What’s it like to lose at home?

Tigers: not great!

Nottingham Forest – 0
Hull City – 1

Well, all good things must come to an end – and so we say goodbye to our unbeaten home run thanks to Hull City – and particularly Matty Fryatt for his deadly finishing when a rare chance fell his way.  The writing was on the wall for me when some of the ill-thinking fans in Victor Chandler Corner started chanting ‘Unbeaten at home..’ in the first half, but I’m not going to start on daft chants, I’ll never get on to the match…

In seriousness though I saw the game similarly to Billy judging by his post-match comments – we were the best team in the first half, and matched Hull in the second but we were painfully bad at creating chances.  Those we did we generally fluffed – whereas a fortunate deflection from Chris Cohen created the perfect throughball to Matty Fryatt who ran at Gunts and placed his shot delicately past Camp and inside the far post.

With McKenna joining the not inconsiderable list of injuries (a slight knee niggle – so more precautionary than dire emergency, fortunately), Billy was forced to shuffle the pack again – so much so that hitherto forgotten man Julian Bennett was restored to the bench after his return from Crystal Palace some time ago.  Welcome back to the squad, Jules!

Gunter    Morgan   Chambers    Konchesky
Anderson    Cohen    Majewski    McGugan
Tudgay    Earnshaw

A cracking following from Hull too – 3,412 made the trip, inflatables and all – it’s good to see.  I’ll even forgive their amusing comments about Nottingham supposedly being a shithole because whilst I’m still here – they have to go back to Hull!

On to the game – a good start from the Reds saw the ball drop to Earnie on the edge of the box, he struck it well first time to attempt to get it over the ‘keeper – but he was over the bar as well.  At the other end Hull swung a dangerous corner in which was cleared by Tudgay, it came back in but was blocked in a very crowded area.

We had our fair share of corners too – taken in a myriad of different styles, the closest chance of which came when it was driven low to the near post where a flick from Paul Anderson looked to be heading goalward, until Earnie got his head under it and helped it over the bar.  It might not’ve been going in to be fair – frustrating though, and has to go down as a bad miss from the number ten.

Another opportunity from a cross came when Chris Cohen crossed in, their ‘keeper – as he seemed keen to – went for the punch clear, it fell nicely for Raddy who settled himself and struck a powerful shot but Anthony Gerrard was on hand to block it.  Generally though, despite some promising possession we didn’t quite get our moves to end in a shot.  Or a disappointing one – Ando did well to lay the ball to Tuds who struck it well, but straight at the ‘keeper.

As the half wore on there was plenty of good possession – some nice passing, then it usually broke down with a flick or backheel that was fractionally off – really irritating because we did look okay in spells.  Hull were content to soak pressure and – by and large – did a good job.  Excuse the cliche, but they were quite tigerish!  Toward the end of the half they did foray forward more, and Cohen needed to be on hand to block an effort from Fryatt.

Just before the break we had another chance where Cohen crossed in but Gerrard again was on hand to clear before Earnie could get a bite at the cherry.  In truth, probably the highlight of the half was Hull’s centrehalf taking goalkicks for the away side (reminscent of primary school when the fat left back used to take ’em) and repeatedly putting them into touch (well, twice anyway!).

The second half was more open – and Hull started to look more positive.  We had a freekick on the D early doors after Rosenior hacked down Cohen on the edge of the area, it was a bit close to shoot but Earnie nearly dinked it over the wall – it clipped a head and looped just over with some of the ground thinking it had gone one better for yet another corner (which we didn’t quite get right today).

It was Hull that broke the deadlock though, as the scoreline might suggest!  It was actually the Reds on the attack when the ball was cleared, clipping Cohen and falling incredibly favourably for Fryatt’s diagonal run.  Gunts stood off him a bit and oddly seemed to be playing him onto this right foot, the striker took the invitation with an excellent placed finish beyond Camp and inside the far post.  Galling, but a very well taken goal.

Billy introduced McCleary for McGugan, who’d been fairly ineffective in a crowded midfield, and shortly after took off Earnie for Nialle Rodney.  The away side were understandably less adventurous and invited Forest on to them, but we seemed so narrow that it was a relatively easy job to keep crowding us out of it – Hull did this very well all afternoon to their credit.  Tigers indeed.

We did have some moments though – Anderson found McCleary whose ball across the box met Gunter’s run, but again the Hull rearguard was on hand to block his effort.  Dele was introduced for Anderson, and Wes deployed upfront too – but we couldn’t break down a dogged defence and midfield.  The timewasting from them was frustrating, but no worse than what we’ve been guilty of in similar situations so I shan’t lambast ’em for it.

Wes brought a routine save from Mannone with a header, and after some nice passing Raddy had a powerful shot from the inside left channel which really should’ve been better – he just missed the far post.  The board went up with five minutes on the clock, and it brought a bit of life to the otherwise pretty quiet home fans and brought signs of worry from the away end – although they needn’t have, of course!

A late corner even saw Camp up in the area – but after a fairly nothing tussle in the box the referee awarded Hull the freekick they needed to clear their lines and blew the full time whistle.  Credit to the fans who stayed to applaud – 36 games unbeaten at home is fantastic, and losing it is disappointing.  But our lads deserve our support.  Those leaving with 15 minutes to go, less impressive.

You can see results elsewhere as either a missed opportunity or a bit of a let off – Swansea lost, as I type Cardiff are 2-0 down, Leicester lost and Norwich drew (and still overtook us in the league).  Not bad really, is it?  Of course, if we’d won it would have been rather sweeter.  In beating Leicester, QPR have a bit of daylight at the top of the table and would really have to bollocks it up to not go up now.

Whilst I’m sure everyone at Forest will continue to desperately seek reinforcements we need to limp our way to the international break and regroup badly.  The squad looks short of legs, short of ideas and certainly short of creating enough goal threat.  Today we were crying out for width – so if it’s true that Tys is close to a return I’d love to see him put out on the left to try to stretch midfields a bit more.

We shall see.  Well done to Hull though, as I’d expect from a Nigel Pearson team well set up to nullify us and in setting themselves up to frustrate us and hit us on the break, they played it almost to perfection.  One good chance, one goal.  Almost the opposite to us at the moment.