Reds disappoint in Leicester..

Leicester City – 1
Nottingham Forest – 0

A disappointing evening really – the highlights of which were glimpsing Aaron Ramsey in a Reds shirt (clearly unfit, but some nice touches), slipping past the security outside the turnstiles so escaping the police escort, and being threatened with a slapping on Twitter whilst despondently attempting to look on the bright side of life… so not much, really!!

With Earnie suffering from illness he made way in the starting eleven – but that wasn’t sufficient for either of the new boys to get a starting berth, instead Anderson was restored to the first team with Earnshaw on the bench along with Ramsey and Tudgay (and Wilson, Majewski, Smith and Tyson).

The starting line-up in that case looked like this – theoretically a 4-2-3-1 I think, but with the scope to go either 4-5-1 or 4-3-3..

Gunter    Morgan    Chambers    Bertrand
Moussi    Cohen
McCleary    McGugan    Anderson

The first half wasn’t that bad (with the luxury of knowing how bad the second half would become I suppose).  Both sides struggled to get a foothold in the game early doors – but in the opening exchanges the Reds didn’t look too bad – albeit struggling to convert possession and pressur ein to much by the way of reasonable chances.

One more than reasonable chance would fall for Dele Adebola – good work from McCleary saw the winger put a decent cross in to the back stick where the lumbering frontman was making a decent run – but could only turn it over with his favoured left foot.  He was under pressure from a Leicester defender but it has to go down as a pretty shit miss for the frontman.

At the other end Cohen scythed down King on the edge of the box, earning himself a yellow card and gifting Leicester a freekick.  They duly spannered it into our wall courtesy of Paul Gallagher so not too much damage done – but the home side were certainly in the ascendancy.  Indeed, moments later a shot from Bednar (I think) looked sure to go in but for a goal-line block from Chambers.

Moments later it had rebounded for another clear goalscoring opportunity which Camp managed to hurl himself infront of – the Reds eventually desperately getting the ball clear.  All in all, it was starting to look a bit ropey for Forest – with the home side battling harder and starting to build pressure on Forest.

Then an enforced change – not ideal.  Dele, who is limited admittedly – but a useful outlet when you’re under the kosh – had been struggling for some time with an injury.  He was eventually withdrawn for Robbie Earnshaw, slightly surprising – I was half expecting to see the not-exactly-massive-but-bigger-than-Earnie Tudgay sent on, but no, t’was the until-recently-ill Earnie we sent into the fray.

It looked to be a stroke of genius, as he was placed perfectly to pick up a wayward header to get in between the defence and Chris Weale with the ball at his feet.  He took a touch forward and went for the shot which was excellently saved by the Leicester ‘keeper.  Hard to imagine any striker looking for the pass – but Anderson was well placed for a square ball, and indeed, I quite fancied Earnie’s chances of taking the ball ’round Weale who was out very quickly.

Leicester were soon on the attack again though, and when Lee Cap had horribly misjudged a ball in it looked like Vassell had managed to do enough to notch the first goal, but as the inexplicably capped striker sat waiting expectantly to celebrate Luke Chambers was again the saviour as he strode back to hook his foot around the ball and get it clear before crossing the line.

There was more than a hint of us flying by the seat of our pants.  The half came to a close with the home side still pressing – the last chance of note falling to Gallagher who must still be quite unhappy with his effort from twelve yards which missed the target by not-quite-enough for us to feel fully comfortable.

It wasn’t going to get much better in the second half either – as suggested above.  Moments into the half the Reds were definitely second-best as Leicester worked their way through our defence and brought an excellent point-blank save from Lee Camp.  A dangerous ball in by ‘diving bastard’ Wellens nearly found Bednar in the box but for a timely interception from Lee Camp.

Just as Ramsey was being prepared to come on for the Reds the home side took the lead – good work from Vassell saw him hold on to the ball under the attentions of three Forest defenders.  His effort on goal wasn’t great, but it deflected across the six yard box off Camp and found Andy King unmarked in a great position to tap the ball into the pretty much open goal to give the home side a probably deserved lead.

Ramsey now did come on, replacing Cohen – and immediately had a few decent touches in midfield.  Moments later Nathan Tyson replaced the increasingly quiet Lewis McGugan as the Reds went into ‘shit or bust’ mode.  Unfortunately, all it seemed to do was disrupt whatever shape that we had had earlier in the game, and Forest struggled to fend off Leicester in waves of attacks.

King tried to add a second but opted for a nigh-on impossible looking level of curl to beat Camp.  At the other end Tys burst well down the right (going outside the linesman!) and put in a decent ball into the box, but Anderson wasn’t quite able to beat his defender to the ball.  Moments later a snapshot from Tys brought an excellent save from Weale.

Leicester had withdrawn Bednar for Steve Howard, who was on the end of a cracking cross from King but Camp was equal to it with a cracking save – and to Forest’s eternal lack of credit today we struggled to prevent Leicester continuing to put pressure on almost ’til the final whistle.  A very disappointing performance – particularly in the context of recent excellence at Cardiff – against not particularly gifted opponents.

Another inept refereeing performance too – he rightly waved away two pathetic dives from Wellens in the area but opted not to book the diving bastard.  He later missed what looked a more credible shout for a penalty for the home team – and another when Earnie was cropped in the area (the referee wasn’t looking, but his assistant was).

Having had a little referee moan, it wasn’t down to him we lost – we deserved to lose on today’s showing – Leicester wanted the game more and but for excellent saves from Camp and some solid defending from Chambers we could have been looking at more than a mere 1-0 deficit.  I imagine the commemorative DVDs will follow for those Leicester fans who couldn’t make it judging by the empty seats in the ground.

A disappointing nights work indeed from the Reds – the few bright points being excellent performances from Camp and Chambers, and getting a glimpse of Ramsey who will hopefully have easier circumstances in which to contribute to the cause in the future.  As for me, let’s look forward to the visit of Bristol City at the weekend and put this ignominious performance behind us.

And on the bright side, for we must look at that – I managed to escape Leicester in record time compared to recent visits, and avoid a slapping by any over-sensitive Tweeters on my way back to Nottingham.  A scant reward, but one must be grateful for what one can get!

14 Responses

  1. Great report.
    Didn’t get to the game but what really upset me was the massive difficulty we had in getting beyond midfield.
    Very frustrating to watch.

    Never mind – it’s Bristol next- come on you redsss!!!

  2. First time watching reds in a while (live in US). V. v poor performance – am surprised at how well they’ve done so far on this game. Missing Mckenna but what are the tactics – and where’s the wingers??? Thank god for the back line. Maybe Ramsey can do summat special.

  3. You’ve summed up the game nicely, nffc.

    Considering we had, in theory, 3 centre-mids against their 2 we looked shocking. Their No22 don’t know his name but he just sat back and picked up every loose ball, and there were plenty of them.
    They won every 2nd challenge. Poorest I’ve seen Lewis and Moose play for some time. Cohen not much better, I’m afraid.

    On the face of it, 1-0 when you’ve played absolutely terrible isn’t actually that bad, what galls me is that it comes on the back of a good little run including a good attacking away performance against Cardiff.

    Ramsey has a a bit of class, eh?! 15 minutes, unfit, doesn’t know his teammates and a cold away match and he still outpassed all the other reds!

    And just to cap the night off, I got a sodding parking ticket!!!

  4. Yea you summed it up well in your report mate.Lots of people slag davis off when he goes off on one but his analysis of were the side is is spot on.

    “We will win a couple ,lose a couple and draw a couple.”our side lacks experience and that needs sorting.

  5. I had this txt from a friend which sums it up really:

    No midfield
    No leadership
    No attack
    No tactics
    No idea

    Would have been embarrassing but for Chambers & Camp.

    I would just add wrong team selection and subs by WMD for me. Worst performance for ages.

    Says it all really. I watched el classico afterwards saw some great football in that.

  6. Not from Madrid you didn’t! They defended worse than we did…

  7. The true test of character of a team is their away performances; & unfortunately we do not possess the mental/physical strength to be competitive on a regular basis away from home. Of last night’s x11 only Camp, Wesley & Chambers (who much to my suprise is begining to look like a player…) for me have that strenth of character. When you look around the changing room I’m not sure there’s too many wearing that Garibaldi Red that I’d want to take into battle!! Hoping McKenna back soon, as whilst he’s clearly not the player he was at the beginning of last season, he does gives us heart, structure and a desire to get on the ball. As billy never gets tired in telling us (and he’s right) if we can bring in the right sort of players we’ll compete, if we don’t we won’t; club hierachy-the choice is yours!!!!!!!!

  8. A very poor performance from midfield but i think BD has to take responsibility for his substitutions. We had set up to have a big man up front to hold the ball up and support from pacey midfielders but when Dele went off early, replacing his with Earnie was a mistake, seems obvious to me Tudgay should have come on, half fit or not he can still hold the ball up better.

    I hope we haven’t got another situation where a player has been brought in without BD’s express wish, i.e. Boyd and then BD refuses to play him, ever.

    We then have a second sub and Tyson comes on, who is quite frankly getting worse by the game. I like the guy but he isnt good enough, neither the ability or the intelligence, twice he sprinted down the wing and despite being the fastest player at the club, and having orchestrated a quick break, he crosses it in to a box without a red shirt in. Why Billy persists with him i dont know and if he gets a new contract i will weep.

  9. Alex

    Perhaps….Jose could come over and take some lessons off Billy? Loved the look on his face at the end….a rabbitt caught in the headlghts.

    Back to Forest…….how bad does ando have to get to be dropped?

  10. A VERY poor night at the office! Ando and McCleary became totally ineffectual meaning everytime the ball went forward, it came straight back.

    It would have been a cricket score apart from Camps and Chambo.

    Im seriously beginning to wonder if McCleary will make it at this level.

    It was strange that Tudgay didnt replace Dele. Only Wee Billy knows why. Fitness perhaps??

    Oh well, taking the Wee Billy approach its only 3 points but VERY disappointing!!

  11. After a great result at Cardiff,lets change the system yet again,i was led to understand football was such a simple game, but no, lets not keep going on about players being tired,a bit leggy ect ect ect,play the player where he is best suited ie in his best position,what the F@@k was Earnie doing on the BENCH,Dele on his own upfront,Mcleary will never make a footballer while he has a hole in his arse,if it wasnt for camp and chambers they would have give us one hell of a thrashing.Lets hope the loan players get a run out before its time to return to there clubs,keep up the good work NFFC……..

  12. Good comment Graham I agree totally with what you say.Until this side has experience injected into it and players that will battle and dig in we wont get promotion.

    When it comes to crunch games like Blackpool,local Derbys and games where sides are up for it this side is prone to caving in.We can play the champagne football at home but
    on the road we need to be tenacious and have a real goal threat.

    This side still has a long way to go heres hoping eh.!

    U reds

  13. Truth is – for the second season running – they wanted it more than we did. And that is Billy’s job – to get the players up for it.

    Leicester won the game without breaking a sweat and whilst being pretty poor themselves, other than in midfield.

    Lets hope Bristol get the rebound thrashing from us, and we get back to winning ways. 1.5 points per game so far this season. 1.6 points per game for the rest of it and we’re in the playoffs.

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