Now do you believe?

"Because he is the one who believes in miracles!"

West Bromwich Albion – 1
Nottingham Forest – 3

There’s that scene in the Matrix, when Neo first faces one of the agents and fights rather than runs.  “What’s happening?” asks Trinity, Morpheus – oft derided for his faith in ‘the one’ simply answers “He’s starting to believe.”

That’s how I feel having watched the Reds spend 70 minutes demolishing West Brom.  True, there was a slip that let them in, which perhaps offers us a reminder that inevitably things won’t all go our way – but my gosh, we are certainly the architects of our fortunes at the moment, and there were some magical moments for us to celebrate.

Predictably Billy went in ‘away mode’ – but his flexible five in the middle formation worked beautifully and devastatingly today, leaving the Baggies with no choice but to lump it long and kick out petulantly as the rampant Reds gave them no time or space to play.  Magical stuff, even the Sky pundits veritably lavished us with praise.  This, folks, is pinch-yourself territory.

The line up from the Reds was:

Camp
Gunter    Morgan    Wilson    Shorey
Cohen    Moussi    McKenna    Anderson
Majewski
Blackstock

The bad news of Robbie Earnshaw limping off during the warm up saw his place on the bench go to James Perch, but still left us with a menacing looking bench of the aforementioned Perch, along with Smith, Chambers, McGugan, McGoldrick, Tyson and Adebola.  Although even in the euphoria of a great result, obviously I’m still hoping Earnie’s twinge wasn’t serious.

To return to my self-indulgent Matrix twaddle for a moment, we all know a Morpheus – those fans who believe we are great even when we’re not (so we think), but slowly even the staunchest, most pessimistic and curmudgeonly Commander Lock type characters (such as me) find themselves at least considering the possibilities of believing.

So, the game – enough nonsense from my strange mind.  The Baggies staff had done a great job on the pitch given the blizzard-like conditions the nation has suffered, although perhaps the pitch was tricky to play on as early exchanges saw both sides sloppy in possession.  A number of times fairly simple passes for either side went astray.

It was a fairly pensive start from the home side with the Reds always alert to close down, forcing quick passes and often errors.  They did attack first though, and it was characteristically Big Wes on hand to block the first bite at goal by Jerome Thomas.  They had a couple of corners which didn’t pose any problems, and it wasn’t until almost 20 minutes when Forest started to meaningfully threaten.

Unclear even after replays whether Dex bought a corner as it could’ve easily glanced off him – but Raddy took the corner and found Dex half a yard ahead of debutant Tamas to strike the ball firmly just inside the post giving the Reds the lead.  An element of fortune in getting the corner, for sure, but a great way to make the most of it!

West Brom did attack, and Camp had to be quick off his line to smother the ball before Luke Moore could get to it.  Had he been able to keep a clean sheet today he’d have beaten a club record – unsurprisingly held by Shilton at the moment (and, of course, equalled by Lee Camp!).  Raddy offered the Baggies plenty of warning of his intentions with a few attempts from around the edge of the area.

The home side were restricted – uncharacteristically for them – to lumping the ball forward which wasn’t proving much trouble for Wes and Kelv at the back, and the Reds continuous pressure on the ball up and down the pitch almost saw them profit from a fluffed Carson clearance – Raddy picking up the ball but unable to provide the killer blow on this instance.

Pundits and probably fans alike predicted West Brom to improve come the second half, but they didn’t really – they did force an early corner which Brunt kindly played directly into the arms of Lee Camp.  It only took seven minutes for something fairly amazing to happen.

After a nice spell of build-up Gunter ended up with the ball from Moussi on the right hand side, he spotted the wave of Raddy unmarked on the back stick and set up a lovely cross for him.  How many of us were expecting such a sweet left-footed volley right into the near top corner though?  A tremendous goal leaving Carson absolutely no chance at all.


No doubt the video won’t last, so watch it while you can!

No sooner had I peeled myself from the ceiling (so so gutted I didn’t go now, but it’s post-Christmas and I’m trying to save cash 😦 ) it was three-nil – ten passes occurred before Chris Cohen stroked the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the area, having been fed the ball by Guy Moussi via Chris Gunter.  Mesmerising stuff from the Reds.

Moussi – a solid return to the side for him, after a shaky start (along with most of his teammates) – was replaced by Nathan Tyson soon after the goal, and it appeared that Forest shifted into a slightly more conventional 4-4-2 formation with Tys taking position upfront and Dex slightly deeper.  However, as seems to be our way, we conceded.

Dorrans rode a Morgan challenge well down the left – see, you sometimes beat him! – and played a superb throughball-cum cross into the path of West Brom sub Bednar.  The cumbersome striker with a penchant for drug deals looked to have taken a couple too many touches, but eventually put a shot past Camp that denied the ‘keeper his record-breaking run of clean sheets.

Still, more than ten hours without conceding is some going!  This lifted West Brom and those of their fans who had decided to remain in the ground – Olsson had a decent headed effort which Camp saved at the expence of a corner – a corner which, predictably, Brunt hoofed directly into the arms of Lee Camp.  Bless ya!

The Reds were perhaps understandably not closing down at the pace they had been earlier in the game, and the visibly knackered Dex was taken off for Dele Adebola, who was immediately all over the place – tackling back as well as trying to hold up the ball up front.  Finally Raddy, who’d been booted all over the park by a surprisingly physical West Brom side, was withdrawn for James Perch.

As time ticked away West Brom started to panic again, and Forest regained control of the game.  Whilst never busting a gut to get too far forward, there was a good shout for a penalty when Anderson was shoved over in the area, and Dele should’ve done better with a chance in the area which fell to his less-favoured right foot.

The best chance in the closing stages fell to the home side, Ishmael Miller – back from a lengthy injury layoff – did well to retain the ball wide right before cutting in and unleashing a powerful left-footed drive towards the top corner of the goal, which Camp reacted well to by diving and saving at the expense of a corner.

Six minutes of stoppage time for assorted injuries and handbags was played out without much undue pressure, as the home fans streamed out the ground leaving the 2,000+ Forest fans to celebrate with their side who now find themselves up to second in the Championship.  Our highest position for some time, it has to be said!

A word for the referee today too, I thought he had a good game compared to many we’ve seen.  He was very lenient with challenges from Mattock and McKenna, both of which I’ve seen players sent off for less.  Also he let one of their lads get away with raising his hands to Kelvin (and of course, didn’t give us a penalty – but then, he did give us that corner!), but broadly he let the game flow pretty well.

All in all, a great result – I’m so proud of the lads and how they conducted themselves.  They’ve sent a resonating message to the Championship once again, and certainly the pundits on Sky seem to have sat up and really taken notice (indeed, their coverage before the game suggested they already had noticed!).  Long may it continue!

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34 Responses

  1. From http://forums.therams.co.uk

    “Forest are the best team in this league by a country mile”

    Summed it up nicely for me…. :o)

  2. Words – almost – fail me. That briliant flowing period when we just controlled the game 100% was absolutely fantastic.
    Their goal brought them to life though and it got a bit nail-biting towards the end.
    What a team…..what a manager….what a superb bunch of Forest fans.

    Hey, if I just spread my wings
    I can fly
    I can fly
    I can fly, hey
    If I just spread my wings
    I can fly
    Fly-eye-eye

    (Not Matrix but R Kelly)

  3. Who cares ? it’s how I feel tonight :-))

    (Why’s your server clock one hour ahead ?)

    • Hmm.. presume I’m hosted abroad! I’ll see if I can make an adjustment to offset it to UK time.

      • Fixed it – apparently I have to remember to manually adjust when the clocks go back / forward.

        Like that will happen! 😀

  4. Just back from the match, had to watch in theWBA end and without the bias of the Forest crowd, we were still awesome.
    Raddy’s goal was very special, we need to get him signed quickly and Moussi just seemed to be everywhere.
    We can win this league.. Believe !!!

  5. “We can win this league.. Believe !!!”

    Absolutely, no doubt, I do!!!!

  6. >>NFFC
    OK – early reminder
    28th March when the clocks go forward.
    We should be firmly established in the top two by then…….
    :-)) :-)) :-)) :-)) :-)) :-)) :-)) :-)) :-))

  7. simply outstanding result.

  8. Awesome! Very, very proud to be a Forest Fan!

  9. Moussi had a great game in the centre of the park and was so influencial in the way the reds kept possession so well and easily in the first half . No surprise to see us struggle a bit more when he was subbed . I thought Billy outsmarted his opposite number tonight as well .starting with what appeared to be a defensive line up which di Matteo would have been expecting but then taking the game to them would have caught the baggies off guard . That early goal then sealed their fate . We have a genius at the helm . Heady days

  10. Saw it streamed on the net…Fantastic !.
    What a boost before tuesday !!!
    We have waited a long time to see Forest playing like Champions,but it´s been worth the wait !
    Well played Forest !!!
    I hope raddy and Shorey are signed soon !!

  11. Dreamland. And if the toon lose any players in the window you never know?!!! Mr V Chandler may be sweating. That great season ticked bet gesture doesnt look so safe now does it?

    Still. Even if we came 6th you have to fancy us for doing well in the playoffs, and there is a good chance that before the end of January we will have exceeded the total points score for last season.

    Is billy the new brian?

  12. My Cousin said, why did I want to go to this match even though it was on Sky? Well, it was planned well before the cold set in, firstly & 2nd – it was close to Nottingham & I really wanted to see the team in action LIVE, not TV LIVE!!! 😉

    Well, 1-3 and unbeaten away says it all. 🙂

    Was on the coach with the infamous Heikke & Ebby and despite the conditions, we got there at 5.30 well ahead of the match.

    It’s back to Cyprus on Wednesday (supposedly) so I believe I got my present from the club. Bring on Birmingham on Tuesday.

    Oh, and that away support – unbelievable. Just brilliant.

  13. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    BELIEVE

    It just keeps getting better and better and better…..

    ” We all agree Nottingham Forest and Magic and Magic and Magic….”

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  14. I think Moussi had a great game (even though he was clearly rusty). It was notable that WBA got back into it and found space in midfield once he went off. The side looks most balanced with him in the centre of the mid – his athleticism complements mckenna and raddy. Hopefully this side/formation becomes the de-fault away model.

    • It’s not a bad default home model either . We had so much possession and owned WBA until my MOM moussi was subbed

  15. How is snowy U.K? We in Poland enjoy Radek’s game. Don’t care abt weather. . . He seems to be brain of Nottingham team. I’ve never excepted that polish can become key player in big english club. Maybe some keeper but not midfielder or striker. . U should sign him permament. Radek is still perspect player, even if he looks like 12. Haha. Once again, I would like to thank all Nottingham fans for supporting Majewski. Cheers from snowy Poland

  16. In king Billy we trust,not since the late 70s have i felt this good about the team,we have had about 10 years of shite(not Harty) and at long last the Board look to have got it right,Watford at home are the only team that have made us look poor for a full 90 mins,we have more than matched all the other so called big teams,you cant pick and choose when to go up,and when this happens in May Billy will have us more than ready,a big thanks to ND for getting wee Billy on board and giving him cash to get such a fine bunch of players together,(WILSON my player of the season come May).

  17. Great match watched on pub tv in dublin. Went well with several pints of the black stuff! Excellent performance!

  18. This performance had me purring with pleasure.

    Its been a log time since Ive enjoyed a game so much and even when they scored their goal (what WAS Wes doing out on the wing??) after a nervy 5 mins, we took control again.

    We owed Albion this after their smash and grab at the City Ground so its was double pleasure as far as I’m concerned.

    Billy’s tactics??? Brilliant!

  19. That was one job well and truly done. Maj’s goal was truly superb but Cohen’s is goal-of-the-season for me (so far!!) – the one-touch passing, movement and utter confidence displayed by all involved was an utter joy to behold.

    I started to dream after the Barnsley game when McGugan’s strike against Cardiff went in, I think that dream turned into optimism. After last night, I truly believe we will go up. Automatically.

  20. […] the original post on Through the seasons before […]

  21. bloody bloody brilliant I woke my little one up when Raddy scored his goal? It just gets bettera and bettera.
    PolishF1 anymore like Raddy?

  22. Many times

  23. 10 passes for that Cohen goal, and was he crying afterwards? Incredible stuff.

    I had a fiver at 66-1 on Forest winning 3-0 so gutted over that west brom goal, but an amazing performance at times and we should have had a pen too. On another day McKenna might have walked for that tackle but I think the game was ours by then.

    Look at the gap we’ve opened up on Cardiff too! 3 horse race and we’ve sent the other two to the glue factory already.

  24. An excellent win for Forest, which has opened the league’s collective eye. You are definitely contenders now. A report written for the neutral on the game is here: http://thetwounfortunates.blogspot.com/2010/01/were-nottingham-forestunbeaten-away.html

  25. Just a thought and its a big iF…..but if Festa win all their games in hand they’ll be level on points with us?

  26. Watched it in the fellows in town. Absolutely epic performance. I haven’t felt so happy since the days of collymore and roy beating man u at old trafford. These are truly great times to be a red. As for the goals…they were all good, but the last 2 i’ll be using to ensure my 3 yr old son grows up supporting the mighty reds. Long majewsky it continue.

  27. Hi All , i want to thank you all for suporting Raddy 🙂 I am very happy and impresed that polish football player can play in very that strong Football Club which is Forest. Im sure that he want’s to stay with u . You can see that Poland have only some good keeper’s in Premier League , but haven’t got a chance to watch mid in premier league a long time ! GO GO RADY ! STAY IN ENGLAND FOR YOUR FUTURE ! 🙂

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