Wes and Tys fire Billy’s boys into the record books..

Wes Morgan: You'll never beat him.

Nottingham Forest – 2
Crystal Palace – 0

That’s a new record equalled.  Twelve consecutive league wins at home matches our best ever run back in 1980 (last time stretched over two seasons – previously it was ten in a single season).  Massive well done to the Reds and Billy, this is a great achievement to be rightly proud of.

It looked to be an awkward game at first, a greasy surface making passes over-run – and determined opponents making life tricky (not to mention another one of those ‘confusing’ referees), but eventually Forest did spark into life and started to looking something approximating the footballing side we’ve missed for a few weeks now!

With Perch unavailable for covering the left back spot, Billy turned to trusty deputy Chambers – who slotted in at rightback with Gunter moving across to left back, a move which worked very well – albeit against a Crystal Palace side that – perhaps predictably – lacked real width (aside from the waistline of Alan Lee and Stern John).  So we looked like this:

Chambers    Morgan    Wilson    Gunter
Cohen    Moussi    Majewski    Anderson
Blackstock    Earnshaw

Perhaps accustomed to his own time at the City Ground, Hart’s side made us swap ends after winning the toss.  Incidently, it was great to hear Hart get such a good reception from the Forest fans both before the game, and during the second half too (something the man himself seemed to appreciate too).  I’ve got a lot of time for him, so it was pleasing to see my fellow Reds largely feel the same way.

It wasn’t a great start for him – the game was barely underway when he needed to substitute Danny Butterfield who was injured by, well, nothing so far as I could tell!  Scannel replaced him, and it was a pretty scrappy start – it wasn’t ’til eleven minutes in that Anderson had an effort from distance, which bounced awkwardly forcing Speroni into a save winning Forest a corner.

The Reds put on a reasonable amount of pressure on Palace, but they were tricky to break down so chances were at a premium, good work from Dex nearly found Earnie but the Palace keeper was on hand to claim the ball.  Shortly after Earnie tried his luck from further out, but his shot was pretty much straight at Speroni so it was a simple save in the end.

In a fairly open game Raddy was able to get on the ball more than we’ve seen lately, which is a welcome sight – the Polish midfielder was a constant menace and put in a lot of movement to make himself available all over the pitch.  However, as these things rarely are, it wasn’t all one-way traffic in the Reds favour.

A rasping freekick (given because Alan Lee fell over, a theme that was to recurr throughout the game) by Ambrose (Darren?!)  brought a good save from Camp at the expense of a corner.  They threatened from the corner too, danger-man Ambrose (who is a ‘goal machine’ according to the small but good-spirited band of travelling Eagles fans) was again on hand to strike towards the Forest goal.

Shouts for a penalty from a clear looking hand ball by Clint Hill were waved away by the referee, which seemed to spur the Reds on to pile more pressure on to the beleaguered Eagles.  Dex and Earnie played some nice stuff after a ball from Raddy, but Earnie’s control let him down at the crucial moment so wasn’t able to convert the opportunity to a shooting chance.

Just as half time beckoned forebodingly it was looking increasingly like we’d struggle to break down the Palace defence, but cometh the hour, so they say, cometh the man.  Wes had ambled forward earlier in the move, and when the ball came to Anderson he played it across to Wes on the edge of the D, and with cries of ‘shoooot!’ coming from the crowd, he did just that and unleashed a piledriver.

The celebrations were pretty epic, and with Wes you can always see what such moments mean to him – the team to a man almost piled on top of him in a heap infront of the Brian Clough stand.  And that was pretty much it for the first half, what an awesome way to go in to half time in very high spirits.  Well done Wes, well deserved after a great season so far!

So, on to the second half.  The Reds were very positive from the off – and hesitation from Speroni meant Derry needed to be on hand to prevent Earnie causing damage after a ball in from Dex.  Straight after a ball over the top towards Earnshaw was inexplicably and very obviously handled by last-man Matt Lawrence.  Uncharacteristically the referee did see it, and sent off the Palace defender.

With Palace sticking with the lumbering Lee and John combination up front they switched to a narrow three-man midfield with four at the back, giving Forest ample room to pressure with both Chambers and Gunter utilising the space down the flanks.  Having said that, they still had their chances – a dangerous freekick from Ambrose was headed goalward with Camp forced into a smart save.

Raddy was the first Reds player to be called off for a substitution – having had a decent outing – with McCleary replacing him.  Soon after Tys was introduced for Earnshaw, which proved to be a rather shrewd move by Billy, because with his first two touches he set himself up beautifully, then scored.

The Reds properly hit Palace on the break – Anderson made a terrific break down the left hand side, and fed Tys with the perfect pass into the box.  His first touch looked a little heavy, but it turns out it was perfect to take the ball past Speroni – with Tyson having the pace to get round the keeper and tuck the ball away with his second touch from a tight angle.  Lovely goal, well played both Tys and Ando!

Provider-of-both-goals Anderson was the last player to be withdrawn, replaced by David McGoldrick who had a couple of nice touches soon into the game.  McCleary should’ve probably tested Speroni more with a chance he ended up scuffing straight at the ‘keeper.  That miss, however, will probably be all but forgotten about in the dressing room as it pales into insignificance compared to what was to follow…

A great break down the left by Tyson saw him beat his man twice to tee up Cohen totally unmarked in the area, only for the midfielder to take his shot first time when – frankly – he could’ve stopped, lit a cigar, smoked it and then tapped it in.  As it is he rushed and blasted it into the Palace fans instead – bless him, he still had his head in his hands as the final whistle blew.  We still love you, Chris!

All in all, got to be happy with a cracking win – and it’s great to see the lads passing the ball around a bit more too and playing with confidence.  It’s true that whilst they worked hard, Palace weren’t the toughest opponents we’ve faced – but a nice solid win and good performance is the perfect preparation for a daunting trip to the North East on Monday.  Well done boys!

21 Responses

  1. Not sure about Billy suggesting he might get an OBE, but perhaps he should get a “NBE” – “New Big Head”.

    There will only ever be one Cloughie, but Billy’s doing a pretty good impression so far!!

    Looking forward to St.James’ park on Monday night even if we will need binoculars to see the pitch!!

    U Reds!

  2. Great win – I thought were tons better than we were against Peterboro.

    SB(Steve) is right about Billy. Every post match interview he gives now seems to be about what a great job hes doing. I for one, am getting a bit fed up with them!

    Wes was awesome again last night – not only the great goal but he never gave the Palace front two a sniff. I love to see him venture forward too – the bloke next to me in the UBE calls him “Wesiniho” !!

    And I agree, nice to see Paul Hart get a good reception although apparently there were a few handbags at the end when Pembo wouldnt shake Billy’s hand. Ooops!

  3. Sorry guys I disagree I dont think davis thinks he will ever be like cloughie hes stated it himself.You seem to forget weve had joker after joker as managers for years and years,davis has got this team breaking records.

    20 games unbeaten ,18 clean sheets ,12 home wins on the trot he can display a bit of arrogance hes bloody good at his job AND WE NEED HIM.

    Massive chuck up for the lads they have dug in and got 2 big results.Really happy for wes and tys they both needed a goal and were back on track.

    16 away from dropping out a playoff place i think were safe and maybe the geordies might get a fright next week.

    U reds

  4. Egor, Pembo obviously hasn’t still got over BD sacking him. He went straight over at the final whistle and started mouthing off, trying to manhandle Billy.
    BD simply turned to him and said “ah, F**k O**” Pemberton didn’t act with the class I though he had, to be honest.
    Anyway, another good win. Took a while to break them down, but in all honesty they were very poor. Apart from Ambrose free-kick they offered nothing.
    Raddy mugged Derry constantly, and while they’ve got that moaning whinging carthorse Lee playing for them they’ll never do any good.
    It’s not a criticism, but anyone else think Camp looked out of sorts? Apart from the free-kick save?
    His dominance in the box, and distribution are a long way short of his best at the moment.
    That aside, 3 more points and on to SJP in fine fettle!

    • I kinda guess thats what it was about with BIlly and Pembo – but thanks for the full picture Mattyboy.

  5. Give over Egor! BD is doing a great job here, and his comments to the press are honest and entertaining. Why not let him blow his own trumpet, especially with ND being (suspiciously?) quiet about his achievements.

    • I never said he wasnt doing a good job. Hes doing a great job! I just said im fed up of the “same old same old” in his post match interviews!

  6. I thought camp’s distribution was great last night. Two great quick throws that brought a goal and should’ve brought another, but for cohen’s unbelievable miss! Fair play to all of them, anderson did well thru the middle swapping with raddy. And hopefully the Mousse is findin sum form with a few decent touches but still sum poor ones too it must be said. All we can do is keep winnin, if we win every game we play from now untill the end of season we’ll go up, fact!

  7. Newcastle look all but promoted and if WBA win again tonight then it will be a very tall order for us to get automatic promotion. WBA would be 8 points ahead of us with just 7 to play and 4 of our 7 remaining games are away, starting at the league leaders. A tough ask I’m sure you’ll agree!

    I expect Billy is already thinking about having all of our best players fresh and ready for the play offs and us going into them with the right momentum.

  8. Big Wes…… What a man!

    As for Camp, I thought he looked pretty solid last night, caught a few corners, distribution good and a couple of decent saves.

    Though I will say goalkeepers do not a captain make.

  9. Anybody got a link for the goals?

  10. Great report as ever NFFC.

    Personally I think BD does deserve an OBE or whatever he could possibly receive. In August, I dare say there were few if any Trickies expecting the majority of the season in 3rd place with such good statistics (thanks Red Ric). He has achieved above and beyond his objectives and I am glad we have a manager who is able to get the best out of his players. He can boast as much as he likes, he really has deserved it. I think the automatic places are a bridge too far however and will settle for 3rd or 4th (giving the reds home advantage in the 2nd game of the play offs) and a nice trip to Wembley to beat Leicester in the final, perfect! In just seven months, Forest have gone from relegation battlers to promotion contenders. I’m not sure I could ask for more.

    U reeeds!

  11. I’m still sticking by my prediction that we won’t go up. I don’t even think we’ll get to Wembley. This home run can only go on so long and law of averages dictates that we will lose sooner rather than later. My money is on us losing our home form in the playoffs.

    Despite that negative outlook I think this has been a fantastic season and BD has done a fantastic job. I just don’t have any high expectations for this season… Sorry and I’m not knocking anyone who is more positive its just what I think. I do however, have expectations for 2010-2011 because that is when we should really be challenging for the title as we should get in 4-5 new faces in the summer that will bolster our credentials like the signings did last summer.

    Promotion or not, the most important thing in the close season is that BD is given the funds and backing to make this team ready for whatever division we’re in otherwise this season will just go down as another nearly season like the heartbreaker under Paul Hart.

  12. AD_BC
    I kind of agree with you. But maybe the last 10 years have conditioned us to expect, or settle for, less??

    Exactly 12 months ago we were 3rd from bottom, looking likely to be relegated again, which could have been the end of our once proud club.
    But BD and his team have slowly turned us into real contenders.
    The football, in the main, has been great to watch. Average players have been performing magnificently, our “class” players have proved themselves also. Home support is increasing (but still WAY too quiet) without having to give season tickets away with mobile phones etc. Der*y!
    Our away fans have been superb, as usual.
    And now here we sit, on the brink of the play-offs. With a small, but loyal, hard-working, talented team of footballers prepared to spill blood for Nottingham Forest Football Club.

    Thank You Nigel Doughty for looking after my Club, and thank you Billy Davies for giving us our pride back.

    I’m a pessimist by nature, and a realist. But F**k It, I’m gonna enjoy the ride!!

  13. AD_BC
    Our young side certainly is short in some areas no doubt about that.However if mckenna can be back for the play offs and billy can rest a few before those games. I do think we stand as good a chance as any of the other teams.

    Our bottle has improved but its not there yet by a long way and i under stand what your saying it might just be too early.But hey lets enjoy the ride and give the sheep as much stick as poss its been a while eh.

    U reds

  14. i get fed up with billy going on about derby, preston, young team, january window ect. It is boring.
    i thought forest played well last night and tried to play well all the time.
    as i live in scotland i dont have a season ticket but my job allows me to get to a lot of mid week games. Last night though i was sat in front of a classic city ground moaner…..why do they come to games? It really annoyed me, these people are never happy. Anyway i cannot make another league game this season. Lets hope last night was my last…
    btw camp played well last night, distribution was miles better than barnsley
    next game for me first in the prem……
    also btw raddy is class, best player to wear the shirt in 10 years, nffc do not fuck up with signing raddy

  15. Fellow Forest fans. Let us enjoy the ride that has been the season so far and see where it takes us.

    I’d like to log my response to the critics who have posted on this particular blog.

    First to the fan who has criticised Campy. He is one of the main reasons we lie in 3rd place. His distribution with feet is first class. He comes for crosses like the great Shilts never did (indeed Sir Kenny Burns described him as like Dracula with crosses), and campy had a knack of saving a fair number of penalties (which Shilts never did). So let’s be clear. Campy is not up there with Shilts just yet, but for me he’s the best keeper we’ve had since the great man and better than Hans vanBreukelan who was our 2nd best ever until campy.

    Now onto the criticism of billy. Mr Davies does what all the great managers do. He gets results, wants to run the club in his own style, and plays the media game for his own benefit. A certain OBE was a Jedi master at that and we lapped it up as Forest fans.

    So get off Billys back, listen to his rants and just accept it for what it is, designed to sell papers and get coverage for brand Billy. It keeps our club in the eye in the media and that’s no bad thing in my book. He plays it better than smoulderwood before him ever did.

    So please fellow forest fans, let’s enjoy the ride and join me hopefully in a day out to wembley in May. It’s been a while!

  16. With Reading winning tonight ,Forest need,at the moment, 3 more wins to guarantee a play off place ! No problem !!!!

  17. I see pleat has come out to say how important he is and also states Every club has a panel to hinder the progress of the manager……
    After all it´s the manager who loses his job through bad results.It made me cringe just to see the man,
    On to better things…I can´t wait for the Geordies !! On the Internet too !!!. That´s a good time to end our losing sequence away !!
    .I expect a draw !!!!

  18. Whoa, alfs grandson, chill fella!
    I actually stated it WASN’T a criticism of Camp. He has been awesome this season, and his enthusiasm is brilliant too.
    No, I merely stated that he looked slightly out of sorts compared to his usual high standards, my opinion.
    But even so thank goodness we have him! I’m not the sort to blithly criticise or condemn, not like some around me.
    Funny thing is, if Perch, Chambo or Moussi mis-place a pass some of our crowd go mental, slagging them off. Yet Campy misjudges a cross, then a weak punch and no-one says anything. That’s good, at last we are backing our players. So why can’t those same fans give the same backing to ALL the outfield players too, they’re wearing the same badge on the shirt, aren’t they?

    Read my second post on this subject, maybe that’ll clear up how I feel…I’m lovin the ride’!

  19. So I guess it’s just the left fullback (and perhaps the central midfielders) of Portsmouth available now for the rest of the season .

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