Oh we do like to be beside the sea-side…

Wes celebrates the opener..

Blackpool – 1
Nottingham Forest – 2

What a difference a new Steve makes, eh?  Blackpool have proven a considerable thorn in the side of our recent history, so a win at their place shouldn’t be downplayed.  Even the announcer during the half time ‘zorb’ competition between a Tangerine and a Reds fan announced smugly “And Blackpool beat Forest… again!” as their fan got his slightly-more-inflated-looking ball over the finish line before the Reds fan.

Certainly there was fortune involved, some wasteful finishing from the home side is a factor – then again, some adversity too – a questionable refereeing performance left us finishing the game without Guy Moussi, victim of two ludicrously soft bookings that would see games across the country called off due to lack of players if they became the norm for referees.  But anyway, the boys dug in and ground out the result – so that’s a fairly inconsequential fly in the ointment.

With Clint Hill disappointingly recalled to QPR it meant a re-jig in personnel – Gunter moved from right midfield to left back, with Greening coming from the bench into a narrower looking midfield.. something like this, but with Lewis perhaps a bit more advanced and ‘free-er’ in where you might find him on the pitch, resulting often in a more narrow midfield than we saw against Middlesbrough in midweek..

Chambers    Morgan    Lynch    Gunter
McGugan    Greening    Moussi    Majewski
Tudgay    Miller

The first half was pretty scrappy – there were few clear cut chances early doors, a cross from Tudgay was heading towards Miller but Gilks was able to intercept it fairly easily.  The home side was posing little threat either – the first job Lee Camp really needed to do was claim a corner under pressure from two home players.  Meanwhile at the other end a freekick from McGugan fell at the back post but Chambers just headed over.

Forest continued to edge an edgy half – an effort from around twenty yards from Miller deflected, taking the sting out of it and providing Gilks with an easy save to make.  Meanwhile the home side too were starting to fashion chances – a cross from Eardley also deflected making Camp’s life a little difficult – but he was able to gather it.  Moussi lost out to Shelvey whose cross was hammered somehow clear by Morgan when an own-goal looked a real danger.

From this point the half sprung more into life – a delicious left-footed cross by Luke Chambers of all people found Marcus Tudgay, who did well to get a looping header on it whilst jumping backwards.  A smart save by Gilks gave Forest the corner – amazingly, a corner that we actually eventually score from – will wonders never cease?

McGugan’s corner found its’ way to the back post where Wes managed to rise to plant a header low into the corner.  Question marks should probably be asked about both defending and goalkeeping – but hell, we’ll take it regardless!  As ever though, those crucial couple of minutes after scoring a goal were almost our undoing again.  The red herring in this encounter is Miller being on the ground during the build-up – a la Derby (albeit not a serious injury), this wasn’t the issue I took exception to – the ref should’ve played on.

However the referee ignored the fact that McGugan had been felled by Eardley and let play go on, Chambers stood off Phillips who turned and hit a well-placed shot into the bottom corner – but really Lee Camp should be asking himself a few questions too.  You kind of expect idiot refereeing these days, so that doesn’t make up for the subsequent mistakes our lads made.  Half time and all level, perhaps a little harshly but it had been a closely contested half.

Forest started the second half brightly – Raddy and Tudgay worked well together to fashion a cross which was cleared uncomfortably by Cathcart for a Forest corner.  Lewis put in another good delivery which Chambers headed off-target when he really should’ve done better.  As the momentum seemed to be waning Cotterill made a couple of changes – introducing Derbyshire and Moloney for Miller and Greening respectively.

The home side were looking dangerous though, particularly through former Notts County loanee Thomas Ince who beguiled the Forest defence with both pace and trickery – having an effort on goal that hit the side netting.  Not helping Forest’s cause was the referee who seemed to only have eyes for falling over Blackpool players – of course, I only have eyes for falling over Forest players so maybe my own bias is creeping in there.

Ince created a great chance for Phillips to net again, but the experienced front man conspired to miss from about two yards out.  Ince again burst into the area and beat both Gunter and Derbyshire with some great footwork, he looked to have beaten Camp with his shot too which cannoned off the post – Forest eventually managing to get the ball clear.  Proper backs-against-the-wall stuff, it was starting to look like.

Just as we feared the worst though, something unexpected occurred.  A long throw into the box from the left by Gunter was either nodded back by Derbyshire or badly cleared by a defender (even after watching the replay I can’t work it out!) – either way, it fell invitingly for Majewski who swept the ball on the half-volley through the legs of both defender and goalkeeper from around ten yards to give Forest the lead somewhat against the run of play.

The celebrations were naturally jubilant – Moussi ended up on the other side of the advertising board, but didn’t make any contact with the supporters yet was carded by the referee somewhat harshly.  Moussi’s actions were no more than you see at any game (we’ve seen a LOT of opposing players celebrating goals afterall).  It was to prove a costly piece of harsh judgement from the referee.

Taking the lead gave Forest initial impetus though, Majewski turned provider to hold up the ball and tee up Moloney who struck a decent effort, but not too difficult for Gilks to gather.  The home side were starting to build up their own momentum though.  Derbyshire was booked for being fouled, and shortly after Moussi got his marching orders – he did clip their player who went down like he’d been shot, it was a foul – a booking?  Maybe I guess.  Obviously added to his earlier ridiculous card though it made for a sending off.  Frustrating!

The Reds reshuffled quite quickly, Cotterill taking off the similarly harshly-carded Derbyshire to prevent something similar happening to him – and replacing him with Andy Reid to add more ballast (sorry, Reidy!) to midfield.  It’s the first we’ve seen of him under the new manager and he certainly cut a more dynamic figure than we’ve seen so far last season – he took up position on the left, sending Raddy to the middle and barked orders to his teammates.

It was mostly defending for Forest from here on – and the lads dug in admirably to deny Blackpool with blocks and tackles aplenty.  It’s true that Phillips missed another golden opportunity, as did Shelvey, but the Reds managed to clear their lines after each attack had broken on them and get the ball clear to safety.  Admittedly it usually came straight back, but ultimately we weren’t to be breached again.

The reaction from the players at the final whistle spoke volumes – they mostly stopped and dropped to the ground.  They were knackered, they’d put in a tremendous effort and got a cracking result.  Once they’d had the chance to take stock they naturally joined the raucous celebrations going on in the away end.  Whilst I have no malice at all towards Blackpool, it did feel a bit cathartic finally getting a result against them, I must admit.

Not a classic though – all three goals were eminently preventable, but three things we can’t be denied are much needed points.  Still some way to go, but Cotterill’s is already a couple of points shy of what McClaren had managed to accomplish after ten games in the league.  Onwards and upwards, hopefully!

19 Responses

  1. Great 3 points it has to be said. Well played you Reds! (well, black and greens).
    Sorry, can’t agree on two of the bookings. I only saw it on a stream, but on the TV Derbyshire’s was a clear dive, no questions at all. He was going down long before contact. A fair enough yellow, in my opinion. Also, Moussi was booked for going into the crowd. He didn’t need to touch them, jumping the barrier was enough. What was odd was that the referee didn’t make it obvious. SC certainly didn’t know. His second yellow was harsh, I thought.

    All in all, an excellent performance, and it was great to see the fight and determination. Looking forward to Hull….

    • I can kinda forgive the Derbyshire – as he does go down easy regularly – but a foul’s still a foul isn’t it?

      But ‘into the crowd’ to me means touching them at least, not going over a barrier and not actually going anywhere near the actual people.

      I think the stewards rushing in made it look worse, to be honest.

      Every time a goal goes in at the Bridgford End against us their players go ‘into the crowd’ – whilst it might cheer me up a bit if they all got booked for it, they never do. Nor should they.

      • His reputation proceeds him though. He always looks like he going to dive !! if he played for anyone else we would be calling him a diving git.
        great result, excellent effort and well chuffed for Radi. we need him along with Mcgugan. Between them they will come up with a piece of magic in most games. Radi needs a good season more than anyone if he is going to get into the Polish Squad for the euro’s. I really hope he does.

      • Fair point. It’s unlike refs to be inconsistent, though…

  2. […] the original post on Through the seasons before […]

  3. Two games in a row where, even aside from the scoreline you have to credit the players with tremendous effort, as good as or better than anything I’ve seen in the last three years.

    The more we all see of Cotterill the more it shows up just what a dire manager McClaren really was.

    Just for the record, if we want to finish in the top 6, the ginger debacle means we have to score 1.8 points per game from hereon. Not impossible, but that is what Norwich achieved last season – i.e. second place form. If Cotterill reproduces the kind of team form he masterminded on the other side of the trent, you never know….

  4. Great summary as usual.

    Have a look at this for a great example of a crock of shite match report.


    SC seems to be proving many, including the underwhelmed me, wrong with regard to his appointment. He looks the business and just what we need at the mo.

  5. Highstreet Dave, Which stream did you get ? I tried all of them and failed….
    Another 3 points,and now looking forward to the next game ! Well played the lads !!

    • vipstand.net is the one I used. They seem pretty reliable. You usually get the FLS commentator as well. Although in this case that was actually a disadvantage!

  6. Great result, great effort.  Yes we had some good fortune but they say you make your own luck and the lads certainly worked for this one.  That they appear to be cohesive, working for each other and going that extra yard says much about the spirit that SC has tapped into since his arrival. It also shouts volumes at how poor McC must have been. The red or 2 yellows to be precise for Moose were harsh but within the ‘law’ if not the spirit of the game; inconsistency is the key complaint here.

    Despite the great result, I hope we are working feverishly behind the scenes to get a replacement for Hill as I though Gunts, whilst he did the best he could, got turned the wrong way too often for comfort.  We are not out of the woods yet but the ‘patient’ is definitely showing signs of recovery and all we can ask from the players is that they try.  They certainly did that on Saturday so happy days after the recent misery!

  7. Great Result!
    Confidence amongst the players must be growing as even a full strength Forest have found Blackpool to be a real handful in recent times. McGugan looks dangerous again, Chambers & Morgan posing an aerial threat, even Moloney wants to get in on the action!
    I hope the hierarchy are looking to replace the suddenly departed Clint Hill. The players looked spent after the final whistle & with no imminent return from the injury list, it would be terrible to see this renaissance spoilt by a lack of available playing staff.
    Tough games ahead with Hull & Reading. The Championship, does anything come easy?
    U Reds!

  8. Just got back from Blackpool after making a weekend of an away day. Quick word about the match: a month ago Forest would’ve lost that game after it went 1-1, it’s amazing just how quickly the team seemed to have responded to Cotterill.

    About the weekend; I went with my wife and 9 year old stepson and it was his first Forest match. His dad doesn’t really follow football so he hasn’t had anyone to take a lead from regarding a football team. He kind of started to follow Villa with no real conviction because his mates at school do (I now live in Birmingham) but he’s slowly started to take an interest in Forest.

    Anyway as the game wore on, the ref seemed to be giving Blackpool all the decisions, and they were creating the most chances I could see how upset and frustrated he was getting and I thought ‘Should I really be setting him up from decades of this?!’ I’m certain I even saw a tear at one point! I’m not sure who cheered the most when Majewski scored, me or him!

    Anyway thanks Radi for sending one young lad away overjoyed!

    • Great tale Joe, that’s what it’s all about. Does he play leftback by any chance?

      My life we’ve actually signed one! Welcome Greg Cunningham.

  9. well done joe ..wow ! very emotional !! love to hear it !.and well done to the boys …………uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuureds!!..(or black n greens )!!! thank god we never kept schtum !! and the wally was stil in charge !!..my god ..phew a close call ……dont let us stop …MARTHUR OUT !!!

  10. Wow a left back signed……..until the end of December at least! Welcome Greg Cunningham he palyed agin us last year at Festa and was quite good if I remember correctly. No weeks and weeks of procrastination what a difference?

  11. I know Raivinreg. You can’t help thinking… If only Doughty had applied this model from the very beginning.

    1) Get a football (Forest) man and appoint as Chairman
    2) Give a yearly budget for players and wages
    3) Let Chairman appoint manager
    4) Let manager get on with it.

    Wouldn’t it be funny if we were to be successful this season just with that simple plan?

    Lets say if this system and Frank Clark as chairman had been put in place after Platt. I doubt Megson, Kinear, SMc and Calderwood would of even got close to the job. The chances are the manager (Maybe Hart) would of got us promoted and we would never of been relegated.

    Ahh. Its all ifs and buts I know. Of course we haven’t achieved anything but I just feel so much better with this set up than before. I guess time will tell.

  12. Bloody simple!! Mind blowingly simple!!!!

  13. Totally agree and at last we’ve acted with common-sense. We are much better bringing in players of that ilk than throwing money away on the likes of Konchesky. He may prove to be a success on loan, be surplus to City’s expensive squad so we buy him, and we may at some stage be able to sell him on & make some money. Bloody hell, we are beginning to act like a proper club that reflects our stature and the manager is buying into/leading this ethos. Up the reds!

    Great story Joe- much better being a Red than a Villain!

  14. Well done the lads again. i have now been in the country for 2 weeks 3 matches 6 points 2 points per match is promotion pity season started 8 weeks ago.seems as if we have managed to start turning things around.I will be taking my six year old to his first match Saturday against Hull so am hoping for a good match and a reds win. Will be a shame to bring him all the way from NZ for a bad result.Another potential lifelong forest fan.

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