Reds keep Cardiff from the top as run goes on..

Davies: "I am delighted, it was a fantastic point for us."

Cardiff City – 1
Nottingham Forest – 1

All runs must come to an end, and it seemed that would be the case today in rainy Welsh Wales before Lewis popped up to unleash a left footed strike just into stoppage time to give the reds a draw which I think on balance is deserved, but in reality could be considered lucky as the Reds struggled to convert possession into chances throughout the game.

In a first half where the Reds had better possession, it was the home side who crafted the gilt-edged chances.  Lee Camp had three outstanding saves to make whereas Marshall was rarely troubled as the Reds struggled to find the target despite their endeavours.  A reasonable penalty shout for the Reds, a question over their opener being offside (it wasn’t), it was all finished off quite aptly for this Hallowe’en weekend by the man in the mask.

We all gasped as Billy announced he wanted six strikers – but his decision looks wise now as we are without Dexter Blackstock, Nathan Tyson and Robert Earnshaw through injury – the Reds lined up something like this:

Camp
Gunter   Morgan   Wilson   Cohen
Moussi   McKenna
Garner   Majewski   Anderson
McGoldrick

A definite plan to dominate midfield from Billy?  You would think so, but actually we started the game brightly and took it to the hosts largely through Anderson bursting down the left hand side.  Cardiff, unchanged from their previous game, seemed someone shell-shocked by the rampant Reds and took a while to get themselves geared up for the game.

The first half-chance of the game came to David McGoldrick – he latched onto a Joe Garner flick on but was forced wide by the recovering Mark Kennedy, the striker only able to shoot comfortably wide from a tight angle.  Shortly after game the penalty call, Anderson burst through beating Adam Matthews for pace before hitting the deck in the penalty area.

At the time it looked a dive – the half time replays showed there was contact between Matthews’ knee and Anderson’s trailing ankle, technically probably should have been a penalty, in reality it would have been harsh – and we would have been seething about it if it were given against us – and of course writing this still buzzing from knowing we equalised allows much more of a magnanimous outlook!

Raddy was struggling to get into the game, and quicker footwork from the Pole could’ve opened up Cardiff after good work by McGoldrick.  Perhaps our best chance though fell to Anderson – Garner challenged well in the area to head the ball out wide to the winger who dragged his shot wide with his left foot – where an inward-curling rightfooted shot looked the better option.

Gradually though the home side was awakening, and showed real signs of why they too are one of the form teams in this league who were in with a chance of topping the table this afternoon.  Lee Camp, who’d had very little to do so far, showed he was alert to save a cracking strike by on-form Peter Whittingham, the rebound fell for Joe Ledley who in truth should have made it more difficult for Camp, but the Reds ‘keeper made another smart save.

Whittingham – on a great run of scoring – probably crossed Lee Camp off his Christmas card list as he latched onto a flick on from Chopra, hitting an excellent shot from 25 yards which Camp dived to his left to keep out of the goal.  Forest regained some composure and wrestled possession back from Cardiff for a spell without really creating much of threat to the Bluebirds.

Cardiff, however, were showing they can make a lot out of a little up front – Wes did well to prevent the impressive Chris Burke from getting a shot on goal, and shortly after Kelvin clumsily brought down Bothroyd who was bursting through and was duly booked.  The first half was petering out just as Whittingham caught Gunter with a late challege – not sure why the Reds players reacted quite so strongly, it was late but not malicious, and Whittingham was rightly booked.

The final act of the half was a freekick to the Reds just outside the area, Majewski lined it up and struck the ball well, but whilist the height was good it was wide too.  Half time came and despite it being scoreless it was an entertaining if disjointed game so far – Cardiff showed much more ability to channel their possession into assaults on our goal whilst Forest struggled to do this with perhaps marginally greater possession.

Part two started nearly very badly for Forest – Bothroyd burst through, staying onside and looking clean through, Kelvin Wilson did very well indeed to get back and make the crucial challenge which would certainly have seen him walk had he got it wrong.  The Bluebirds maintained their stranglehold – and Ledley must had thought he’d scored but for Raddy to clear off the line (running the risk of a rebound off Wes).

At the other end Raddy went for goal but his effort was deflected to take the sting out of it and creating an easy save for Marshall.  He had to be more alive shortly after as Raddy played through McGoldrick who again was too wide to really threaten the goal – his shot hitting the side netting with some Forest fans in the ground apparently thinking it was in judging by the gigantic cheer audible on the telly.

Majewski was withdrawn at this point as Forest shaped to take a corner – with Adebola coming on.  As seems to often be the case, it was Cardiff who broke forward and scored – a throughball from Chopra slipped Bothroyd in and an excellent finish from the big striker gave Camp no chance.  It took four or five viewings to determine it was probably just onside for me – so begrudgingly I take my hat off to the linesman for that call.

Billy then withdrew Garner for Garath McCleary – and he immediately started to get involved, teeing up McGoldrick on the 18 yard line only for the striker to rush his shot and fire tamely at Marshall rather than blasting it.  The final throw of Billy’s dice was to bring on Lewis McGugan for the increasingly ineffective (and probably tired) Guy Moussi – and it turned out to be a masterstroke.

There were further frustrations to endure though, a good delivery by Cohen from a corner fell to Wilson on the back stick – he would have been expecting Marshall to have caught it so can perhaps be forgiven for not being alert to stroke the ball into the goal at the back stick.  The Reds poured forward but lost the ball – luckily for us we were able to halt the Cardiff break and unleash a counterattack of our own.

A ball into the box towards Adebola bounced off the big fella under the attention of a Cardiff defender, it fell kindly for Lewis – clipped off a defender and fell kindly again for him to unleash a wonderfully struck left footed shot that sailed into the top corner giving Marshall no chance and giving Forest a point that feels both deserved and slightly fortunate all at once.

After six minutes of stoppage time were played of the announced four, the referee blew the full time whistle to confirm the Reds unbeaten runs are intact, and denied the home side the opportunity to top the table – they need to be content with second place whilst the Reds are elevated to ninth.  A great point that I imagine we will feel happier with than our Welsh hosts.

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18 Responses

  1. Well, we should have had a clear penalty, and their goal was clearly off-side (although not according to the VERY biased pundits)

    But, I’m still very happy with a point.

    You Reds!

  2. Excellent point, Cardiff look very good as do Forest for a top six finish, some of the footy Forest are playing would not look out of pace in the prem,great stuff!

  3. These are the kind of results we need to be getting to keep us up in the top half. Too many times in the past few seasons we have struggled to get late goals that claw us back into the game. It seems now however that Billy has instilled a spirit and fight in the lads so as they refuse to roll over and give in. Get in you Reds, well chuffed with a draw away to this lot. I’m proud to be a Red with this squad 🙂

  4. To be honest, I thought that was an excellent performance from everyone bar Garner and it shows just how far we have come since last year. Cardiff has not been a good place for us and yet we played some good football and I genuinely think the home support also felt threatened and were unhappy at the way Cardiff sat back at the end. As it proved, rightly so.

    Sorry to say it but Garner looks way, way out of his depth and I wasalso bemused when Magic was substituted. Still what do I know and I am happy to put my faith in Billy plus I thought I detected a bit of a put down by BD on Perchy after another Garner cock-up. I wonder if it was a snide comment about his selection and drew a response of – “I pick the bloody team not you”!!

    Either way, it is great to be a Red right now and I am buzzing after that one. Well done boys – bloody brilliant!! 🙂

  5. Interesting point by Deeping Red. Yes the TV clearly shows BD laying into Perchy for something – or am I just reading the body language all wrong??

    Tough game and you would expect Cardiff to have the better of it, which they did, but we never looked out of it any any time. At 0-1 you always have a chance to get something out of the game and so it proved.

    We are starting to look like a team who are playing for each other and before, I’d always expect us to lose when we went a goal down. Not any more.

    Good stuff and bring on Bristle!!

  6. deeping red,i thought garner looked ok in the first half to be honest, he won nearly every ball in the air and his passing was pretty good. did not really notice him in the second half.
    you are right Billy gave it tight to someone and it did look like perch.

    great strike by McGugan and for me a well desered point, excellent team effort. i liked the fact they all dived in when gunter got caught. A better ref, a fit blackstock and we could have won that. early days but the signs are are there………..

  7. I thought Forest were the better side. Anderson totally murdered Matthews and was unlucky not to get a penalty. There again Cardiff are always jammy with refs – hark back to last season they got 2 unwarranted penalties against us (Swansea).
    The media coverage was very biased I thought, but that’s nothing new as the press down here in South Wales thinks the sun shines out of Cardiff City’s backside!
    We’ll finsh the job off next Saturday with Dyer, Britton, Pratley, Allen and Van Der Gunn proving far too much for Cardiff’s midfield. They are decent up front but a long ball team so will struggle i think to get the ball off us.
    I was impressed with Forest who always looked patient and did not force the issue. I feel also Tyson (another ex-swan) would have run amok in that poor Cardiff city back 4.
    Good luck for the rest of the season (apart from 2 games of course) !

  8. Garner is there for his aerial ability against a fullback or midfielder, but he can also pick a pass. With Anderson’s pace and raddy’s trickery his physicality gives us another dimension in that attacking midfield 3 and Billy should be applauded for both his tactical nous and ability at coaching his vision to so many young players.

    Garner isn’t as pretty or as fast as the others, but when he is running and getting the service he is very useful. He does, however, seem to get fed up with games sometimes and lose interest. I was screaming at him to close down the ball that set Cardiff’s goal-scoring move in motion, and if he had rather than just trotting lazily alongside the player then they wouldn’t have scored. He needs to cut this out as lazy bookings are one thing, lazy goals are another.

    Overall, the final ball didn’t quite click today but a point at Cardiff is nearly as good as beating Newcastle, and once again a lot of neutrals will have enjoyed watching the way we played. Leaders in the dugout and leaders on the pitch – makes all the difference!

  9. nffc – thought you under-sold the performance a bit in your report.

    You’re right, we didn’t threaten their goal much, but some of the possession football – and not just square passing for the sake of it – was excellent, with all players contributing. So much for the doom-mongers who predicted hoof up the park football with Mr Davies in charge.

    To visit the league-leaders-in-waiting and not only take the game to them, but dominate for long periods was very encouraging.

    Not the finished article by a long way, but the signs are good.

    Maybe such an entertaining performance on the BBC might have caught the eye of our own Asian businessman with a few million to spare [a la Cardiff]?

  10. I thought that 6 was too many strikers. I was wrong and Billy was right.

    I thought playing 5 in midfield at home to Newcastle was too negative. I was wrong and Billy was right.

    So I wont say anything about his team selections and use of subs today. Billy knows best!

    However, I would like to say that I think Luke Chambers is very unlucky to be out of the team recently. I think we miss his ability to get goals for us from set pieces. Kelvin and Wes don’t ever look like scoring any goals!

  11. Watched today’s game on the BBC (with 5Live Radio Commentary) and thought it was a great result.

    After 15 games we now have 24 points. That’s 14 points more than at the same stage of last season and confirms the improvement that we can all see on the pitch. Adding 14 points to last season’s total would have had us finishing 9th.

    However, we are averaging 1.6 points per game and if that were to continue throughout the season, that would give us 74 points (well, 73.6 actually) which last season would have put us finishing 6th or 7th.

    It’s going to be a very interesting season! U Reds!

  12. When we went a goal down I was waiting for the equaliser ! What a difference to last year.
    With Tyson and Blackstock in the team today I´m sure we would have won !
    Well done Billy and the team !!
    We are hard to beat and never give up !!!
    Roll on saturday !!!!!!

  13. glad to see not everyone getting at joe garner – when we signed him(injured) he was a striker and one with a good strike rate not a pushed up midfielder ! but give him his dues he’s got in there and done a job for the reds as has chris cohen,nathan tyson,luke chambers etc all playing out of there favoured position but playing well wherever billy needs them to (rant over) expected us to fold when cardiff took the lead but great fighting spirit from the lads till the death proved me wrong brill result

  14. Also, what’s with all the diving? I don’t want to see that.

  15. I thought Garner did OK – won a lot of ball in the air and marshalled Whittingham pretty well for most of the first half. Did pretty much the same job as he did against the Sheep when he completely nullified Lily. But then Cardiff changed their game and started attacking down their right and playing the ball across field which meant Garner was sort of bypassed.

    I just cannot understand is why we play the ball to the feet of Anderson (and Tys when he plays). These two want the ball ahead of them to run onto. We wasted several good openings yesterday when the ball was passed to Ando exactly where he was stood rather than in front of him to race away with – takes all the momentum out of the move and gives the defender a chance of making a block.

    The one thing that stood out even more than the great team spirit and never-say-die attitude we’ve clearly obtained is how absolutely god awful McKenna’s passing is. I lost count of the number of times he gave the sodding ball away. Criminal.

    Onwards and Upwards!!

  16. Its funny how people can watch the same game and get two completely different view points. I thought McKenna was excellent. Almost everything went through him. He always makes himself available for a pass and isn’t afraid of trying to pick out players. I distinctly remember the commentary team saying how good McKenna was and how he ‘passes for fun’. I can’t agree that he was bad.

  17. awesome goal

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