A point Bristol-fashion puts Reds up to eighth..

Lest we forget

Nottingham Forest – 1
Bristol City – 1

It was the case of two immovable objects in the first half, as Gary Johnson decided to pack midfield – and so did Billy Davies!  It was actually the visitors who broke ranks first to attack which opened up the game in the second half, and two late goals meant the teams had to share the spoils – which on balance of play I think I would classify as a fair result, but it always feels disappointing to lose a lead to a late goal.  Ask a Cardiff fan last week!

It all started with – quite rightly – a minute silence ahead of Remembrance Sunday, which was well observed by a crowd that included plenty of folks in military uniforms.

Anthony Taylor avoided too much controversy, but was as whistle and card-happy as ever for both sides throughout – having to be in the action as soon as thirty seconds when an apparently over-excited Maynard annihilated Gunts in a challenge that areas of the ground seemed to think might have warranted more than the yellow card he received.  It seems Gunts is a bit of a target for fouls like that, after being on the end of one at Cardiff too!

The Reds were largely unchanged in terms of personnel from the Cardiff game, but Garner was operating more freely than against Cardiff, but again it was five in the middle to match Bristol, with McGoldrick a forlorn figure leading the line alone.

Gunter   Morgan   Wilson   Cohen
Moussi   McKenna
Anderson   Majewski   Garner

Inbetween the midfield stalemate there were opportunities though, Raddy played a lovely ball through towards Anderson but Kerken was quick off his line to get there first.  Anderson again was denied a change by a last ditch challenge by the impressive Skuse after a good cross from Gunter.  In fact, if truth be told, City’s defence dealt very comfortably with the little we had to offer in terms of dangerous forward play.

City continued to assert their physical (read: dirty) side of play, this time it was Sno who went in ludicrously late on Paul McKenna for no good reason and picked up a booking for his trouble.  Probably amongst the closest chances we had was a 25 yard effort from Joe Garner, well struck but just wide – and I’m not convinced it would have had the beating of the ‘keeper had it been inside the post rather than outside.

The Robins were clearly playing the waiting game – but did have some moments upfront, Haynes broke and looked clear to bear down on Camp but for an excellent saving tackle from Kelvin Wilson. Kelv is looking more and more the player we think him capable of being of late, which is great to see.  There was time for a couple more Reds chances, a Majewski shot from the edge of the box was straight at the ‘keeper, as was a Garner header from a McGoldrick cross.

Half time came and it’s disappointing to say that some of the fans were having a grumble – it wasn’t a great half, don’t get me wrong, but even still. The visiting fans seemed to retain that strange dislike for us that they’ve had since Smoulderwood said something fairly innoccuous about them – still, whatever floats your boat I suppose!

As thought, City came out for the second half much more positively – and they had the first opportunity which fell to the dangerous Maynard but his chance was blocked by Wes.  Shortly after Wes was marauding their penalty area, he was felled (I don’t think it was a penalty as he’d kicked the ball too far away, but I don’t think he dived either) and booked ridiculously for diving.  This is where inconsistencies annoy me, because the ref waved on play when Brizzle players hit the deck rather too easily but never once booked any for diving.

Billy responded to the more open style of play by reducing our midfield by one and introducing Dele Adebola for Majewski just shy of the hour mark.  City were putting solid pressure on us though, and Camp needed to show he was concentrating which he was, claiming the ball amongst bodies and staying alert to one of those dangerous inswinging freekicks which on this occasion went straight at the goal without anyone getting their head on it.

McCleary replaced Garner to add a bit more attacking flair, and the winger had a shot quite early after a good ball from Cohen but dragged it wide from the edge of the box.  Forest were really looking at their most dangerous so far in the afternoon, and the Moose put in a fantastic cross that just evaded McGoldrick before going out of play.  This brought about the long-awaited return of Robbie Earnshaw who took to the field to a great ovation.

The best moment of defending in the game came after – McCleary did really well to get past his man in the area on the goal-line, and square back to Anderson who looked certain to score but for an excellent intervetion by Skuse to stop the ball pretty much on the line.  The crowd started to get behind the lads, and the breakthrough came from a Cohen freekick which was touched on by Adebola to fall nicely for Wes Morgan to spanner the ball into the net from six yards.

Perhaps we should have made it safe too, dele played a ball shortly after in to Earnie who shot over.  Surely a fully fit and sharp Earnie would’ve at least worked the goalkeeper?

The game of course ended on a sour note for us – a well-worked but badly-defended visitor attack lead to their equaliser.  Hartley was afforded far too much time to pick out an excellent cross which McCombe nodded to Haynes, who made no mistake with the finish.  As I noted above, a draw was probably fair on balance of play, but as we know from last week, a getting the equaliser feels a lot better than losing the lead to a late goal.

However, up to eighth in the table, eight games unbeaten – in a run which has seen us play some good teams in this league – I can’t say I’m unhappy with that situation!  In other news, Billy just missed out on Manager of the Month to Cardiff’s Dave Jones – who enjoyed a similarly successful October to us.  Hard luck Billy!  Kelv would be my pick for man of the match, with Wes a close second – both besmirched their performance by allowing the late goal though.

20 Responses

  1. Always good not to get manager of the month as it can be a poison chalice! Although the late equaliser was dissapointing, its still a great run and if (a big if!) the season had started 8 games ago we’d be second on goal difference!


  2. forest highlights and interview with billy at 35 mins on the championship show.

  3. Maybe we need to get used to this kind of game at the CG. Teams are being to work out that given time and space in the midfield we are going to run them ragged. So they flood the midfield and sit back and try and take the odd chance that is bound to befall them.

    BD preaches patience in the crowd and this is the reason why as I believe more and more games at home will be like this. Im hopeful when Earnie is back and fully fit his darting runs will open games up a little.

    When BD took Raddy off, the midfield did open up but it certainly put more strain on our back four and until we settled into it, I thought Brizzle looked the more likely to score.

    As an aside, I have to admit Gunts is gaining more and more admiration from me. Admittedly he already has a place in my heart as he REALLY wanted to play for Forest to start with but when he goes out there each week he gives 110%, takes some real sh*tty tackles (for some unknown reason) and really wears his heart on his sleeve!! Defo my kind of Forest player.

  4. One thing about Billy and his team is getting the best out of his players. I never expected to be happy with Wilson in the team,but look at him now !.I like Billy´s comments about needing 5 more players and emphasising that it is Doughty´s club and Doughty´s money ! In other words keep this dreaded panel away from another cock up like last January.
    Keep up the good work NFFC !

  5. Great report as ever nffc and I agree completely that Wilson should have been Man of the Match – I thought he was oustanding and whoever gave the award to Wes (just after he had scored) was too easily swayed by the goal.

    My other comment is that I can’t believe how fit everyone looks, particularly in comparison to last season. Even Adebola seems to have gained some extra pace and Wilson and Moussi look like completely different players.

    Let’s hope that the International break doesn’t reduce our momentum – Middlesboro’ away might be another tricky fixture, but I quite fancy us to go there and win and finish November in the top 6. Then it gets really scary!!

  6. Egor, I’d stick a bad tackle on Gunts, too. The oppo know that he takes very little winding up. Though I really rate him he has got to cut out the steaming in to get involved crap every time there’s a bad tackle. It’s great he’s so passionate, but silly bookings will come his way and cost us a top class right back unnecessarily.

    Happy enough with a point yesterday. We were dire in the first half (by our recent standards), some of the passing was terrible, and Garner in particular seemed to struggle to get involved.
    Picked up 2nd half though, and as everyone else is saying Wilson looks like a different player! MacCleary changes the dynamic when he comes on, Dele looks good too. If only Earnie had composed himself for that chance….

    Second week of November and 8th in the league. I’m happy with that!!

    • mattyboy – I don’t agree with your comment about Gunts. It was noticeable at Cardiff that after he was “taken out”, every other player got involved with handbags except Gunts.

      Similarly yesterday, allowing for the fact that he was lying on the floor after the 10sec challenge, he didn’t then go seeking revenge. I think he’s either been told to not get involved or is realising that it may not be in his best interests.

      • Agreed. Gunts and Garner both had somewhat deserved reputations for their fiery nature – but both seem to have that side of their game mostly under control lately which is good to see.

  7. By the way NFFC, cannot agree with you about Wes – I thought he dived and deserved the booking – in fact although the ref was fussy, I thought all the yellow cards were about right.

    In his post-match interview, Wes even admitted it was a “semi-dive”, whatever that is supposed to be!

    • Ah fair enough, I wasn’t well placed to tell from the Bridgford End. I half assume the ref was being an arse because, well, he was an arse 🙂

      Doesn’t excuse his lack of bookings on the numerous times he waved on pleading Brizzle players on the knees wanting a freekick though! 🙂

  8. Most surprising facet of the match for me was that both teams. especialliy Brizzle, finished with 11 men..it had all the hallmarks of someone being sent off. DIsappoiting to concede a late equaliser but I would have settled for a point and frankly, it was probably a fair result. We are still in good shape and apart from the moment that led to the equaliser, I thought Wes and Kelv played really well – especially Kelv who was my MoM. Sorry to say this as it looks like I am picking on him but I again thought Garner looked out of his depth. I know that he is being played out of his natural position but he was ineffective, then exchanged with Anderson, then into the middle and finally as a sole presence up front. I spent some time watching his off the ball movement which is simply not impressive, nor is his first touch, lay-offs or anticipation. Still BD keeps picking him and he knows more than me. Good to see Earnie back.

  9. Still unbeaten in 8 and we could have nicked it.What a huge diffrence in a year under our new manager all credit has to go to him and his staff.

    Its like watching a completely new side.And we are playing the forest way which is a huge plus for me.The goals have dried up a bit get earnie /tys /dex back we will start to pick up 3 points again.

    What a change in wilson with a decent bit of coaching its great at mo to be a red.

    U reds

  10. Anybody,
    I’m from Dublin and want to come over for Leicester game while visiting my ailing granny in Lincoln. How do I go about getting a ticket?

  11. Shouldn’t be a problem getting a ticket, only sells out for Derby game

  12. SB steve- I agree Gunter seems a bit calmer lately. The Cardiff incident was always going to happen, the media and crowd hyped up a potential tackle and Gunts handled it great by walking away.
    But didn’t he get spoken to (again) by the ref on Saturday for charging 20yards across to a situation that was nothing to do with him?? First half?
    Maybe I’m just a bit old fashioned and hate to see players gobbing off!
    Play the footy, Gunts, best right back in the division.

  13. First time Billy’s named an unchanged lineup. Odd given that McGoldrick clearly isn’t the right man to play as a lone striker.

    First game that Cohen was run ragged at left back. Now only a booking away from a ban too.

    I think the international break has come at exactly the right time for us. Get Lynch, Dex and Tys back, refresh the rest of the squad and we’ll be all guns blazing at Boro.

    Crap game, crap goals, crap ref, crap linos – but the run goes on! We’ve skanked a few points we shouldn’t so can’t grumble about dropping two here.


  14. Off topic, sorry….I went to watch my local side play last night (along with 120 others!) and who should be leading the line for the opposition but…Gary Bull. Anyone else remember him? I met him and the Forest squad in a Leeds hotel before a game many moons ago and my missus thought he was lovely. The git still only looks about 25. Played some cracking football, too!

    Sorry, carry on!

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