The Reds see off Swansea with a McGugan brace..

Two goals, three points - well done Lewis!

Nottingham Forest – 3
Swansea City – 1

Phew, that feels better doesn’t it?  We have had a pretty good run of results against Swansea of late – often slightly undeservedly I might add too – but today there was only one team in it, and it’s great to see after only being one up at half time, the Reds managed to weather a brief second half storm to take the game beyond doubt.

As even when things go well, we still succumb to sloppy goals – and today was no different, a decentish save from Camp perhaps should’ve been put behind rather than back into play.  That shouldn’t detract from a decent performance from the Reds though against a team that haven’t looked the same since Martinez left them.

Earnie wasn’t fit to even make the bench with his thigh strain, Wilson was on the bench with Chambers retaining his spot in central defence – Billy opting to shore up midfield at home rather than play two up front:

Gunter    Morgan    Chambers    Bertrand
Anderson    McKenna    Moussi    Cohen

Whilst I make a formation up as such – Cohen and Anderson did swap around a bit, and in particularly Anderson, McGugan and Blackstock seemed to alternate being the most forward, with Moussi generally found tailing future Reds player (arf) Darren Pratley, with McKenna on hand to step in should he evade the big Frenchman.

A positive start for the Reds saw us stinging the palms of De Vries in the Swansea goal after just five minutes, a decent strike from Cohen from the left edge of the area was parried by the Swans ‘keeper back into play, Dexter was lurking for the rebound but Neil Taylor was alert enough to put it out for a corner before the striker could get to it.

Forest continued to press and Gunter was the next to test the visiting goalie, cutting in from the right he shot from a tight angle which was saved by De Vries at the expense of another Reds corner.  With a mere ten minutes on the clock we’d been awarded a penalty by the referee – which is fortunate, because the linesman didn’t look like he wanted anything to do with it!

Dex had picked up the ball in the area and knocked it away when he saw De Vries coming at him, the ‘keeper bringing down the striker.  A bit soft, but I think technically correct.  De Vries picked up a booking for his troubles whilst it was Lewis who grabbed and spotted the ball rather than Dex.  He confidently struck it into the bottom right hand corner, sending the keeper the wrong way. (video courtesy of winnits from LTLF).

Swansea reminded me of Hull last week, and of Forest at their most frustrating – they had some possession but rarely converted that into chances – although at times Nouble looked like he might cause some problems, but Wes marshalled him pretty well.  Forest were making chances though, Anderson broke well and crossed to Gunter and a last gap challenge stopped a proper attempt on goal.

The half hour mark saw Swansea’s first attempt on target, a fairly tame shot from the edge of the area from Joe Allen which Lee Camp didn’t have much difficulty in stopping.  The Reds swept forward after this, with a delicious move where Wes moved forward, played to Dexter who one-twoed with Anderson whose final shot was excellent, as was De Vries’ save to deny it for another Reds corner.

But still, with the Reds even playing well and containing their opponents you worry when they only have a one goal lead.  Swansea were breaking well on occasions, and the lively Dyer probably should have done better after breaking down the right and putting in a firm cross that Camp was able to get to before Nouble.  That was pretty much half time.

The second half saw Swansea coming out like a side with a flea in their ear as they were looking a lot more up for it from the start – a lot of play in our final third, but again, not many chances created.  The Reds caught them with a suckerpunch in a bit of a role reversal of what usually seems to happen to us.

Gunter was well forward down the right and played inside to McGugan on the edge of the area who jinked to the left to beat one defender, then rather than hitting it jinked again to the right and fairly casually put the ball into the right of the goal without De Vries even moving – a lovely goal which gave the Reds a deserved cushion albeit against the run of play.

The game was, in honesty, pretty stagnant for much of the time, indeed I recall very little in the sixteen minutes that passed from McGugan’s second goal until Billy opted to make a double substitution, with the hard-working Anderson and goal-scoring hero McGugan withdrawn for McGoldrick and Majewski respectively.

This was Anderson’s best performance in a while for me, indeed, with McGugan obviously standing out and Moussi and McKenna standing firm at the back it was unusually Cohen who looked a bit out of sorts in midfield.  He still worked his arse off, of course – just didn’t seem to be quite up to his usual standards.

Swansea were starting to ask a few more questions though, Camp needed to be alert to save at the feet of Van der Gun with a few minutes remaining.  Dexter was the next player withdrawn for the Reds for Dele Adebola who immediately headed the ball out for a throw-in after Chambers had worked hard to keep it in, it was to get better though…

All three subs were involved in the final goal for the Reds, McGoldrick playing the ball through to Dele who crossed to Raddy, who shimmied past the last defender before sliding the ball neatly past De Vries into the Trent End goal with his left foot (I think!).  Of course, Forest being Forest, they let in a silly consolation goal which takes a bit of the shine away from the result.

Camp perhaps should’ve either kept hold the ball or at least parried or punched it to safety when a fairly tame shot came in from range after some late Swansea pressure, instead he palmed it to Van der Gun who still had quite a bit to do from a tight angle – but a good finish gave the small number of travelling Swansea fans a rare moment to cheer, although they still didn’t look too happy!

All in all, a very pleasing performance – the Reds showed a bit of mettle in nullifying the admittedly limited threat posed by our opponents, but showed more ruthlessness going forward too.  There’s still room for improvement here, of course, but it’s great to get three points on the board at home.  Well done boys!

11 Responses

  1. Great game of football this with a side that wanted to try and match us passing wise but always seemed to come up short.

    They reminded me of the Forest side that got relegated from the Championship last time around. Moved the ball about well but had no cutting edge and no penetration in the final third.

    Some MASSIVE postive for us today. Chambers was exceptional and Im thinking Wilson might struggle to get back into the side. The Moose had Pratley totally and utterly in his pocket and Pratleys body language said it al. For me. the Moose’s best game in a red shirt for a while.

    And then , of course, Man of the Moment Lewis McGugan. I thought he had drifted out of the game in the 2nd half and voiced that loudly from my seat only for him to score that sublime 2nd goal meaning I was subjected to much barracking from my fellow Tricky followers. Ouch. What the f*ck do I know 🙂

    So a win at home at last and now we need to follow this through with another win again the Blades on Tuesday. Cant wait….

  2. Vintage reds today. Three goals from midfielders,and lewis becomes our top scorer.

    Chambers was playing like a man possessed, making the overall good performance of wes look ordinary.

    Despite his collosal performance, it was still mcgugan, deft in the touch and intelligent and accurate in passing and switching play, that ultimately stole the show with a sublime goal.

    Depite this, there was a palpable anxiety in the crowd at 2-0 for the long periods where the swans played keep ball and we chased our tails.

    Thankfully madge calmed our fears, at least til camp did more of a northern irish save than his usual England number one show.

    Worth every penny of the entrance fee today. Great entertainment, and but for a de vries wonder stop we’d have seen goal of the season, such was the fabulous build up play.

    Good times, and a good result against one of the most fancied sides in this division.

  3. We missed Sinclair and Dobbie today and had to put a very young striker playing his 2nd game for us up front which would explain our lack of chances today which is odd as we have been getting an average of 10 on target per game this season. We need a few new faces and we could be getting Henri Lansbury from Arsenal and Simon Cox from WBA on loan soon. Have to wait and see!

    • Yes, it was in the final third the Swans really lacked any punch – so it makes sense if you’re missing key men.

      Very similar to us on a bad day, lots of passing and possession but a lack of vision to create too many scoring opportunities.

      Plus we’re apparently your bogey side! I’m sure it’ll come good on your travels soon, hopefully soon… although make sure you keep that HOME record intact given your next visitors, and keep Pintado away from Savage 🙂

  4. It had to come we were playing too well and not getting the rewards we should have beat Hull 3-0 i thought.Lewis is like a man reborn credit to Billy and the staff I hope we start to get real competition for places then we will be right up there in terms of leage position.

    Also I have been a critic of Luke Chambers in the past but he seems to have risen to the challenge credit to him.And in his best position I hope he keeps wilson out as I find him a bit arrogant and his head is at Celtic me thinks.

    Keep it going Forest we have nothing to fear in this leage a couple of decent loans and Diddsy back on form I reckon we are good to go.

    Question > Why on earth does the club continue to allow away fans to sit behind the goal ????

    Surely it should be our end by now and make a real racket when attacking that end. ??

    U reds

  5. haha Pintado is at Derby now on loan so he won’t play 😀 The last time they were down here Savage had a torrid time from the crowd as before the game when he was warming up he was stretching and went up to the west and the east stand and showed his back side to the crowd which resulted in chants of ‘There’s only 1 Johnny Toshack” which really got him wound up!

    I think the city ground is a bit of a bogey ground for us as we have had some decent results at home (bar last season) against Forest. Last time I was at the City Ground was for the 2-1 win when Lee Trundle scored from a mad angle to seal the 3 points.

    Watford next (gulp!) and Sinclair and Dobbie should be back but as Brendan Rodgers said that was the worst by far we have played under him. Different team at home as we terrorize defences. Burnely were lucky to leave with a 1-0 as we really peppered their keeper who had a good game.

    As for Frank Nouble, we would be better off with Frank Bruno up front!

    • Nouble didn’t look so bad.. just a bit isolated!

      Remember that Trundle strike.. the tubby bastard 😆 too talented for his own good!

  6. Here’s some pics my mate took yesterday – fairplay he doesn’t miss an a away game, although that will change when he gets married 😀

    Didn’t realize how close the County ground is to yours!

  7. Trundle is looking very very slim these days and plys his trade for the mighty…….

    Neath Atheltic! 😀

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