Reds denied first win by Shilton reborn!

Dex: Penalty villain and equalising hero!

Nottingham Forest – 1
Millwall – 1

On a day where there was talk of protests and suchlike, it was a more tranquil scene than suggested at the City Ground.  Anyone who wandered near the Main Stand car park would’ve seen the usual fans going to their seats, checking out the club shop and a few stewards perhaps wondering why they’d been asked to be deployed there.  So sanity prevailed, which is always nice!

Forest are obviously still seeking a win, and that would have obviously lifted spirits tremendously – alas they started the game like a side that had just read in the press they weren’t good enough.  Millwall profited from some incredibly lax defending, and despite carving some opportunities the last ball and final shot for Forest was oft missing.

The second half was almost all Forest – and for a while it looked like a dogged Millwall rearguard would take the spoils back to London, but eventually we did get a well-deserved equaliser – and, as Billy noted after the game, the fans should take some real credit for their positivity and backing of the boys – a big collective slap on the back all round – it was great to hear.

On Billy, much has been said about his comments regarding signings and not being good enough – if you listened to his post-match interview you’d have heard somebody much more positive – and, if you listen to the interview from which those previous quotes were taken in full, you’d hear similar.  Much as Billy himself says, don’t always assume selective quoting from the media tells the whole story.  Have a listen to his pre-match interview in full and see what you think:

Billy Davies interview from Nottingham Journal

Billy opted for a predictable line-up really – not a criticism, he doesn’t have that many options and with Anderson nursing a slight knock it perhaps made that particular call easier for him:

Chambers    Morgan    Wilson    Bertrand
Tyson    McKenna    Majewski    Cohen
Earnshaw    Blackstock

Starting kicking towards the Trent End for a change the Reds almost got themselves ahead by accident, an intricate freekick which culminated in Earnie having a shot almost fooled Forde in the Millwall goal, but he reacted well to make a smart save to keep it out.  We’ll hear more about Forde later!  However, despite the bright start it started to go a bit tits up quite quickly.

Just four minutes were on the clock when the Reds allowed Danny Schofield far too much time on the left to pick out and excellent cross into the centre – where Steve Morison was lurking to plant an unchallenged header across Camp and into the bottom corner, which certainly sparked the large following of Millwall fans into life, many almost spilling onto the pitch.

The Reds were enjoying (perhaps not the best word) a lot of possession but were falling down with the final ball or shot – but we looked to have created an inroad when Tys burst into the box and was annihilated by Alan Dunne.  Despite Forde diving early to his left, Dex conspired to spanner the resulting penalty into the Trent End.

Millwall now had a fairly decent spell without too many assaults on the Reds goal, that said, former Forest striker Neil Harris almost scored a beauty when he spotted Camp off his line and went for the chip, the Forest ‘keeper backpedalling enough to get a hand to it and put it over for a corner to the visitors.

Again at the other end Tys, looking lively and eager as ever – but limited of first touch and finish – had burst forward but thwarted by Forde – Millwall were capable of breaking quickly too, though, and Morison had a similar effort to his goal but it went just over.  Morison was proving a real handful upfront for the Reds, and Chambers in particular was having a hard time without much midfield cover infront of him.

A hopeful punt forward almost put Earnie one on one, but his first touch wasn’t great and after it had gone out for a goalkick the striker walked tentatively back before hitting the deck.  He was taken off for Anderson, with Tys pushing up front, it turns out Earnie has a hamstring problem which thanks to the early intervention by Billy isn’t too serious – but obviously will be a concern for tuesday’s trip to Preston.

Now in a striker role I’m sure Tyson will look back on his next chance with some regret, as the ball came to him on his left at a tight angle, but he hit it into the side netting.  There really isn’t much excuse for not hitting the target from that kind of range, frankly!  At the other end Morison continued to make an absolute nuisance of himself, getting on the end of another good cross and heading just over.

The Reds were starting to get their shit together though, and whilst the final pass or shot had been lacking were starting to show signs of positivity and that was rewarded by backing for the fans.  The last opportunity fell to Cohen who hit a decent curling effort that Forde was the equal to – diving to his right to palm the ball to safety.

Half time was rife with talk of frustration – Forest had started badly, and had been wasteful with chances, but there were plenty of silver-lining things, but just not enough to force the sun through the clouds.  The Millwall fans – just shy of 1800 of them – are always quite entertaining too, their most sung ‘chant’ being a monotonous drone which reminded me of the ‘special’ kid at Primary School who ran around the playground going “DURRRRRRRRRRRRR!” at the top of his voice!

It took ten minutes for the second half to really get going – Forest had had possession similar to the first but not crafted too many opportunities – but that was going to change.  Wes must consider himself desperately unlucky not to have netted with two decent headers ten minutes into the half, one saved by Forde after a cracking cross from Bertrand, the other from a deflected shot by Dex and cleared off the line.

The Reds continued to press Millwall who – to their credit – battle and chuck themselves infront of everything.  Tys had a decent effort from the left channel which was saved by Forde, although Millwall were still looking dangerous on the break – Camp needing to punch away a cross which fell to Morison whose effort was close but just over.

Then came Forde’s moment of glory, he temporarily assumed the role of ghost-of-Shilton and pulled of an amazing triple save – so amazing numerous Reds fans, self included, stood up and applauded him.  Raddy’s was the first shot which I don’t think he saw coming, Bertrand struck the rebound which he saved and immediately rose to his feet again to deny a well-struck shot by Tyson.

Billy introduced Lewis for McKenna – the captain had put in a much improved performance and received a good reaction from the fans – and immediately sought to get involved.  Perhaps having a shot from a tight angle against Shilton-reborn was optimistic but he did spill it, and eventually he was to drop his concentration to allow the Reds to get a very well deserved equaliser.

A lofted cross from Cohen seemed to hang in the air forever – at the time I thought Forde had scooped it into his own goal but it transpires Dex rose above the hesitant keeper to plant an excellent header into the goal.  The City Ground erupted and whilst it certainly dented the noise from the away end, the away side came to life again – Carter really should’ve at least worked Camp after a quick break, luckily for us he kicked it wide.

The Reds had chances to grab a winner too, Lewis played a lovely throughball for Anderson who didn’t quite have the composure to get the ball properly under control.  At the death the two created another great opportunity, McGugan waited on the right for Anderson to make a run into the box, Ando got ahead of the ‘keeper but couldn’t quite connect with the excellent ball Lewis had played across the box.

Into stoppage time Billy withdrew Tys for Adebola.  Tys had picked up a slight knock in the first half but it was pretty much game over from this point.  A good point, but we were so unlucky not to win.  Billy said after the game he was proud of the players – and the fans – and I was too.  They worked their arses off and didn’t drop their heads when things didn’t quite work out.  And the fans backed them which was very heartening.

14 Responses

  1. Well done to billy and the boys today football won the day and good to see the reds loyal fans getting behind the boys.I didint see us winning today so lets steady the ship and get on with lifting our spirits despite no signings lets see the bulldog spirit come out in this side.

    U reds

  2. agree with red ric, todays football was the winner, applause to millwall keeper by far man of match close seconed’ed by chris cohen for a fantastic performance once again…as a site visited upteen times daily,thgrough the seasons before us,,is my gateway to most things forest, and not dissapointed,his/their take on the match is pretty much spot on, especially the end sentence for the fans backing,,,,fantastic from where i was sat amongst them in U1,,,onwards and upwards eh ?

  3. Good performance. McGugan put in another top drawer perfromance to be our Man of the Match – once he came on it all revolved around him. Crosses drilled unstoppably into the danger area. He seems to have worked on all aspects of his game and – importantly – his on pitch work rate is much improved.

    Surely he will get a starting berth soon. It is hard to dislodge the McKenna / Majewski centre midfield partnership, but today again had me wondering whether Madge rather than Lewis would be best deployed as the impact sub given that he tends to fade when he starts. A fresh Radi vs tired legs could be an effective strategy.

    Well done the lads. And well done Billy for being so upbeat despite the frustrations of the last few weeks.

    Elsewhere Preston leaked 4 at home against burnley to throw away a 2 goal lead, so Tuesday could be our night. If Earnie isnt fit, then on today’s evidence I think the best approach would be to play 4-4-1-1 with Radi in the hole, and Lewis alongside McKenna.

    Meantime, I hope we manage to land Healey to give us some effective options up front.

  4. A lot of postives from the game. Cohen and McKenna were TONS better today and we were playing the ball into feet. Wes was, ….well… Wes – solid at the back and a source of much mirth (and danger!) going forward. Raddy lasted 90 mins and didnt fade out the game like he normally does. Ando looked sharp and even Chambers ventured forwards. McGugan was good too and remains an enigma to me as the boy is a genius with the ball – when he can be arsed!!!

    Much as I love Tys I do worry about his first touch. He’s always better running onto the ball.

    Millwall seemed to have one game plan, which was to lump the ball up to Morrison and pick up the knock downs and once Wes and Kelv had sussed that, it was a relatively easy afternoon for them.

    Im convinced had Dex put the penalty away we would have gone on and won this game at a canter.

    So overall much improved and hopefully we can carry this onto Preston on Tuesday.

  5. I wasnt that that suprise yesterday that there werent any demonstration against Doughty the Nottingham public have always been fickle when it comes to protesting look back at the miners strike we are noted for it. What makes me a lkittle upset is that i believe many fans are very disillusoned with Nigel Doughty but when push comes to shove

    • Or maybe there just aren’t that many people who ever wanted to protest? Not sure.

      Too detached from the miners’ strikes to have any particular knowledge but there were strikers and those that continued to work in all regions as far as I’m aware – not to forget that a fair chunk of the mining community in Nottinghamshire came from outside the area for work…

      But that does rather get in the way of a good old lazy stereotype…

  6. to terry mallard … i agree totally with what you say about nottingham people being fickle.. thats exactly true …and as for the miners strike the nottingham public let the whole country down on that score!!!… i really realy hate it when yorkshire fans sing scab! scab! scab! makes me sick because all of my mates were on strike !!! LOYAL TO THE LAST …HUCKNALL COLLIERY

    • I hate it sudge cos the twats that are singing it don’t even know what they’re talking about and they weren’t even born.

  7. I thought there was a football game going on at the CG yesterday Terry.????

    If we keep moaning about things we have no control over it will as we can see pull the team down.I like every single loyal Red are gob smacked at the lack of signings but there is diddly squat we can all do.

    My point ??? lets create a siege mentality now and roll up the fucking sleeves and raise the players as we did yesterday and scrap like hell for every frigging point.

    As much as i dislike them I have to admire leeds when they got deducted those points they came out fighting lets do the same and you never know what can happen.

    U frigging reds

  8. Normally I’m forest fans harshest critic, but yesterday chuffed how vocally we supported the team. Billy acknowledged it as did Kenny Jacket, so let’s carry on since if we just continue to moan & mope the season will become a self fulfilling prophecy.
    We can all see that there is something fundamentally wrong behind the scenes & I’m as frustrated as every Red’s fan. Indeed, suprised (actually I’m not) that neither Tommy Smith/Rob Hulse could have been added to our squad as loan signings since both would have benefited our first X11. Just a thought; Jimmy Bullard maybe? Worth a punt on loan as Hull desperate for cash & we could send him back when/if he get’s injured.
    Anyway keep the faith you fickle bunch & get behind the first team- You REDS!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Terry, yes we can all see that there are problems at the top. I run a small business, and if Marthur was my CE I would have sacked him long ago.
    But Nottingham Forest isn’t my business. They are my passion. I’ve watched them lift the highest honour in Club football, and I’ve watched them struggle in Division 3. I’ve had harsh words with Fred Reacher who once told me that my season ticket money didn’t entitle me to a voice, and I’ve been totally ignored by Irving Scholar when I’ve asked him a direct question face to face.
    Me waving a placard about outside the ground wont change anything.
    Supporting my team is what I love to do. Whoevers playing in it. I’m proud to be a Forest fan, especially away.

    But sometimes the moaners just get a bit too much. I got a small ripple of applause on Saturday when I asked the 2 guys behind me, who had been slagging Tysons every touch, and McKennas every pass, “why the fuck do you come if you dont enjoy it. Stay at home you pair of miserable tossers”.
    Lucky I never got a smack probably, but point made.

    As redric says, lets get right behind the lads, create a seige mentality and take this division by the scruff of the neck.

    Or make your protest the best way possible, stay at home.

  10. The ‘Powers that be’ were certainly expecting trouble:
    Doughtey did not turn up and MA had sunglasses on throughout the Match-nobody else did. Did he not want to show true emotions?, he also left his seat early at 1/2 time to avoid confrontation – Bloody Cowards

    The attitude to HOME supporters by Police and Car park officials to rear of BC stand post match was disgusting
    This club is in self distruct-they do not care about us

  11. Can’t wait for tomorrow night, only made the Bradford game so far this season !!
    would love Billy to go 4-4-1-1 with Raddy in the hole and McGugan playing as Husky Red suggested. listening via internet it sounded like a good game.
    one thing i don’t understand is Billy saying we have not signed a permanent player for 14 months, am I being stupid or does Raddy not count ??

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