Sweet sixteen as Coventry succumb..

Another stand-out performance from Kelvin Wilson!

Nottingham Forest – 2
Coventry City – 0

Apologies for the tardy report – it’s becoming a bit of a habit, isn’t it?  Unplanned drunken antics and a day full of errands now places are open have made this my first opportunity to try to put into a words a game that – in truth – probably wasn’t all that memorable (aside from the goals).  Either that or I drank a bit more than I thought last night!

Billy made a few changes for the visit of Coventry to give us a more overtly attacking look than our away formation – our visitors too, to their credit, came to try to get something out of the game too.  Forest lined up with:

Gunter   Morgan    Wilson    Shorey
Cohen   McKenna    Majewski    Tyson
Earnshaw    Blackstock

The Reds were first on the attack through Tys, but the visitors also threatened through Leon Best.  Shortly after Kelv was down with an injury which had us worried, but he was back on the pitch soon enough to continue his recent run of excellent form.  A couple of minutes later we had the ball in the net, only to be confounded by the linesman’s flag.

Shorey had played a fantastic ball to Tyson, who turned and fired beyond Westwood with a tremendous finish.  It was impossible for me to tell whether or not the flag was justified, I’m assured by better sited people that it looked like it was Earnie rather than Tys who was probably offside – so it could’ve been a bad call.  It wouldn’t be surprising, as Clattenburg and his assistants provided another hapless performance in officiating.

The Sky Blues seemed to favour counter-attacking like us – and Gunts needed to be alert to clear and prevent a goal for the visitors as the game started to get disjointed.  Raddy had a shot from range after a simple pass from McKenna but was only able to put it over the bar – it wasn’t too far away, though as Forest started to look more convincing.

Earnie picked up the ball on the edge of the box and struck a good shot goalwards to sting the hand of Westwood in the Coventry goal at the expense of a corner.  Corner’s didn’t prove to be our strong point on this day, though – and eventually it was again our visitors who were on the attack.

Best got away from Raddy far out, he struck a powerful shot from this distance, it was pretty much straight at Camp who shaped to gather it to his chest – but he must’ve misjudged it or it must’ve moved at the last minute as it seemed to ricochet off him and just wide of the far post.  Lucky escape there!

The goal finally came and it was a big relief.  A true counter-attack saw Raddy pick up the ball around half-way and burst forward, with Tyson literally burning up the pitch to his left and making a run into the box, it took the Coventry defence away from Earnie to his right.  Raddy played a delicious ball just right for Earnie to run on to and dink the ball over Westwood, with Tys lurking incase the Welshman missed the target.

Coventry responded positively, Cork did well but couldn’t beat Camp with his cross, which brought about half time with the Reds one to the good.  Forest fans are starting to get accustomed to being a decent side – gone is the stressed out wringing-of-hands, and relaxed banter takes the fore.  Pride comes before a fall, they say – we should be careful.

The Sky Blues started the second half the more positive side – Morrison bringing a decent save from Camp with a shot from the edge of the area, but he had to settle for a corner.  At the other end Raddy was trying to weave more magical passing – he found Tys who had burst down the right hand side but the striker/winger’s effort was miskicked and horribly missed the target.

In a very end-to-end period McIndoe missed the target after good work from Morrison, and Wes had to be brave to slide in and block a Gunnarsson cross shortly after.  Coventry played very physically which looked to unsettle the Reds a number of times, although Wils was alert enough to put in a tremendous block to prevent an equaliser for the visitors.

Billy used his first substitution to take off Tys, who’d just been booked for a late challenge (probably deservedly, I might add!).  He put on McCleary which put Forest very much back on a 4-4-2 kind of formation rather than the strange narrow 4-3-3 that had been developing with the previous personnel.

Earnie was withdrawn to a great response from the crowd, and big Dele was introduced to give us a bit more muscle upfront.  It was only a matter of moments he was heavily involved in the next Forest goal – Dele picked up the ball in the area from the left, he looked to have lost out to a defender before winning it back and getting the ball into a dangerous area.

Before he had a chance to think about having a pop he must’ve had an almighty shout from Dex who steamed in and blasted an unstoppable rocket into the net from a ridiculous angle.  Lovely goal!  Given that our visitors had looked eminently capable of forcing a goalscoring chance or two, it was a big relief to have opened up a bit of a gap.

McCleary burst forward down the left with a fantastic break, beating one man to get into the penalty area and eventually forcing a corner.  The visitors heads had dropped after the second goal and it seemed to take the pressure off Forest who were better able to control and keep the ball.  Billy took the opportunity to withdraw Raddy for McGugan – both of whom got an excellent response from the crowd.

A great pass from Blackstock released Dele behind the offside trap, but the big fella didn’t quite have the pace to get beyond the defenders chasing him, so his hurried shot from further out than he’d have preferred was off-target.  A pity it wasn’t the other way around as Dex has a bit of pace – certainly one of our pacier players would’ve been better placed!

Lewis was clearly desperate to keep his run of scoring from the bench going, he tried his ‘dink inside’ trick but didn’t quite pull it off, and a Coventry defender was able to clear, and shortly after did just about get a shot away, but the well-timed last ditch challenge blocked the shot and also resulting in Lewis on the deck injured.

Two fairly routine saves for Lee Camp during injury time signed off this game – by no means a classic, but it was good to see Forest cope with Coventry’s direct and physical approach.  Credit to our opponents they didn’t come to all-out defend like we’ve often seen at the City Ground this season, they certainly came for a game – and at times it was interesting to watch.

With Newcastle failing to register three points at home to Derby maybe there is a sign of the Geordies starting to falter?  Certainly I’m enjoying the sensation of being third without getting too dizzy looking beyond.  This was a solid three points though, against a decent Coventry side who performed well on the day too.  Onward and upward!