the goalline presumably to direct the ball on target is more forgivable.  We thought he’d cleared it off the line though, somehow conspiring to put it over when practically on the line himself!

Rovers wound down the clock in stoppage time to claim the victory – the relief for their players was clear from their reaction to the final whistle.  For the Forest fans that booed at full time, I think that’s somewhat an overreaction and not particularly helpful at this juncture.  Certainly my criticisms of Billy’s tactics at the weekend aren’t valid this evening – he just needs to get them practising their shooting!

Unlucky lads, but you really do need to start concerting these chances into goals.

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18 Responses

  1. Our luck has to change at plymouth as I´m sure it will.
    Is Garner really good enough to keep Anderson out ?
    I was surprised he didn´t start.

    • Garner seems a liability he gave away the free kick they scored from !! Why he gets the nod over Anderson I do not know ?

      • I don’t think that’s very fair. It was a soft freekick and I thought Garner played well.

        He isn’t a winger, though, and personally I would have preferred to see Anderson there.

        Garner could play in an advanced central midfield role – or, of course, up front.

        I think it’s harsh to blame him for the goal.

  2. Working late so couldn’t get to the game, but a lad I know went and reckons Garner and Lynch were two of our better players? Personally I like Garner, but as a defender I would panic more if Anderson
    was running at me with the ball…
    Bit off topic, but as I didn’t make the game I took the opportunity to watch “The Damned United”. Excellent film, portrays the great man very well imo, but I especially enjoyed the mention at the end for the mighty reds!

    • Agree with your mate – Lynch was probably amongst the pick of the players for us. He had a good game – admittedly driven by Blackburn’s limited desire to attack, but he pushed forward well and looked composed.

  3. I couldn’t make it to the match, but was able to listen – thanks as always for your report.

    Unfortunately this reminds me a little of last season. Not that I think that this term will be as much of a struggle, but having “unlucky” defeats every week can be a bad habit…

    • I think that’s a fair warning.

      Under Smoulderwood we spent a long time playing like this – creating chances but not taking them, bad luck etc.

      We do need to turn it around otherwise heads will drop.

      Not too worried yet, but cautious as always!

  4. Who would have thought that having too many strikers, not letting people gel together up front, leading to a loss in sharpness and understanding would lead down this road? Oh yeah. I remember. *sigh*

    Bollocks to letting people all have a fair crack, pick two strikers for the league, stick with it for 5 games.

  5. The lads are trying hard just now but need to start sticking them away or we will end up in trouble again.Majewski is a big loss in midfield hes a creative player who can score we have missed him.

    The dreaded sky cameras on sunday what say yeee nffc can we pull if off this time.?????

  6. I know what you’re saying TimNE. A strike partnership should be given time to flourish so a better understanding is achieved. But its seems like the understanding and general play is there its just the finishing! You don’t need to have a telepathic strike partnership to score a flucking penalty or convert at least one of the 10-15 chances they’ve had in the last 2 games. This is just bad finishing from good strikers.

    When Billy said he wanted a healthy striker rivalry I didn’t think it would be a competition to see who could miss the most chances.

  7. could’nt make it as well but from commentry and what ive seen on tv could have gone either way, fair struck penalty well saved would have got us another 1/2 hour probably and considering many of the ten changes big sam made was there 1st games for a while so with our lads match fitness we could have gone close to being in the hat – but with a long trip this weekend sort of makes me think we are gonna be better for not playing extra time ???……..sol cambell to make the short journey over trent bridge ???……..be loads of magpies trying to peel his name and number 32 off the back of there nike shirts !!!!!!!

  8. Adebola’s header was definitely going wide – it was coming right towards where I was sat. Earnshaw misjudged his run to get on the end of it, hence the awkward looking back flick to try and direct it into the net. Personally I thought the penalty was a poor one. The only thing Brown had to get right was the move to his left – after that the save was a nailed on cert. And as for Anderson not playing…has something gone on we don’t know about?

  9. P.S. Agree Garner played well but he does have a tendency to give away free-kicks with unnecessary challenges. And the goal came as a result of one such challenge. On the bright side, at least he didn’t get booked!

  10. Listening to the game, I thought the reds could have got something out the game but seeing as the reds can’t hit a barndoor with a banjo, the lack of strikes on goal is not surprising. I’ll think a lot different with a win against Plymouth but as some have refered to already here, two strikers need a run of games and I would prefer to see Earnie as super sub (Sheffield Wed) rather than a 90 minute man who fails to do anything (first blackpool and now blackburn). Majewski’s return can’t come soon enough in my opinion and personally I think the strikers would look a lot better with Adebola and Blackstock as the regular starters. If nothing else they are big, strong and both have good touch. They would worry me a lot more than little Earnie’s efforts. Also Anderson should have claimed himself a start though Billy seems adamant that Garner should be right mid. Can’t understand why personally, I think Ando did enough in his two starts to warrant a place. Supposedly Leon Cort will sign on loan now Tuesday has passed. For one thing, it’s not the defence I’m too worried about anymore. Should have won this one, could have one it on the balance of play and possession. The strikers need to learn to shoot though otherwise 16th place we held in the league after the Derby game will look pretty good.

  11. Forest Player wasn’t working so I listened on 5LiveExtra. Good to get an unbiased view of the game and two things stood out from th commentry – Lynch should leave Tyson alone on the left to “get on with it” and not go on overlaps as Tys could beat Selgado all night long. Gunter is the only one who can cross a ball (open play or corners) consistently. Everyone else overhits it 9 times out of 10.

    I believe in Billy. But I also believe he should stop making silly comments to the media like playing players in the right position, need for experience, etc when he goes and does the exact opposite time and time again.

    Come on lads, get it right and we’ll give someone a right good spanking.

  12. Good levels of possession in both half’s but the final ball / efforts were not good enough. Blackburn may well be a premier team but they were poor and they were there for the taking. I like Joe Garner and would like to him play up front again. He has a good touch but came inside too much. Like Tyson he is not an out and out winger.
    Turned the radio on in the car after the game to hear Billy tell us we should have been 5-1 up at half time, I had to put the sat nav on to make sure I had been to the same game. I agree we most that we need a settled team. We have some really good players that need to get a run in the team at the expense of others.

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