Will we win away again?

"And the fat drummer hit the beat with all his heart." Lee Jobber. Leicester nutjob.

Leicester City – 3
Nottingham Forest – 0

There’s no getting away from it, a 3-0 reverse is an indictment that things didn’t go well, however, I don’t think it’s unfair to suggest it’s slightly flattering to the hosts today – who turned up their performance after a lacklustre first half to bag three second half goals to consign the Reds to their fourth away defeat on the bounce.  So much for unbeaten away, eh?  Isn’t it funny how these things turn around over the course of a season?

Billy again went for ‘home mode’ in his line-up – electing not to change his personnel or shape (although Earnie found himself on the right wing occasionally) which I’m beginning to wonder whether is the right thing to do or not.  Bear in mind he first did this at Derby away, and we know what happened there!  But anyway, a by now familiar line-up looked like this:

Gunter    Morgan    Wilson    Perch
Cohen    McKenna    Majewski    Anderson
Earnshaw    Blackstock

The first item of interest in the first half was Camp requiring treatment after being assaulted in the box.  In a pattern that would repeat throughout the game, the referee didn’t seem to see much wrong in anything that the home players got up to whilst quick to punish Reds players.  I’ll get my referee rants out the way early doors, I think.

In the first half Earnie was booked for throwing the ball to  a Leicester player, and Raddy was booked for diving – subsequent offences of a comparable nature by home players were not similarly punished by yet another hapless referee.  It took four bookable fouls from Oakley to finally get carded too.  That said, these niggles don’t really change the game – it wasn’t until the second half that the referee would have a hand in this.

Anyway, the first chance of the game came for the home side, Waghorn missing the target after a decent run which got him past McKenna and Morgan.  Raddy struck from range for us, but it was as easy a save as Weale will ever have to make.  Ultimately both sides were poor in possession, and Leicester were closing Forest down very quickly which debilitated our usual passing style.

Our best chance came on the half hour mark, a rare Forest freekick was awarded out on the left near the touchline, Raddy struck a lovely in-swinging ball which Earnie – of all people – found himself on the end of, he headed against the bar, which ricocheted to Cohen who couldn’t get much power on a goalward header which was cleared off the line – eventually Cohen got the ball back to cross in, but an awkward looking over-head kick as a result from Earnie went wide.

It certainly livened up the Forest fans who’d been in generally good spirits – unlike the home supporters who required the motivation of a rotund topless gentleman banging a drum above them from a special drumming gantry to rouse them into occasional songs.  The rest of the half fizzled out with the Reds pressing, but never really breaking through the dogged Leicester defence.

Billy took off Anderson (who is ‘a donkey’ according to the complete fuckwit sat behind me) at half time and replaced him with Tyson.  Apparently the winger has been suffering with illness.  The second half started as the first had ended really – both sides seeking to break on the other but wasteful use of the ball meaning chances were limited.

The home side did start to look more confident though, and they returned the favour of striking the crossbar after a header from Morrison, although he was offside at the time.  After this Wils slide in with a brilliant tackle on Waghorn but was immediately in some distress – it looked serious (we thought broken arm/wrist), but then he carried  on playing.  Odd, but a relief, he’d been our best player so far.

Wilson’s injury seemed to really affect us and him though, our generous giving away of the ball nearly put Gallagher in a great position but he shot over.  Moments later they were ahead, and you could – in fairness – sese it coming.  A freekick was lofted over, headed into the area and Perchy couldn’t clear further than Wellens who lumped it back in where Berner finished well into the roof of the net.

This brought the home fans to life somewhat, but Forest – with McGoldrick on for Majewski – were on the attack.  Earnie crossed to McGoldrick who headed to Perch, Perch tried to prod it goalward where it appeared to be saved in a Nicky Shorey-like manner by Jack Hobbs on the line.  Of course, the referee didn’t see anything and certainly wasn’t going to give Forest a penalty.

That doesn’t really excuse Reds heads dropping though and Leicester getting the chance to double their lead.  It was a well-struck freekick from Gallagher – although I’m still utterly mystified as to what the kick was given for, when the ref blew I (and James Perch) assumed it was going to be a freekick to us if anything, so unobvious was the supposed offense.  No denying the finish was quality though, Gallagher was booked for over-celebrating in a rare show of discipline against a home player.

The salt as well and truly rubbed in the wounds in not very long at all too, the Foxes had their tails up (fnar, couldn’t resist!) and were looking confident and attacking in numbers.  A tame sho from Berner was easily covered by Camp until deflecting off Andy King and wrong-footing him.  So that’s five-four on aggregate, I suppose.  I think Leicester probably did do enough to deserve the win, but still think 3-0 is flattering.  It would be interesting to see what would’ve happened if we were given a penalty at 1-0.

There was time for a late consolation attempt by McKenna, but Weale was alert enough to tip it over to make the save and keep the home side’s clean sheet intact.  Many fans left – but a gratifyingly large number stayed to applaud the side off – sure, they hadn’t been great, but let’s keep big picture here, this season – regardless of what happens from now – has seen us take tremendous strides forward.

Leicestershire’s police force seemed to abandon any idea of segregating so there were distasteful skirmishes between the fans as we made our way to the coaches, which took an age to traipse through what I can only assume are the horrible bits of Leicester, much of the streets within a mile or more of the ground lined with people loitering just to apparently look at the coaches of Forest fans.

Bizarre!  Do our fans do that to away supporters?  I tend to just head to the pub, but maybe some of the City Ground faithful do!  And so eventually our procession reached the motorway actually in reasonable spirits having had plenty of opportunity to chuckle at some of the strange characters who chose to treat us to their attentions – most of them would make good extras for episodes of Shameless.

Back at home next week – but the conversion of an unbeaten away run into a simply beaten away run is a concern, regardless of how flattering the scoreline might have been, and no matter how dreadful the referee was, as I said above, there’s plenty of work for Billy and the boys to be getting on with in sorting things out – and, dare I say, the transfer acquisitions panel too?

20 Responses

  1. We’re a play off side, we’re not yet premiership material, so let’s build on that by getting some loan signings in to spice things up a bit. Fact is we lost, so let’s stop talking ourselves up too much and get back to business.

    Trouble after the match should be punished by reducing ticket allocations at the historic home of East Midlands sport.

  2. 5-4 on Aggregate! 5-4 on Aggregate…..

    The post match interviews with billy revealed several players were feeling ill at half time. Ando threw up and cohen too I think. (A common reaction when in Leicester?)

    Lots of chanting against us. And fans content to go “aaaaaaaa” for long periods. They hate us as much as we hate the sheep. Quite sad that they are so keen to be rivals but we’re not that bothered – they being just another team (unlike the sheep)

    If it had been the 2 legged playoff we’d have been through. Do well to remember that as we might just have to repeat the feat in a few weeks.

  3. aaaarrrghhh !

  4. I agree with the bigger picture comment nffc and there has been big strides forward no doubt.But i think we are still a good bit short of promotion material.

    When it comes to local rival games we seem to bottle it still and there is still a big weakness in the side as yet.Our form is poor at mo and we seem to be making hard work of things fresh faces are needed for final run in.

    Next week is a big game we win we go 8 clear of the swans we lose i think were in trouble.

  5. We Have to beat the swans !!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Suposed rumours of loans hasn’t shown any truth (again). It is getting tiresome now.

    Anyway, haven’t looked at results but know WBA & Newcastle both won. What is it with Forest and playing Neighbours away? I don’t think we’ve beaten any of them. Coventry, Derby & Leicester now (I’ll see in a bit).

    Just ckd the results, oops – not good at all. These teams above & below us have got a game in hand on us…

  7. Apparently Billy was well p*ssed off with the ref who (according to Billy post match radio chat) said to McKenna 2 mins in, that he should have red carded him against the Toon. WTF is that all about???

    Disappointing result for sure. We havent won away now since Shorey left so is this a coincidence or not?

    I reckon we need 7 out of the next 9 points to stay in the hunt.

    • Heard someone mention that. It’s scandalous that a referee allowed a previous encounter to colour his judgement in a completely seperate game.

      He was a total homer, that’s for sure. Matt Oakley should’ve been booked four challenges before he was finally… dirty fecker.

      As for the kicking-ball away blind-eyes he gave them despite booking Earnie, and ignoring their dives whilst booking Raddy… bloody double standards.

  8. Just after Nicky Shorey went i put in to you that forest had not won away from home well its carrying on we really missed out there. How can we go all the games we did unbeaten and then just capitulate like we have tired legs lost nerves and confidence is the problem oh and lack of 4 or 5 players Well done Doughty and co this is down to your lack of vision and forthought for years I have hoped he would sell our club on, but he is still in there with his motley crew 10 years out the top flight and who has been in charge for those ten years,I REST MY CASE.

    • I would say there’s more than just the signing (or lack thereof) of Nicky Shorey (or any other credible left back, since Shorey – in my opinion – was always an unrealistic option once there was top flight interest) that has impacted us.

      Then again, Billy always said Forest was a 2-3 year project for him to get to the top flight – so I think you’re jumping the gun with your accusations. We’ve over-achieved this season, and are being found a bit wanting at this stage.

      But it’s still one HELL of a lot better than last season.

      We tried to strengthen in January – we might’ve over-stretched on targets, but would you rather be being linked with Victor Moses, Nicky Shorey, Darren Pratley and the like, or would you rather be signing Wayne Rooney’s shit brother from Macclesfield?

      I know which end of the A52 I’d rather be.

      • Spot on nffc.

        In reality, the unbeaten run should have ended a few times when we took points away from home that we didn’t deserve. That would have put us ‘in the pack’ for a play-off place, probably as much as we could expect for the season – and bizarrely the moaning from naysayers would be less if that were our position.

        In the good run Billy kept saying [something like] “we have a young side … confidence is up ,,, not sure they will cope under pressure” – and guess what, he was spot on.

        As for transfer panel … our targets went to Premier League teams, if there is fault it is in over-reaching for players who were too good for Division 2 [or whatever we play in now].

        As for “we must sign a good left back”, Hmmm, there must be a Prem side with a quality left back who is so good he isn’t getting a game? Yeah right.

        We did exceptionally well getting Shorey, but could it be he saw us as the shop window? Bale was talked about – but he has proved he is too good for Div 2. I would love to see Billy pull someone out of the hat, but good left backs have always been at a premium in the 40-odd years I’ve been watching football, and nothing’s changed.

        We have to get real. The Premiership would be great, but if the naysayers think we are short of ability for Div 1 what about the step up?

        Playoffs will satisfy me, if we go up from them so be it – but realistically WBA and the Toon always had promotion to throw away, and I don’t think either will.

  9. I dont think that the loss of shorey is the cause of our recent bad run away either.Yes i agree he was a cracking left back at this level ,but from midfield to upfront we arent cutting it away from home.

    When we beat the baggies we didnt give them an inch, we closed down from the front to the back and hit them on the break.

    We arent doing that at the mo and need to dig deep and get a little bit gnarly me thinks.

    U reds

  10. his is to nfffc…. i remember david platt having a five year plan!!!!

    • I hope you’re not suggesting Billy Davies is like David Platt in any way…?

      Billy has a 2-3 year plan which makes sense and is being executed by someone who knows what he’s doing.

      Platt was, well, Platt.

  11. I was on the coaches too!

    People in Leicester need to get lives!
    Rushing out of their houses to wave us goodbye!
    And some Leicester fans from the outside took the abuse we gave them way much to heart!

    On the match; Perch just needs to be replaced. We look so unbalanced with him in the side. He(I think) gave the pointless free-kick away that led to their 2nd goal, and from then, our heads dropped and we played like a team bereaft of confidence.

  12. playoffs, beaten in the final. this seasons prdiction.

    good season then.

  13. will.i live in leicestershire and i can tell you its not just the city thats full of inbreds but the whole of the county,infact people in leicester even say coalville is the capital of inbred land..anyway back to the football how can a ref tell a player after 4 mins to be careful as he should have sent him off in a previous match?F.A. take note of this and sack the t**t.leicester like us are dreaming of places far out of our league we are both average sides batting above our average playoffs for us both but swansea to snatch the last place behind the toon and baggies.and if billy is still here next year and he actually gets to sign some players automatic next year for us(i hope).

  14. Long time reader first time poster so be gentle! Was sat keeping very quiet in the Leicester end and can definitely say Campy milked the challenge for all its worth, loving the abuse being hurled at him, as for the penalty it looked from where I was that it came off Blackstock’s arm as he tried to get out of the way, thought we looked knackered second half, having seen Coventry away as well, I have a feeling we may stumble our way into the play-offs. Disappointed with our fans yesterday, didn’t really hear us second half, as always its a two way street and thought the team needed us to get behind them more to give them the lift they needed rather than chanting at the tiresome drummer.

  15. yep scummy games against scummy fans, i left with my 14 year old son and 19 year old nephew after the 3rd goal went in, knew they would hound us outside like will and steve said, nowt like that at city ground and dont slag off fans that leave b4 the whistle at these games,we,ve been boro,swansea,p,boro,cov and never left early,shame on the inbreds

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