Well, we know one thing – we’re NOT going down!

Who's the Daddy?

Nottingham Forest – 1
Peterborough United – 0

With the upward gazing we’ve been doing we passed a landmark unnoticed by many yesterday, that is that mathematically we can’t be relegated.  Given my own aspirations at the start of this season (that were clearly modest!) that’s good going!  With the Baggies also picking up a win it means we’ve made no ground on second place, but have probably maintained a solid case for a playoff finish.

Basement dwellers Peterborough came to the City Ground without George Boyd, and without much luck of late – and so that run of bad luck was to continue, which enabled our run of straight league wins at home stretching to a magnificent eleven.  There’s the opportunity to stretch this to twelve on Tuesday with the visit of Paul Hart’s Crystal Palace.

Anyway, Billy went for a positive line-up – and the teams were lead out by Andrew Harrison and Mark Armstrong as part of awareness of the charity Help for Heroes.  According to the programme they’ll be walking Hadrian’s Wall before the Newcastle game to raise money both for the charity, and also for the memorial in Clifton being erected in memory of Kieron Hill (and other fallen heroes of course).  If you’d like to sponsor them, you can click here.

Back to the team though, it looked a little something like this:

Gunter    Morgan    Wilson    Perch
Cohen    Moussi    Majewski    Anderson
Earnshaw    Blackstock

The visitors were pretty defensive in outlook at the start, and Forest struggled to break down the strugglers.  The weather was pretty inhospitable with rain pouring down which had caused a few misplaced passes thanks to the newly slippy pitch.  However, just as we feared the game was going to be one of those where we struggle to break down dogged opponents quick to close us down, we managed to nick a goal.

It was a nice move too.  Gunts brought the ball down the right and crossed to the back stick where Anderson volleyed the ball to find Earnie lurking in the six yard box to tuck the ball away.  Earnie duly celebrated – and since he’s just become a father for the first time I can’t imagine a better way for him to mark the occasion.  So big congratulations to Earnie and his good lady!

Shortly after it could’ve been two – a nice throughball from Raddy found Earnie in the box, the angle was tough and Joe Lewis did well to make the save.  He did, however, parry it back into play finding Ando, whose resulting shot was on target but was blocked in the area by Posh defender Mark Little, gaining Forest a corner rather than the second goal we all craved to try to make the game feel a little more secure.

Perchy was withdrawn for Chambers at left back with around 20 minutes on the clock, clearly the injections he’s been playing through are insufficient to deal with his injury.  That’s bad news as whilst he’s oft maligned Perch has been doing well lately (obviously I’d still prefer us to sign a left back on loan, any reading acquisition panel members!)

Peterborough started to get more into the game now, and whilst their fans weren’t noisy they were numerous and they started to be roused by their team’s progression.  The industrious Mackail-Smith had an effort from an angle which Camp was forced to parry, shortly after Lee tried a rather ambitious 25 yard shot which was straight at the Forest ‘keeper.  Moments later an unmarked Rowe perhaps will be kicking himself for not converting, with Camp making a good save.

The Reds did have their moments though, and an excellent cross from Chambers was met well by Blackstock – unfortunately the striker could only direct his header straight at Lewis.   Another good cross this time from the Moose found Anderson but he wasn’t able to direct the ball past the Posh ‘keeper.  The half wound down with Peterborough in possession but struggled to find a final ball or shot to seriously threaten the Reds goal.

Posh made two changes at half time and started the second half brightly, a Reuben Reid corner found Zakuani at the back post whose header brought a great save from Lee Camp.  Wes was in ‘taking people on’ mode which lifted the mood somewhat – breaking into their box, and unfortunately putting in a cross that was fairly easy for Zakuani to deal with in the area.  He was on hand again to clear a Cohen cross, and a ball in from Earnie heading for Dex.

Cohen picked up the ball in midfield and unleashed a powerful shot which Lewis got a firm hand to to put it onto post for a corner… no, wait, of course! That’s a goal kick isn’t it, you hapless bugger of a referee! (ahem).  After this McCleary (didn’t Billy say he was out for the season?!) was introduced for Majewski, and he immediately sought to get involved and brought a fairly straight forward diving save from Lewis after dinking his way into the box.

Adebola was the last introduction for Earnie, who received as ever a standing ovation from he home fans.  Del had little chance to get meaningfully involved, but the other second half sub McCleary should’ve perhaps done better – he did well to beat a couple of defenders to get a sight of goal, but unfortunately shot over without Lewis even having to make a save.

The late pressure came from Peterborough but as they had throughout the game they couldn’t find the final pass or finish to actively do damage to us.  A mate had texted me at half time “It’s a good job they can’t shoot, or we’d be in trouble” – and it’s true.  Peterborough fans, I imagine, probably went home feeling they’d probably done enough to earn a draw.  From what I’ve gleaned when investigating them pre-match that’s been a recurring theme for them this season.

A very valuable three points for us after recent away day blues, and we have a good opportunity to earn some more on Tuesday when Crystal Palace come to the City Ground.  After that there’s that daunting trip to Newcastle, we’ve lost seven away games on the bounce – they have yet to lose at home in the league – surely with to runs like that meeting, it’s bound to be something unexpected that happens, isn’t it?

Maybe not!

10 Responses

  1. Didnt spot the relegation points tally,could have easily been a draw yesterday massive thanks to campy for a fine display.

    Conditions looked really bad but we should have won 2 or 3 nil.Its about getting over the line now the quicker we secure a playoff place the better for me.We look a little jaded and i agree nffc i dont fancy the newcastle trip they are strong and are thumping sides at home.

    Palace game will be tough they are fighting for there lives and will give us a real game i think.Onwards and upwards im really excited about a possible trip too wembley to see the famous team.

    U reds

  2. During the pre match kick about Raddy accidently caught Perch so Im not sure if that contributed to his early subsitution.

    Anyway we have Camp to thank for the points as he made two world class saves and i think had Boro scored they might well have gone on to win it.

    I actually thought Boro had all the luck though with every loose ball falling to them and lots of little touches and flicks which avoided on rushing Reds players. Maybe thats the difference between now and 6 weeks ago when everything seems to fall our way. Who knows…

    A word of praise where its due. Im not Chamber’s No 1 fan but I actually think he did pretty well when he came on. Apart from that stupid attempted backheel late on I thought he looked solid and his distribution was quite good. He certainly got forward more than Perch would have done so credit to him for that. Doesnt mean I still think we DESPERATELY need a left back though!!

  3. In the last 9 seasons, the team securing the last play-off place in the league in which we have been playing has needed an average of 73 points to secure that position.

    So, 6 more draws and we should be there!!

    Perhaps also it is really time to reflect on what the last year has given us – this time last season after 37 games we had 41 points; YES, only 41 AND we were about to lose to Burnley 0-5 and then Wolves 0-1 which put us back into the relegation zone.

    Perhaps we should just spend the rest of the season relaxed and cheering every time we touch the ball in the very real knowledge that “a year makes a lot of difference” and that Billy, his team and in fact EVERYONE connected with the club has done a fantastic job.

    U Reds!!!

  4. I too have ben doing the maths…

    If our form drops to the same as the bottom club we will get 8
    More points. If the team in 7th do as well as newcastle
    For the rest of the season, they still
    Would not have enough points to catch us

    So its looking nailed on for the play-offs!!!

    Went with best mate burnley fan last yar to wmbley and saw them win..
    Hope I get to return the compliment!

  5. I probably missed some news – was McGugan injured, or is he languishing in Billy’s sin-bin?

  6. I actually think we were good value for our win.
    Yes, Camp pulled off a couple of great stops but had we been a bit more ruthless in front of goal we could have scored 4 or 5.
    Our goal seemed to galvanise Posh, and we struggled for a while, but then Billy pulled off a tactical masterstroke…maybe you guys missed it, but he moved Cohen into a central 3 and went 20 minutes of the first half without a right winger. This helped the Moose contain that huge fella and Cohen took care of Sergio torres. So well done Billy, and Gunts as he had to defend AND attack!
    Nice to see their ‘keeper throwing the ball out to his full-backs, too. Which actually helped us, imo.

    Couple of things; Raddy needs to calm down. He IS going to get himself sent off otherwise. And Ando, ran himself into the ground, literally, again.

    My mate knows Lee Frecklington from his days at Lincoln, he said this before the game started “that’s the difference between a big club and us, your coach turns up we have to drive ourselves, and your lot get powerade, we have to make do with tesco water!”

  7. I agree on raddy mattyboy these two footers he flies in with are dangerous and can snap ankles and shins.He needs to remain under 10 bookings until 10th april so do a couple of others to avoid a ban .

    Hes a player but shows his age at times like a few others in our young side.

    U reds

  8. I will reiterate my comments from earlier in the season as to why Davies kept Garner in the side for so long – he has that nasty edge Davies likes. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has Majewski practising those lunges in training.

  9. Thanks for the plug mate, just to let you know the walks now been completed and although it was tough going it was also enjoyable and the reason’s we were doing it kept us going through the though bits.

    Thanks to everyone for all your support!

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