Reds hold QPR, or do QPR hold Reds?..

Nottingham Forest – 0
Queens Park Rangers – 0

Whilst they came to the City Ground as table-toppers which jangled nerves regarding our unbeaten home run, Neil Warnock had a real injury headache which means the side that took to the field at the City Ground was fairly weakened.  Having said that, they have a decent squad and plenty of proven Championship players, so always going to prove a challenge.

In the first half the Reds looked to pass crisply and quickly but often too much so, missing out on the final ball – so it was, despite the Reds probably edging on possession, Camp who was the busier keeper prior to half-time.  The second half was much more positive for Forest – and Billy made some good substitutions that threatened to tip the game in our favour.

Ultimately a stalemate that John McGovern summed up quite well post-match by saying it was ‘satisfactory if not delightful’ – that’s about right, some real good moments, but there is a niggling feeling that we could’ve nicked it against a weakend Rangers side.  That said, they had chances to nick it too – I think a draw was fair.

Billy reshuffled the pack to give midfield more bodies, giving us a side something like this:

Camp
Gunter    Morgan    Chambers    Bertrand
Anderson    McGugan    McKenna    Majewski    Cohen
Blackstock

The opening was quite open and end-to-end, but it wasn’t until ten minutes in that an actual chance was fashioned.  A decent corner from Lewis was met by Dex in the area, but his header flashed across goal and just over.  At the other end a header from Walker saw Camp do a ‘save for the cameras’ at the expense of a corner.

Lewis threatened with another spectacular effort, picking up the ball inside our half before advancing and taking the opportunity to have a dig from around 25 yards.  We know what he’s capable from that range but unfortunately on this occasion he put it over and into the QPR fans, who travelled in great numbers but made hardly any noise – the quietest away fans of that number we’ve seen for a while!

Shortly after this a penalty shout went up – hard to tell from my seat what occurred in the area – Tommy Smith hit the deck with Lewis in close attendance but I couldn’t tell whether or not there was anything untoward.  The QPR players and fans certainly thought there were – it will be interesting to check out the highlights later (obviously Warnock thinks it was a penalty and has been moaning about it, predictably).

Half an hour on the clock and Rangers came close again – Forest were giving the ball away in midfield terribly easily, Cohen and Gunts were particular culprits – and one of the last people you want to do that with is Adel Taarabt 30 yards from goal.  Fortunately Camp was equal to the decent strike he unleashed and made another decent save, again at the expense of another corner.

It’s fair to say that the visitors had the upper-hand for the remainder of the half – although didn’t fashion any direct chances.  Whilst there had been early indications of positivity from the Reds there hadn’t been a save to make for Paddy Kenny in goal for the Hoops, which is pretty shoddy when you’re at home.

At the start of the second half it should be noted that Lee Camp got a great reception from the visiting QPR fans as he jogged into position.  Always nice to see, not like the dogs abuse that Paddy Kenny got from the Reds fans throughout the game – from the residual dislike of him from his Sheffield United days.  He never looks bothered though!

QPR started the half on the up as they had finished the first.  Smith put in a dangerous cross that Smith couldn’t get to, but it went out the other end for a goalkick.  Mackie too should’ve done better after a good run down the right, beating McGugan, saw him cut inside at a tight angle and shoot into the side-netting.

At the other end Dex looked to have got himself clear with a great run but was forced to shoot from range as the defenders were catching up with him and it wasn’t really a difficult save for Kenny to make.  Just about on the hour mark Billy made a double change – Dex and Raddy were withdrawn for Dele and Earnie in quite a bold attacking move by Billy.

It was a game-changer too – both players integral to moments of excitement to follow, Dele was winning flicks and holding up the ball well (when D’Urso wasn’t randomly punishing him for the heinous crime of being clambered all over by a Rangers player!).  It certainly seemed to give us more attacking impetus and lifted the crowd into making a bit more noise.

One Adebola flick found Anderson, whose cross to McGugan saw Kenny make an excellent save, the ball fell to Earnshaw who looked to be bundled over by Faurlin.  Similarly to the first half incident my view wasn’t great, certainly the fans in the Trent End called for it as did our players – so we had a shout for a penalty too, the referee didn’t give it.  In the same article linked above Billy reckons it was a peno, but more magnanimously agrees with Warnock on the QPR one… I don’t recall a handball in the area though, I saw one just outside that D’Urso ignored.

QPR were dangerous on the break – Agyemang was doing a similar job to Dele for Rangers, and he did well to keep the ball and tuck it back to Taarabt who spotted Camp no more than two yards off his line, but still almost caught him out with a very deft lob that had our ‘keeper backpedalling to tip over well.

The Reds finished strongest, a corner looked to have been cleared off the line at one point – but ultimately the curse that’s blighted us all season continued which is that we just don’t get enough shots on goal, or the final ball just lets us down a little bit.  As added time ran out the final whistle went and the mood of the ground was generally contentment I think, probably from both sides.

As I noted at the start, we could have nicked this – but equally we could easily have lost had Camp not been on his toes.  Some signs of promise though, which will need to grow to something more if we are to get anything out of the trip to Cardiff next week, who now top the table thanks to QPR dropping two points against us…

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13 Responses

  1. A decent point and a fair result I think.Im pleased we didnt let a goal in as we have been leaking silly goals recently.

    Our forwards have gone right of the boil and need to get in amongst the goals this season.Its strange as most of our goals are coming from midfield at the moment and its a complete roll reversal from last season as dex and earnie were hot.

    Tough tough game next week Cardiff are on fire and barring a catastrophe will be a premier leage team next year.I believe we should have been as good as them this season with 3 or 4 new players I think that eats away at Davis I know it bothers me .

    U reds

  2. I think you’ve got the formation wrong again.

    From my seat in the BC it was a clear 4-2-3-1 formation at kick off. In no way did Cohen start on the left.

    The midfield lined up

    –McKenna — Cohen —
    Ando —- Radi —- Lewis

    Even when Adebola and Earnie came on, we still had McKenna and Cohen as the middle two, with Ando and Lewis outwide.

    • I hope you don’t lose any sleep over it 🙂

      Our midfield moves around all the time, so there’s not really a fixed formation – Cohen as ever was all over but certainly on the left occasionally.

      T’was late when I wrote it though, pretty sure I intended him to be on the right and Ando on the left.

      I might just revert to a list 😉

  3. This had a “mustn’t lose” feel to it – certainly in the first 45 minutes and it appeared to have the pace of a training ground game.

    Im disappointed not to have taken the game more to QPR who I thought, looked decidely average. Admittedly they were well organised, as you expect any team sent out by Colin to be. But the pace at which they did everything was annoyingly slow – even in the first 5 minutes!!

    I couldnt watch QPR if they played like this every week!

  4. I couldnt believe the BBC “highlights”. They seemed to have a narrative “Excellent QPR held by plucky Forest” and were highly selective with the chances.

    They didnt show the handball penalty shout (shame as I’d like to have seen it again) nor the “offside” goal by earnie!!!

    They also didnt show the best move of the game in the second half in which forest passed it around like Wenger’s lot, only to fail to convert the chance (I’d like to have seen THAT again too)

    The referee – should have gone to specsavers – was equally apalling to both sides with inexplicable decisions all day – such as letting play continue whilst talking to and physically restraining McKenna, or getting in the way of the play which turned a useful looking break into a dangerous chance for QPR

    I would summarise the game to be one in which QPR lacked a cutting edge in the final third, and they troubled Forest little, but we also were far from clinical in front of goal. All in all, a point was the least we deserved, and you have to credit them for an organised makeshift defence that kept it simple, but on this evidence QPR are well above where they ought to be.

  5. What is a Warnock on?

    His comment on London radio was that Forest were holding on at the end – what??

    What game was he watching?

    Yes QPR had chances but they were wasting time with 20 minutes to go and yes Neil – holding on!!
    QPR were ordinary Forest could, and should, have won the game.

    • What game were you at ?

      Paddy had nothing to do for all the first half and only 2 saves to make in second ! Forest played like the away team for most of the game, if they had gone for it a bit more maybe they could have won ?

      QPR’s ‘ordinary’ side are still unbeaten 17 games in and 11 points better off than Forest !

  6. Give the man a break Mike eh ! hes tireless in his approach to reporting on all Forest matches for the benefit of well versed Forest fans like you and I .

    Who cares what formation the midfield starts off in, it always fluctuates when billy is in charge.And it keeps the opposition guessing.

    U reds

  7. Fair whatevers to Paddy Kenny; after getting the habitual fat/wifeless/doper abuse for 70 minutes, when play was stopped for a bit he came over and had what appeared to be an amicable chat to the Trent End and a bit of a grin for the T9 hardcore.

    Then again, being part of a defence that’s only let in seven all season would make most keepers happy. They may have lacked a bit in attack, but they were pretty effective in stifling Forest’s game and breaking up our moves most of the time.

    (Husky, Earnie was miles offside, by the way; the officials were pretty crap but they got that one right.)

  8. I thought QPR came for a point and were happy to waste time from the first minute. I thought we had some decent moves but not sure about this tactic of trying to use Cohen’s ‘aerial prowess’ down the right channel tho, i dont think it worked once but we kept trying it and felt he had his worst game in years, ditto Gunter, both gave the ball away a lot.
    We desperately need a striker to hit form as we cant rely on goals from midfield alone.
    Overall i was disappointed that we settled for a point at the end. When Dele came on we had a really good ten minutes or so but then seemed more than content to sit back, and it seemed like Billy and the coaches were telling the players to slow it down. I’m sure if we’d gone for it we could have won but was nice not to concede another sloppy goal for once!

  9. Decent enough point, I thought.

    As you’d expect from a Warnock side there was a fair bit of whining to the ref (but then again he was shite, for both sides), plenty of time wasting, especially early on, bizarrely, but they were well organised and strong. They had a make-shift back four, but that didn’t show, did it??!
    The guy Taabart was superb. Everything lumped up to him stuck (unlike with Dex where the ball bounces off him or he fails to win the header) and they passed it well through the midfield on occassion too, he was always available for the easy pass.

    Contrast that with our team. One of the Championships best playmakers at this moment in time is sent out to play left wing…??
    Ando is really struggling, Cohen is out of position for an hour a game, Dex had 2 good minutes just prior to being subbed, and Gunts had a nightmare (a rarity) with his passing.
    Considering all that I reckon we deserved a point out of the game.

    Just a couple of points…the nob that shouted “youreds” at the start of the silence, I hope the guys around him bollocked him after. And the qpr fans. How poor were they? A good following away from home, top of the league and I barely heard them.
    Maybe they’ve only had a few months to learn the songs, must be hard, being a “new” fan !!

  10. I do feel that another quality striker is needed to just give forest an extra boost as earnie is injry prone, blackstock is inconsistent, mcgoldrick injury prone this season too and adebola a big trundler!

    What about Jason Roberts?500k Blackburn want for him. He would be very good signing in my opinion.

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