Reds stand firm to beat dirty Blades..

Earnie - back in the team, back on the scoresheet!

Nottingham Forest – 1
Sheffield United – 0

Phew! That was more hard work than perhaps it ought to have been, but the Reds have recovered well from a couple of wibbles on their travels to notch a much sought-after win against the Blades this evening.  An early goal gave the Reds the advantage they needed, the fans gave Billy some much needed love from the stands and at times we started to knock the ball around well like we know we can!

Inevitably our opponents came back into it, although they looked low on confidence and it probably made sense to let them have a bit of possession as they seemed to inevitably end up just giving us the ball back anyway.  An early second half red card for Henderson for something nobody except the linesman saw (so fair play to him!) if anything gave the impetus to our niggly visitors whose brief became the more typical ‘kick them’ Sheffield United performance.

There was plenty of early mutual appreciation ‘twixt Billy and the fans, the manager reverting to the more familiar ‘home’ line-up, with Ando, Dex and Earnie restored to the starting line-up with Forest in the more balanced 4-4-2 formation – a welcome change from the weekend’s experiment-gone-wrong at Doncaster…

Gunter    Morgan    Wilson    Perch
Cohen    McKenna    Majewski    Anderson
Earnshaw    Blackstock

The Reds attacked from the off, and with some real positive backing from the stands it wasn’t long before Cohen had the first chance of the game, shooting just wide from the edge of the box.  With less than four minutes on the clock we had a corner which caused a degree of panic, the next corner – taken by Raddy, found Anderson who headed goalwards – with Earnie on hand to make sure it went in, and pinching the winger’s goal in the process!

Over the next twenty minutes Forest stroked the ball around well – at times demonstrating their ability to pass and move with ease that we’ve not seen for a while.  Despite this slick movement and dominance there wasn’t much in the way of chances – and I don’t recall anything Mark Bunn had to do until another dangerous corner from Raddy found Dex around the penalty spot (very reminiscent of his goal at West Brom), but his connection was poor leaving Bunn with a simple catch.

Another chance came for Anderson who missed the target under pressure after good work between Gunter and Cohen.  United were starting to wake up a tough, though – Perch should’ve got his head on a Nosworthy cross which left Camp scrambling to dive and save to his left with McKenna making the clearance.  It was a short respite for the visitors though, Cohen bursting forward down the right and crossing just over Earnie, with the defender making a good clearance at the expense of a corner to deny the onrushing Anderson.

The second half started with Henderson seeing his marching orders, and I’ve no idea now what for as I had followed the ball – it’s being reported as an elbowing on Anderson on the official site, other folks I’ve spoken to suggested stamping.  I wasn’t sorry to see him go as he’d looked a threat – not to mention a pretty shocking foul on Perch that went unpunished in the first half which I neglected to mention before.  Despite this, the visitors continued to threaten in that curious way sides reduced to ten men can do.

Yeates was just wide from the edge of the area, and it became a more end-to-end game, Yeates again shooting from range – this time straight at Camp.  The Reds tended to try to contain and started to struggle to replicate the crisp passing they’d managed at times in the first half – although a great burst from Cohen saw the midfielder unleash a decent effort that Bunn parried to Anderson, but he was on his left foot at an awkward angle and could only shoot wide.

Tyson was introduced for Anderson at this point, but it was still the visitors starting to make inroads – generally by very direct means (as you would expect), and increasingly physical (read: dirty).  The referee tonight was broadly pretty good, but he did seem quite lenient in smy (admittedly biased) view.  A decent cross from Cresswell was headed away by Perch at one point, but the Reds were able to get in a few attacks of their own.

Great work from Robbie Earnshaw tricking his way into the penalty area saw him release Tyson who shot firmly across Bunn who made the save, with Earnie looking like he was expecting the ball back from him despite having two or three Blades defenders in close attendance, which gave the Reds another corner.  McGoldrick was introduced for Earnshaw but still Forest struggled to stem the tide and the Blades continued to enjoy more possession if not actually much in the way of chances.

The final substitution saw Moussi come on for Raddy to help shore up midfield (although I thought Raddy was excellent tonight, as was McKenna – so much for my theory of him needing a rest!).  Still Forest struggled to hold on to possession to try to kill off the game, the last chance falling to the impressive Quinn and but for a fantastic last-ditch tackle from James Perch I’m convinced he would have equalised which would’ve been a real kick in the teeth.

All in all, very happy with the win – glad to see at least glimpses of the Reds starting to knock the ball around with confidence again in the first half and whilst there are always the inevitable chunterers, it was good that the fans were mostly positive – something Davies seemed keen to acknowledge.  Apparently he said something that laid down the gauntlet with regard to transfers in his post-match interview, but I didn’t get back to my car soon enough to hear it, so any commenters who did I’d be glad to hear what he said!

With Middlesbrough coming to the City Ground hot on the Blades’ heels, it is good to be back in winning ways – they’ve had a mixed time under Strachan, particularly on their travels, and lost 2-0 to Blackpool tonight at Bloomfield Road.  With eight home wins on the bounce in the league now the Reds should be feeling fairly confident, but as ever in The Championship it’s another tricky game against a side who will feel their league placing should be much better!

A run of eight consecutive league wins is something we’ve not seen at the City Ground for 30 years – indeed, given my age I’ve never seen it at all (and at least been conscious of it happening) which is an excellent achievement in a season full of many excellent achievements already.  So hat’s off to Billy and the boys for pulling that one off, and it puts us to within a couple of points of the automatic spots again – admittedly with West Brom and Newcastle enjoying games in hand over us.

33 Responses

  1. That was a great win and keeps us firmly in the race for a strong end-of-season!

    Taking a look at the league table also suggests that the top 6 are beginning to break away and personally, I am going to make sure that i can get to London on Saturday 22nd May for the Championship Play-off Final (vs. Leicester????)

    U Reds!

    • don’t bother with that plan, we had a hicup and soon we will be on another run again: newcastle will choke and we will get auto promotion.

    • I hope you’ve got that date wrong mate, I’m on holiday! But aren’t the play-offs usually the bank holiday weekend, (29-31st) the CCC being on the Monday??

      • I think the championship play-offs are a week early this year due to World Cup.

        League One and Two are on the bank hol weekend.

        • The Championship Play-off Final is the 22nd (a week earlier than normal) to allow players to be called-up for World Cup squads which have to be announced the following week.

  2. Good performance from the boys last night. Kenno was superb, and silenced a lot of critics.
    Sheff Utd were possibly the worst defensive team we’ve seen at the CG this year. They were dire. We should really have battered them in the first half, especially down the flanks.
    And that Henderson fella, he was lucky to be on the pitch at all. He could have been booked at least 3 times in the first half for bad fouls, two on Wes. The ref let dirty blades back-chat him far too much.

    Nice to hear the positive chants, and see BD acknowledge the crowd regularly.

    We are one big happy family again!

  3. We needed to dig one out and we did well done billy and the boys.Ive been saying for weeks the team looks jaded and tired and we are.

    In response nffc, yea the wee man was saying we have looked tired for weeks and had a go again at the board for lack of activity.

    New faces does lift a side and also competition for places hots up ,and if im honest billy has done his bit and many of the players but the board arent backing him its clear from his comments.

    At the mo we only have 19 fit to play you cant expect to go up to the premier leage with that its so shortsighted and niave.

    Well done boys

    U reds

  4. well done my beloved forest,still angry at some fans who just moan(and we were winning!) when the ball has been kicked away to no one.they were whinging about our wes,our wes has been a rock for years and will be a legend like psycho! last night was a massive game for us after a few defeats and of course theplayers were anxious. keep the faith and keep off there backs!

    • Steady there forest forbesy. Wes has been playing well and he really stepped up last season when we needed it most but he has not even begun to stake a claim for ‘legend’ status. Right now he’s playing well and getting better but he shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath as Psycho. Lets check in on him in 3 years time and see where we’re at. As a player he needs to develop more and his leadership really needs to come to the fore if we are going to start calling him a Forest legend.

    • Yes im with you about Wes.

  5. Question to the masses.???

    I fear if we dont go up due to us running out of steam and not adding quality to the side.We might lose billy to a premier leage side.What think other reds.?

    And as nffc mentioned the man has just set 8 wins on bounce at CG for first time in 30yrs Remarkable !!

  6. Redric

    As you said on another site I don’t know ought about football? 😉 A little bet…….I played at a higher level than you?

    Anyway “it’s clear the board aren’t backing him?” This is just stuff and nonsense! WMD is on the AP we’ve been over this before. Let’s see what loans come in shall we? Oh and by the way I’ve heard a rumour that WMD is in charge of the loans himself!!!!!

  7. I thought Majewski was superb last night. Aside from his fabulous footwork, he really got stuck in and gave a fabulous all round performance. Quite how he managed to pick up a booking is beyond me given even a tenth of the other stuff going on. Bloomin hapless officials.

    Onwards and Upwards – better make the top two, don’t fancy the Sheep in the play-offs!

  8. BTW, liking the new banner a lot.

  9. Oh – get them lucky pants in the wash ready for Saturday Mattyboy!!

  10. Now Now reg i take it thats the pongo coming out in you just now.I didnt say you now ought about football just found your comments a bit of the wall.

    And tongue and cheek a liitle bit of friendly banter as you are a pongo according to your title.

    I didnt think pongos could run never mind play football.

  11. Special mention should go to Perchy who had a decent game last night (though we all know he doesn’t look confortable at left back). AND that tackle at the end of the match was OUTSTANDING. He saved us last night.

    Onwards and upwards !

  12. Redric

    Pongos can’t run….bloody hell I did enough of that in my time I can tell thee 🙂 Still do when the old knees work. I knew it was a bit of banter and I’m old enough and ugly enough to take it! But some of my comments “were a bit off the wall”?(:

    I think that over the last few weeks quite a few fans have been looking for a scapegoat and I don’t think there is one! We (British) people are getting quite American in our blame and litigious culture?

  13. steady there! ha i like it, see your point AD_BC. I did say will be, should of said hopefully will be

  14. Dont do blame culture reg ,and certainly dont buy into any american ideals either.Wee billy davies is a football man through and through and he is quite right in pulling the forest board up as they are limpwristed.

    Hes bang on with what he says to the media and he really knows his stuff football wisre.Im not sure forest can match his drive and ambition,

    On a friendlier note what you pongos class as running and i think you call it tabbing is quite different to what bootnecks are used too.

    And hey at least we used to wash ! ive met some pretty grunjy pongos thus the percy pongo handle.But your a good forest man so i cant dish out too much sticjk.

    U reds

  15. Tabbing that’s like yomping, only slower and with less weight! Good result last night and still believe we’re automatic, Newcastle are going to start dropping points…

  16. billy is not going to let M’Arhturs pitiful performance in the window rest , judging by his comments last night on the lack of new faces. He is dead right and we all agree with him . how can Nigel D have sanctioned
    bids for Moses and Pratley (and Best?) be tabled
    and then in the end no one comes in .

    Arthur must shipout in my opinion as he has little or no competence at the real job he’s paid to do .
    I note last night the pies again werent hot !

    • Moses was offered prem league. Best wanted to go to Newcastle and Pratley wasn’t allowed to leave by his club which stands to reason as we wouldn’t want any of our players going to promotion rivals. There in lies the simple answer of why we didn’t get anyone.

      I agree that M’Arthur and Pleat seem like a waste of money and another layer of crap that the manager has to wade through to get anything done. But us not getting our targets probably has just as much to do with who we targeted as it does with the frailties of the transfer committee. The players were all good and if they are that good then other clubs will want them as well. And those other clubs will be able to offer more wages or premier league football. They might just show a stronger desire to make the player feel wanted. Lets not forget that when a club goes in for a player its not just a matter of the other club accepting a fee and off the player goes. The player will be interviewing his prospective employees. If it doesn’t feel right to him then they aren’t going to come. End of. Players have turned down the chance to play for Brian Clough, Alex Ferguson and all the other greats why shouldn’t it happen to Billy Davies?

      Far be it from me to suggest who we should and shouldn’t bring in but as competition for quality players is so high and money not being readily available, would it not be prudent to try and unearth other quality players like Majewski? Send some scouts to Scandinavia and N. Europe who will have a similar work ethic and environment to Championship clubs. Get the jump on our rivals instead of going for the players that are probably wanted by at least 5-6 clubs (and some them will be premier league).

  17. AD_BC, a very clear and correct answer. The panel is not to blame for not landing those 3 players and Billy knows that. Those players would have have not joined Forest, panel or no panel.
    Billy is the best thing that has happened to this club in years and I think he is brilliant, but I also think that he 90% of what he says in the press should be taken with a pinch of salt.
    The transfer targets are down to Billy, so who were the back ups ????? If there wasn’t a plan B for left back then that is down to Billy.
    My guess is that he wants rid of certain members of the panel and spouting off in the press is the best way to achieve this.

    In Billy we trust, onwards & upwards.

    • Yep. I think he just wants to be able to have full control. Who can blame him? Its him who will be sacked if things don’t work out, not M’arthur or Pleat.

      By supplying a list of targets we have little or no chance of getting he’s just making the transfer panel look bad, Which in turn only adds to the pressure of it being disbanded. Its more than likely he just wants rid of Pleat as M’Arthur is just a money man and I doubt he’s going to pipe up in a meeting with ND and BD and say ‘I don’t think we should sign X, his Carling Opta stats don’t add up and in my opinion he isn’t good enough’. He’ll be laughed out the room. He hasn’t got a football opinion he will be managing the books and looking into how Forest can afford the outlay.

      While there is another football brain (I use the term ‘brain’ loosely with Pleat) on the panel it undermines BD’s management and its the differences of opinion that have probably caused BD to start this campaign. ND has to decide now on how he wants this to continue. He’s put into practice this panel and nobody likes to admit they’re wrong, to be honest it was probably a good thing to do with Calderwood in charge, but now we have a manager who doesn’t need advice on who he should or shouldn’t sign. If ND is worried about the recommendations then ask the scouts for a report as well. Get rid of Pleat and Billy will be happy.

  18. If Forest can get another Raddy I’d be delighted. So fair play for pointing out the foreign leagues there.
    I’m delighted we beat our bogey team last night though, seldom do we witness a team like Sheff Utd, whom it appears have lost touch with the true meaning of football.
    Consistent dirty tactics through the years leave them with a reputation well deserved.
    Forest would normally capitulate against such teams (see direby) but last night they dug in. Top marks!


  19. Red Ric

    3 40 42 or 45? Yomping/tabbing? One of the toughest excercises I ever did was with you lot? Bootneck 🙂 🙂

  20. Yea reg i served in one of the above mentioned units and in other places.Not gonna say too much as my profile is on other websites and pictures to boot.

    It wouldnt take a rocket scientist to work out who i am.But yea there are a couple of ex bootnecks who comment on this site ive been out for quite a while and i think im fully rehabed up ??? i think ???? twitch twitch ……….

  21. Red Ric

    Ex Poole then? Hereford!

  22. Red Ric

    Good luck with the rehab…..when I came out I just hit the bottle so …..I guess that make me a recovering alcoholic! But it was a long time ago?

    For the same reasons as you I have no picture on anything and I don’t even have a facebook page!

  23. The rehab is just tongue in cheek mate, a good wife and a beutiful wee boy have balanced me out since i left the forces thank the lord/

    And of course forest having been in the mire for yrs does nothing for any of our day to day happiness.But hey ho were on the up i just hope we can keep wee billy for a while hes a damn good manager.

    U reds

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