Up against Hull, it’s gonna be dull..

Raddy: Came closest to scoring with a snapshot from range

Nottingham Forest – 0
Hull City – 1

It’s the third time we’ve played Hull in my lifetime, and I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that for whatever mystical reason these are games I’m not destined to enjoy!  Three games, no goals for and two goals against – one point earned.  Whilst there were shots on target, there weren’t many genuine challenges for either keeper – the one that did come was for our visitors and it was taken expertly and that was that.

A frustrating afternoon – Nigel Pearson had done his homework on Forest and set out his stall to invite Forest to try to break them down, and to be frank, we didn’t do a very good job of it.    Cotterill handed a debut to loanee Greg Cunningham at left-back, which enabled him to reshuffle Gunter to right midfield, and have Greening move inside to cover for the suspended Guy Moussi:

Chambers Morgan   Lynch   Cunningham
Gunter   Greening   McGugan   Majewski
Miller   Tudgay

Wes led the team out with the armband on to commemorate his 400th appearance for the Reds – a fantastic achievement, and at just 27 years old there’s still room for a few more games for the big defender.

A chance early doors came from a McGugan cross which found Tudgay whose header was just off target.  Moments later a cross in from Greening was aimed towards Miller, but Basso was on hand to claim it ahead of the striker.  Whilst the Reds carried on dominating possession, those early shows of intent were proving difficult to build upon.  A cross from Radi looked to be heading towards Gunts, but a defender got it clear.

Hull worked their way into the game and Cairney had a tame effort that was easily dealt with by Lee Camp.  A freekick on the right was played in dangerously by Brady but went wide – but certainly the previously closed-off visitors were starting to have a bit more of a look at going forward, but Forest did haul themselves back – a snap-shot from Lewis from distance ended up just over the bar.

The Reds built on the pressure, Majewski fed the overlapping Cunningham who put a decent ball into the box which was put out for a corner by a defender.  From that corner – probably the only decent delivery from a corner we mustered all game – Wes won a header but was only able to place his header directly into the arms of the Tigers goalkeeper.  The last chance was another long-range effort from Lewis, which this time was just over (he had taken an earlier freekick that was on target but an easy save).

During half time both Adebola and McKenna warmed up for the visitors and were both afforded a great reception from the Reds fans, which was great to see.  Indeed, I even heard Forest fans chanting the name of Paul McKenna – which is more than they managed to do when he played for us!  He came on straight after the break to replace Cairney and was warmly applauded by the fans including those who’d been in the concourse during the break.

It seemed both managers had stressed the need to inject a bit of pace into the game – the upshot of which was both teams frantically scrapping about and making very little progress early in the half.  Freekicks from range seemed to be our only chance to get a shot on target – Lewis had another chance at this, but this time struck the wall – the rebound fell for Gunter who had a glimpse of glory and unleashed a shot that was, well, best forgotten – well off target!!

Hull introduced Adebola to the mix who had a similarly good reception from the Reds fans, his first contribution was to concede a couple of fouls!  The chance of the game from Forest fell to Majewski, who hit a lovely effort from long range with his left foot – but Basso, who let’s face it hadn’t had masses of difficult work to do, was alert enough to get across and tip the ball out for a corner.

Forest took some heart from this – the hard-working Tudgay found Raddy in the box who worked well to get himself a shooting chance, at which point he only seemed able to prod the ball gently towards Basso.  The increasingly ineffective Miller – who did appear to be moving awkwardly – was replaced by Robbie Findley, and – as seems to happen but I’m not sure it’s because of – Hull nipped down the other end and scored.

Remember those clipped balls forward that some of you used to groan about when McKenna did them?  Well it was one of those that unlocked the Forest defence, he clipped it over the defence to find the run of on-side Aaron McClean who took the ball into the box and struck a powerful shot under Cunningham and beyond Camp – the first clear-cut chance in the whole game, well worked, well taken.  For all their hard work and possession, 1-0 down for Forest.

Cotterill introduced the still rather-large looking Reid for Greening, and not long after Tudgay was going to be replaced for Derbyshire – but either an injury or some cramp saw the plan changed at the last minute to take Cunningham off instead.  A promising debut from the young fullback.  As has been the case for managers before him – Wes Morgan ended up as an emergency striker as Forest pushed to try to get the equaliser.

Well, I say pushed – Hull did a real job on frustrating our endeavours before they became anything approximating a threat.  We got the ball regularly to the final third but I can’t recall a single significant chance to score from the Reds.  Begrudgingly you just have to take your hat off to our visitors for their defensive work, and also perhaps start to point an accusing finger to those of our players who should be providing more opportunities to threaten the opponents goal.

I do think the referee bottled an absolutely shocking challenge late on by Fryatt on Andy Reid though.  It wasn’t going to be a game changer, but tackles like that are a red card in my book.  Particularly given that it was deep in our own half – so there was no bloody need for it even from a nullifying any tiny threat we might have caused from possession in that area of the pitch.

Disappointing, but at least Cotterill has had a chance to see some of the forward-moving frustrations we suffer from and think about how to go about putting these things right on Tuesday night.  As for me, the excitement I had at the idea of finally playing Hull last season is quickly turning to that sense of dread we used to have when facing Walsall – it’s not because I have any issue with the Tigers, but we just don’t seem to be able to perform against them!

15 Responses

  1. Gunter seemed to be enjoying his night out in town with Anderson last night. I thought it best not to ask his take on his two efforts on goal yesterday…
    Got to agree, Hull did a good number in Forest, similar to last season. Miller looked strangely out of sorts. Not much stuck up front despite the efforts of Tudgay. The midfeld was two deep in the second half as McKenna marshalled the Hull defence in his own inimitable style. He actually headed it over the Forest defence for McClean to score, it wasn’t one of his legendary lofted balls forward!

    • Ah shit, my bad – I’ve not seen the FL show yet as decided to spend an evening of drunken debauchery was preferable!

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

  3. We used to have a defence like Hull showed us yesterday. Not pretty to watch but effective nevertheless. As Mr Clough used to say, dont concede goals and you wont lose many!

    Was always going to be a struggle and so it proved. Credit to the Hull back four as they marshalled our front two well all day.

    Now I dont claim to be a tactical expert but ourt midfield and attack never seemed to be close enough together yesterday. I like to Lewis play a good 10 yards higher up the pitch so he can unlock the opponents defence. We never really seemed much a threat and in the end seems to be just lumping high balls forward.

    We do need some width as a matter of urgency so the sooner Ando and McCleary are back the better.

    So back to reality with a bump!

  4. Yes back to reality indeed.
    Let’s face it, forest had lost 8 from 12 under McLaren. In order to get back on track we would need to win 8 from the next 12 to just break even by Christmas.
    We can only hope our squad is stronger by then as when we lose just one midfielder for one game due to suspension, we look so much weaker on paper. The reliance on McGugan to bamboozle defences is not sustainable, so a lot more is needed from our strike force to ensure that Forest do not fall into a trap of being a team that can pile on pressure, but cannot land the killer blow to demoralize the opposition.

  5. What rhymes with Hull?…. dull, null, lull, mull,cull..just about sums it up.

  6. What rythmes with Nottingham? F*all, so settle for losers!

    • Um, I have thanks! I’ve even been quite complimentary I thought.

      Oh, and any word ending in -am pretty much rhymes with Nottingham 🙂

      • Very true, actually, but I think that snappy retort was aimed at Barry Birtles’ mean little dig at our city’s crapply monosyllabic name…

        Good game at weekend. Feel a bit sorry that you lot got McClarened this season. Hope to see you back up ‘there’ in the new year (but hopefully below us, naturally!!). Always had a soft-spot for Forest, one of those classic teams from when I was a kid, I think..

        • Actually the comment was about the game- not the people/city of Hull.
          Sounds like I may have struck a raw nerve though!

  7. I was one of the five soldiers at the game yesterday and Just wanted to say a massive thankyou to all fans at the City ground who gave us a great reception and especially to all who where sat in the trent end you gave us a fantastic reception as we walked in front of the stand to take our seats in the executive box in the Brian Clough stand a big thankyou to all supporters and NFFC for hosting us, although we lost we had a great day!!

    • As an ex birds**t myself your always welcome in my book even if you are a craphat!!!!!

      All the best to you and yours! You Mercian, ex Sherwood Foresters?

      • Haha, Craphat!! aint been called that for ages!! I’ve just transfered, was QDG but now 1st MWD regiment with RAVC.

  8. Nice work on the header nffc …… poor result for me we should have at least got a goal without the width we lack bite.

    Lots of work still to do and we need a result on Tuesday we are only 2 points above the trap door gee thats sounds horrible.

    U REDS

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