Reds up to 3rd after annihilating Leicester..

Nottingham Forest – 5
Leicester City – 1

Forest certainly kicked off my Christmas Party season in style with a complete drubbing of incumbent third place Leicester yesterday afternoon.  The question that we can’t seem to answer though is ‘Were we that good, or were they just rubbish?’ – my first instint was the latter, being a bit of a pessimist, but of course I think we have to consider Forest’s influence on them to deny them the opportunity to play.

You see, we were very good indeed.  If anything, 5-1 was a flattering scoreline to the visitors – it’s true their penalty was a soft one, but it was undoubtedly given because the referee had already denied them a stonewall penalty in a bizarre reversal of opinion earlier when the match was 3-0.  Either way, it made for a great start to a few cheeky sherbets around town!

Forest shuffled the back a little, with the returning Cohen taking McCleary’s place in the team which saw a line up that was something like this (although the midfield was VERY fluid, with Cohen in particular covering pretty much the whole centre of the pitch!):

Camp
Gunter   Morgan   Wilson   Shorey
Anderson   McKenna   Majewski   Cohen
Blackstock   Earnshaw

The fact that the likes of Perch, Garner and the Moose can’t get onto the bench at the moment demonstrates the real strength in depth we’re starting to develop in the squad – with Tyson returning from injury to take his place on the bench alongside Smith, Chambers, McGugan, McGoldrick, McCleary and Adebola.

Whilst the Foxes had travelled in numbers they didn’t create the kind of noise I’ve seen them make before, perhaps highlighting their pensiveness over the likely outcome.  The club cunning used the segregation area to seat the returning members of the Second Battalion of the Mercian Regiment – a fair few sporting Forest shirts over their uniforms.

Leicester won the toss, the only thing they would be within a sniff of winning all afternoon, and elected to make us kick towards the Trent End in the first half.  The first ten minutes was fairly evenly contested – Forest’s passing not quite penetrating the Foxes back line, Leicester’s hoofs into our channels or area being ably dealt with by Wes and Wils.

We didn’t have to wait too long for our play to yield results though – Gunter passed the ball from midfield to Earnie, who brilliantly dummied to Blackstock, who found his strike partners lightning run enabling Earnie to bury the ball from close range to open the account.  Lovely move, and a cracking goal.

In between the first two goals both sets of supporters showed a bit of class by giving the Mercian Regiment chaps in attendance a rousing chorus of ‘Stand up for the Army boys’ – it was nice to see, and from my vantage point could see a number of them looked visibly touched at the gesture.  As did a fair few in the regular crowd, perhaps those who had served or had loved ones who were doing so.  Top marks, Forest and Leicester fans.

Back on the pitch, Dexter was causing problems when he won the ball from the hapless Wayne Brown (Brown was probably a good shout for Forest’s man of the match really!).  After shooting from a tight angle Weale had the rare opportunity to make a save, which resulting in the Reds winning a corner, which if memory serves was headed by a Reds player for a goalkick when it really should’ve been on target.

Ando should’ve really made it 2-0, he waiting fractionally to late when one-on-one with Weale ( I think he was trying to ‘meg the keeper), but the Leicester stopper did well to smother the effort for the expense of another corner.  Gunter too threatened in the box but his shot was charged down for another corner kick.

Raddy took the corner which found Cohen in the box whose shot deflected off a defender very kindly for Earnie who made no mistake with a cool finish.  Suspicions of offside at the time, I’ve yet to watch the highlights (a treat for later when the hangover subsides), but Earnie legging it over to T Block to dedicate his goal to the soldiers was a nice touch – it looked like the referee was going to book him for it before he realised the gesture.

Robbie Earnshaw is a red, he hates Derby! Scoring goal number two.

There was one more chance before half time where an excellent cross from Shorey almost found Blackstock, unusually Brown actually was in the right place and alert enough to head the ball over his own bar and to safety.  Half time came and there was much rejoicing, there really wasn’t much fault to pick with the Reds performance.  One thing I hadn’t mentioned was them taking off two players in the first half, one of whom was Matty Fryatt.  Odd decisions there, Mr Pearson.

The Second Battlalion of the Mercian Regiment paraded around the pitch to a great ovation from all the fans at City Ground – bless them, I’m not sure how much of the game they got to see with the to-ing and fro-ing from their designated seating area – but it was good to see them get a good reception from players and fans alike.

The second half was underway and Leicester looked a side that had had a bit of a rollocking, so there was more endeavour but still little quality.  And it was only three minutes into the half when Earnie burst through, strolled around Brown who was busy waving a white flag, and finished well into the top of the net (thought it was going over!) to cap a cracking hattrick.

Moments later came perhaps the controversy.  I couldn’t see if it was a foul or not (although I understand from numerous better placed fans that it was), Kelvin Wilson brought down a player and it was clear to me from my seat that it was a good 2-3 yards in the box.  The linesman gave a penalty (flag over the chest after flagging), but bizarrely the referee gave a freekick on the edge of the area.  Which predictably came to nothing.

To compound this misfortune the Reds were quick to break and make it four – Blackstock crossing to Anderson who curled a lovely shot in from 20 yards to make up for his earlier missed opportunity in the game.  Dex could’ve made it five had he put a powerful shot after chesting down Shorey’s cross anywhere other than straight at Weale.

Leicester did get a penalty in the end – a shot from Wellens hit a Reds player on the arm/hand – it was such a powerful strike I’m not sure it could be construed a deliberate handball, but perhaps the referee was mindful of the spotkick he’d denied the visitors earlier.  Waghorn struck it well, Camp was close but it struck the bar, landed either on or just over the line and into the roof of the net to give the visitors a consolation.

With the game pretty much done and dusted the Reds took their foot off the gas a bit – and Leicester actually started knocking the ball around rather than hoofing.  Admittedly with little or no end product – but it did show they are capable of more than perhaps they were delivering on an off day, but also what the Reds were allowing them to deliver.

Tys, Adebola and McCleary came on in quick succession for Raddy, Dex and Ando as Billy was perhaps mindful of resting legs and keeping people sharp for Tuesday’s trip to Bramall Lane.  Gaz almost had an instant impact, crossing from the right after beating his man to find Earnie attempting a swivelling volley which went a bit wrong – it would’ve been some goal if he’d connected..

We did get the fifth though, McCleary again the architect of sorts – having a shot blocked which fell favourably for Dele who side-footed firmly into the bottom corner to complete the rout.  The final action was Leicester hitting the post – a cracking result against a team who can’t be as bad as we made them look today given their league placing, so a big well done lads.

Really hard to pick a man of the match again, I think it has to go to Earnie not just for his fantastic hattrick but his all round play and continued hunger to score even after he’d already got three.  That said, Dex, McKenna, Anderson, Wilson, Morgan… all outstanding.  Indeed, not one of those players in a Red shirt had anything less than a very good game.  Top marks to Billy too, of course, for getting his tactics spot on.

It’s good to be a Red!  That bet I have with Victor Chandler on Forest to remain unbeaten in league games against East Midlands opponents this season is half way to being paid!

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18 Responses

  1. Fantastic performance from the Reds as they simply outclassed a very poor Leicester side. Big respect must go to Earnie not just for his hat-trick but for a brilliant celebration in front of our troops. You Reds!!

  2. I sit exactly in line with the box and it was definitely a penalty – Wilson was late and inside the box. I then thought the ref pointed to the spot and the linesman called him over and changed his mind.

    Has to be said that was the most fun I’ve had at the City Ground in ages – everything, from the appearance and reaction to the Mercians to our fantastic style of play was just perfect.

  3. Ive already commented on the game but what I will say is I’m SOOOO pleased to have stuffed the Foxes because both local BBC and ITV are so pro Leicester it makes me sick!!

    I shall look forward to them both covering it Monday evening and seeing the buggers squirm!

  4. Forest were good, they had all the breaks but they made that luck and they took it with gusto. Leicester were poorer than I expected, and when you are in that mood everything goes against you. At first I thought our first was offside but last nights replay showed they were all good doals. At 3-0 Leicester should have had a penalty but IMHO, they were out of it by then – albeit memories of the Derby game still linger! All in all we were very good value for our win and the result and in fairness Nigel Pearson acknowledged that. Earnie is looking razor sharp and Kelvin just gets better and better but good performances all round. So, enjoy as I – and as it would seem nffc did last night – but don’t get carried away. Big game Tuesday, the Blades have hit some form and we have an away record to protect. A repeat of last year – albeit more easily gained – would be a result for us. 🙂

  5. suprised we lost to the trees. Most foxes fans and probably a fair few f*rest fans thought we’d win. Well done, you won your cup final. This is the high point of your season so enjoy it this week. see you at the walkers. If you finish above d*rby, peterboro or cov you’ll have done well. blue army saving our voices for promotion party at wembley.

    • Our cup final? Business as usual at the City Ground matey. Our cup final was beating Derby, and the second leg is in January next season.

      I would be very surprised to see you in the promotion mix on that showing – although you couldn’t have got to third playing that badly, so it must’ve been a bad day.

      Clearly you didn’t come to the game 🙂

      • “see you at the walkers” is that the same ground you did’nt pay for but conveniently avoided a ten point penalty ???? we as proper fans of a team and business that have gone about our football ralated issues properly, selling our best players to balance the books instead of avoiding paying the bills ???shame on you !!! 5-1 justice in my books

    • Suprised were you? I wasn’t – we’re a good side who started the season with a run of bad luck, you’re crap side that started the season with a run of good luck – that’s why you lost and we won Sat. The measure of the difference in quality between us kind of reflects in the 5-1 scoreline and the fact that you needed a penalty to score.

      See you at the Walkers? Coughy, (get sum Benylin down u btw), believe me, I cannot wait! Seeing 3000 lester scum go home crying isn’t gonna be anywhere near as good as upsetting an entire stadium of em.

      N the last time i heard an invite like that was off a mate of mine when we beat Sheff Wed 4-1 in the Roy/Collymore season – “wait till we get u back to Hillsborough….” …..he he he 🙂

  6. LOL our final… You are second only to derby for having ego’s in direct contradiction to you trophy cabinet. Sill, hang around Foxes, Forest haven’t done with you yet. Still need to collect 3 points from your ikea style stadium” next year. …don’t ever forget that your shameful club bankrupted many small businesses in the area….. Your club doesn’t represent football in ANY way whatsoever

  7. Am surprised you missed Raddy off the list of MOM contenders NFFC. For me, he is the man that makes us tick – what a talent he is! When he went off it stopped the flowing attacking football we had been playing.

    The extra pace in our team was really telling. We ran them ragged (especially Ando) and when Leicester were hesitant and we were ruthless. Quite simply we cut them to pieces and I’m sure all the Foxes that were at the game will remember that humiliation for a long, long time! YOU REDS!!!!!!!

    • I almost included Raddy, to be honest, it started to feel a bit silly – I could have included nearly all the team 🙂

  8. Coughy old chap get real. I thought most foxes we’re gracious after yesterday before you and I strived to be too. But facts are facts and Direby were the trophy most Reds wanted badly whilst you lot we’re just another step on the way of our progession! Frankly you were poorer too so yes we’ll see you later but you’re the boys playing catch up and nobody will fear you after yesterday. Burst and Bubble come mind!!

  9. Cracking performance, cracking result, cracking linesman.

    The penno incident was an utter farce. The ref gave the pen (quite rightly) only to allow himself to be overruled by the lino. The foul (it was a foul) was only just inside the area but clearly the “right” side of the line in terms of giving a spot kick. Giving the pen for handball against Wes was even more ridiculous. He should be fined for that… and give me a ton as I had a quid on 5-0 🙂

    Daft as it sounds given the manner of our victory, I though Kelv was MoM.

    One thing Leicester deserve credit for is they are the only side who have managed to ruffle McKenna and make him panic.

    Upson subbing their No.2 and long throw specialist, the bloke next to me said “thats their playmaker gone off !” which I thought summed up their weoful display wonderfully.

    Dex to score tomorrow. He doesn’t do 3 games without scoring…

    Onwards and Upwards!! U REDS!!

  10. The ref never gave the penalty, the lino did. He placed his flag across his chest, the ref looked over and pointed to the spot.
    Then for some reason, the ref decided to talk to the linesman about it, and the decision was changed. Ridiculous, and about sums up the officials we’ve had this season. They have generally been crap for both sides!
    The Cohen booking was a joke, it was a perfect tackle.
    Does his tally start from zero again since he served the ban?

    • He’ll get a two game ban when he reaches 10. I think this also triggers an appearance before the FA Disciplinary committee where you’re warned about your future conduct. Unless you were warned last season in which case you could be fined and have an extra games ban imposed.

  11. Mr Cough

    cough twice. I think saturday will see the start of your fall down the table. You have played ok in patches, you are a tough side to breakdown but might I suggest that your confidence will have been hit?

    You don’t score many goals and you often get a team starting well in a new division then getting found out and then sinking like a stone. That could be your fate!

    See you at the crisp packet stadium. But I will give you the fact that most of the supporters stayed behind and took the beating!

    Our cup final 🙂

  12. […] – a good month for the Reds!  It started with annihilating promotion hopefuls Leicester City in an exhilarating encounter, with a convincing win over Preston North End on the way – and […]

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