A point on the board, but Reds frustrated by Leeds..

Dex gives the Reds an early lead

Nottingham Forest – 1
Leeds United – 1

A bit of a frustrating afternoon, a sparkling 25 minutes from the Reds was followed by a fairly pedestrian performance.  Both Forest and Leeds are pale imitations of their more prestigious forbears, the Reds struggled with the ability to pass the ball with much accuracy, whilst Leeds stuck with the dirty tag but without the skill.

Certainly it wasn’t a very entertaining match – neither ‘keeper having a fat lot to do after picking the ball out the net respectively – both having made decent stops before conceding.  Forest continue their slow start to building up a momentum this season and Leeds continue to acclimatise to moving up the leagues and with a few injuries to key players.

A fairly predictable line-up from the Reds saw Anderson in for Tyson in a four-four-two (almost) formation, but with Cohen and Anderson inexplicably on the ‘wrong’ wings – which never ceases to infuriate!

Gunter    Morgan    Wilson    Bertrand
Cohen    McKenna    Majewski    Anderson
Blackstock    Earnshaw

Forest came out of the blocks very quickly – a couple of minutes in a nice ball from Cohen gave Gunts the chance to get a cross in towards Dex, his flick on was met by Raddy – rather unknowingly I suspect – but Kasper Schmeichel was in the right place to stop the accidentally goalbound effort from giving the Reds the lead.

However, the Reds kept pressing – and were rewarded with an early goal.  A cracking first time cross from Gunter was glanced into the corner of the goal by Dexter Blackstock to give Forest a well-deserved lead and finally quieten down the noisy visiting fans.  It was unlucky not to be two a few minutes later too, Earnie finishing off a nice passing move by hitting the post for the second time in two games with Schmeichel well beaten.

The momentum was lulling though, as it seems to when we snag early goals, and Leeds started to get a foothold in the game – Becchio, playing a challenging loan striker role, would perhaps expected to have scored when put clean through but Camp was out quickly to block his effort at source – but the warning signs were starting to show from the Reds whose passing was becoming wayward.

Their equaliser came after 36 minutes, Wes had given the ball needlessly with a sloppy across-the-goal pass and the visitors worked it to the left wing where an excellent cross from Bradley Johnson was glanced into the far corner of the goal by Lloyd Sam – a very similar goal to the Reds goal aside from Sam’s position more front-post than central as Dex had been.

For the remainder of the half it was certainly the away side marginally the more dangerous, but without any real chances created before half time.  Forest had a long range effort from Anderson that wasn’t far over, but I can’t think that Schmeichel wouldn’t have had a pretty good idea it wasn’t on target.

At half time I was feeling a bit hard done by – whilst the goal conceded was excellently worked it was down to sloppiness in possession by us in the first place, and once again we found ourselves in a position where whilst we’d capitalised on one chance created, there were other opportunities where we should’ve done better with the final shot (or more often than not, pass that should’ve been made instead of a shot).

The second half wasn’t set to improve our mood – both teams were, at times, frankly awful in possession.  Leeds were looking more confident coming forward, excellent work from Sam saw him in the area at a tight angle, he blasted across the face of goal and just a touch from the numerous Leeds players in the box would’ve surely seen them take the lead – luckily for us it went straight through.

Uncharacteristically Billy opted for a fairly early substitution, putting McCleary on for Anderson – and not long after Tyson replaced Raddy, who’d had a good start to the game but faded fast.  It didn’t seem to make much difference and it was still Leeds pressing and asking all the questions – a freekick from Watt wasn’t far wide of the mark.

Leeds looked dangerous from crosses too – one came over which Camp flapped at but recovered well to smother, getting a boot in the face for the privilege.  Amidst jeers of him being soft from the away end it was evident his face was pissing blood – amusingly he wiped some off in a gesture to the travelling fans before pointing to his Forest badge.  There was a sizeable stoppage whilst he was patched up and changed his shirt.

I didn’t quite see what happened after this, apparently Gunter stood on the Leeds player Watt, which probably explains why the latter went running after him and appeared to punch out at his head.  The referee lost control and clearly didn’t see either incident so opted to simply book both players and not take any action over the numerous Leeds players who’d been manhandling our players around the area.

Billy was warming up the remainder of his subs and it was with some anxiety we speculated who’d feature.  We’ve started referring to Dele Adebola as ‘The Towel’ – as, much like in boxing, he’s the thing we throw on when we’ve given up.  Instead he went for Moussi to beef up our midfield which was being kicked about a lot, at the expense of Dex, with Tys pushing forward more.

Once again it really didn’t change the game in our favour – Leeds continued to look the more likely to get something, Kilkenny had a decent effort from range, and finally the Reds had something approximating a break that might’ve seen us nick an undeserved winner – but having burst down the left despite being held, Tyson’s cross was easy for Schmeichel to gather.

The game left me disappointed as Leeds didn’t appear particularly good opponents, but we only matched them at best over the course of the game so a draw was probably a ‘fair’ result – but after such a flying start it was frustrating that Forest couldn’t reproduce that level of performance in the second half.  As Billy said post-match, a naive performance in many ways.  I hate to join the throng of fans banging on the ‘new signings’ drum – but boy, it would be nice to get some!

20 Responses

  1. I share your thoughts nffc frustrated is an understatement.How many times are we going to let teams off the hook its becoming embarrassing now.

    I think the bubble has burst and we are in for a heavy dose of reality you are right leeds are not that clever but we struggled today.We looked like a side under smoulderwood in the second half all over the frigging place.

    Unless we get experience into the side we are looking at a very long season and we can forget about promotion we are miles away.

    U reds

  2. Hi, Leeds fan coming in peace!

    Firstly, I’ve just got back from Nottingham and it was a great day out as always. Your support is always very welcoming and does your team proud.

    Disagree the match was void of excitement however. I thought it was a pretty good encounter from two sides who will move up the gears as the season progresses. I can understand your disappointment, but I think a draw was a fair reflection of the game as a whole, Both sides have things to grumble about, but that’s half the fun of the game.

    Good luck for the rest of the season and I look forward to seeing you at Elland Road.


    • Cheers mate – there was some excitement, it’s true – always tricky when you start well and fade, whereas Leeds started poorly and improved.

      I agree completely a draw was fair – and yep, personally not one of the bizarrely profligate anti-Leeds type fans, I like to see a full noisy away end!

      • I know the feeling, Leeds were guilty of that all too often the last couple of seasons, but it’s early doors and things will settle.

        Definitely a noisy away end we provided for you – I can’t hear properly at the minute! Think that adds to the occasion and provides a fiery encounter which it undoubtedly was.

        I can see your front-line being the difference for you this season – they should terrorise every defence in this division. Heard your fans grumble about depth and lack of activity in the transfer market an awful lot today, so it seems it’ll be a case of avoiding injury if you’re to a secure a play-off place again?

        • Definitely at the moment – we were VERY lucky with injuries last season really, we do have a rather thin squad.

          Still, there’s still a couple of weeks to be frustrated by our lack of progress in the transfer market!

          • Haha! You really should hear the Leeds fans moan about our lack of spending, despite bringing no less than eight new players in which included the very impressive Kasper Schmeichel and Lloyd Sam. Hard times!

            • Fans and managers alike will always want more I guess! We lack a proper left winger in my view, and could definitely use reinforcements in most positions, in an ideal world.

              But well, it’s not an ideal world!

  3. The first 25 minutes was sublime, the second 20 minutes ridiculous and the second half scrappy.

  4. major dissappointment. i would expect to beat leeds at home all day, after the first 20 minswe were shite, why? its a mystery.

    by the way, i could only watch on the tv today. why did the leeds fansTOTALLY drown us out, it was embarrassing, when they were singing our support is shit, to no response, i was truly embarrased. this aint the first time its happened either, away fans with a good fan base always show us up, whats the score with that?

    • Forest fans were in the battle up to and including the goal and beyond, but Leeds fans once they perked up did make some noise.

      4,000 odd of ’em, all together and in the acoustically best bit of the ground – they’re always going to dominate, much like Forest fans do up and down the country when we’re on our travels.

      • Would definitely agree with that comment. We’ll sell out away allocation anywhere in the country and pretty much always drowned the home fans out.

        When visitors to Elland Road have had the entire South Stand (which has been very few for the past few seasons as they can’t sell it), they can often give the Kop a run for it’s money so I wouldn’t worry too much.

  5. Was at the game but took the trouble to record it and have watched it back in its entirety

    Fantastic first 20 minutes but then, albeit slowly, it began to fall apart. If I was to put my finger on it we seemed to stop playing the simple pass and kept looking for the “killer” ball each time. Raddy seemed very much at fault with this. Im sure had we stuck at the basic game plan we would have passed them off the park and won easily.

    Wes made a major ricket for the first goal. Trying to find Betrand out on the wing his ball (luckily) richocheted off a Leeds foward and they swept it wide and scored from the ensuing cross. The look on Wes”s face after the goal said it all.

    Gunts may find himself in trouble as his contretemp with Watt looked VERY deliberate to me but Im not sure if TV footage can be used at this level??

    Anyway overall very disappointing. We had the game by the balls and we simply stopped doing the basic things right. We certainly gave the ball away FAR too cheaply at times (yes you Paul McKenna!) and Leeds took heart from our sloppiness.

  6. Another Leeds fan in peace 🙂

    The stamping incident looked to be retaliation for an alleged stamp on your keeper’s foot, in the set piece just before he was injured.

  7. Great summary of the match. I think “the towel” will definitely catch on. The biggest disappointment for me was looking at the bench. Despite McGoalDrought being the only injured player we have no ‘game changers’ that we can bring on.

    Realistically we are playing with only 2 fit and competent strikers, so complacency or injury will do for us. Ironic to see Grant Holt scored 30 goals last season – virtually as many as Earnie and Dex combined! I think we need four proven strikers if we’re going to win it. The promoted sides averaged – AVERAGED – 2 goals per game last season.

    Keeping everything crossed until Aug 31st.

  8. Leeds lived up to the dirty reputation in what way exactly mate ? I was at the game and saw a ref very willing to blow when anyone went to ground , the forest players cottoned on to this and milked it throughout.

    You should by now have had a chance to see that Gunter should have been sent off for a deliberate stamp.

    Bit disappointed with the Forest support, in days gone by the Trent end was very much the focus of the singing support. I remember the “no leaving Brian” banner very well. These days they seem to have congregated next to the away end which is always the sign of a poxy club to me. Derby for example.

    I don’t think Forest fit that description BTW, but show the class that a follower of a two times European champions club should be able to do and admit that you were outplayed fair and square in the second half.

    • i think he did mate, like the man says, we fell apart after the 1st twenty minutes. leeds upped there game and did well earn a good point.

  9. As far as I know, if the referee has already taken action against a player, then he cannot be summarily charged with anything related to that incident. Therefore, Gunter gets away with it.

    However, Watts stamp on Camp……

  10. Had to watch the game on TV, after 20 minutes Forest were poor. Leeds were the only team likely to win and if they had more quality strikers they would have done.
    Its only one game but there were worrying signs for Forest. The possesion and passing (after the first 20 mins) was very very poor. Mckennas work rate cannot be questioned but his distribution was woeful, Cohen did not get into the game at all, he should never be played out wide. Mawjeski is a good player but tries do the spectaculor too often.
    For me the balance in midfiled is not right.
    Lets hope the mistake from Wes was his last and he can play like he did last season, although both goals from Burnely and Leeds were because the striker got to the ball before Wes.
    Forest can play much better, and they will need to because yesterday was poor.
    The subs made no difference

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