Oh sweet blessed relief!

(S)Nottingham Forest, officially crowned as Ipswich Town's bogey team! Six goals in nine games. All against Ipswich!

Ipswich Town – 1
Nottingham Forest – 3

Ooh, that feels better doesn’t it?  After seven games of drawing blanks it took a mere 5 minutes for Tuds to latch onto a throughball from Reidy and score.  Before half time it was 2-0 courtesy of another lovely finish, this time courtesy of Garath McCleary.  An unsaveable penalty kept the nerves jangling (as did some fragile looking defending) but t’was Tudgay again who restored our two goal cushion with a delicious headed goal.

Ipswich must hate playing us!

The latest round of injuries and the suspension of Joel Lynch forced a certain degree of reshuffling the team again, the most surprising perhaps being the return of forgotten-man George Boateng in midfield – enabling Moussi to resume defensive cover in place of the suspended Joel Lynch.  Steve opted for Tuds upfront alone, with McCleary, McGugan and Reid providing attacking impetus from midfield.

Gunter    Moussi    Chambers    Cunningham
Boateng    Greening
McCleary    McGugan    Reid

The opening stages of the game looked to be more of the same from Forest – an early chance falling to Tudgay whilst the Ipswich defence were caught napping, but the striker blazed over.  This wasn’t to set the tone of the day though as with previous games – just minutes later Reidy spotted Tudgay and picked him out with a lovely through-ball, Tuds made no mistake with the finish this time, slotting it into the far corner from around fifteen yards.

Forest really had their tails up, some good work from McCleary saw him beat a number of players before appearing to lose control of it – it fell favourably for Lewis who couldn’t get much power behind his shot, leaving an easy save for Lee-Barrett to make in the Ipswich goal.  It wasn’t all one-way traffic though, an Edwards freekick was headed across goal by Delaney where Jay Emmanuel-Thomas must be rueing heading the ball straight at Lee Camp.

Returning midfielder George Boateng had a decent effort from range too, their keeper spilling but then reclaiming the ball.  Ipswich did start to provide a sterner test of Forest’s resolve though – and to be honest, a combination of sometimes fortunate defending and awful finishing from the hosts kept us in the lead.  Boateng in particular made a nuisance of himself and appeared to pressure Delaney into shooting over from the edge of the box.

Just as the nails were starting to be chewed though we pulled another goal out the bag – Forest got the ball forward and a short pass inside found McCleary in what didn’t appear a particularly dangerous position, until a mazy run combined with good resilence to avoid the attentions of the man behind him gave him a chance to unleash an unstoppable pile driver into the far corner of the net.

It was almost three moments later too – Bowyer was wasteful with the ball for the home side, giving McGugan an opportunity on the half-volley from around thirty yards, it looked to be bound for the top corner of the net but was just over.  More like what we’ve seen of late, good work from Gunts down the right culminated in a dangerous ball across the six yard box, but with no red shirts in a position to capitalise.

Ipswich in the meantime really were reminiscent of recent Forest games – Daryl Murphy somehow conspired to shoot straight at Camp from six yards out whilst pretty much unmarked.  A cracking effort from Emmanuel-Thomas looked like a goal from around 30 yards, crashing into the crossbar and falling for Bowyer who fluffed the rebound, albeit from an offside position so anything goalbound wouldn’t have counted.

Reid pretty much ended the half for us, working well to get away from a couple of defenders and get a sight of goal – but his chipped shot lacked any real power nor direction to give the home ‘keeper anything to worry about.  So half time and two goals to the good – certainly a strange feeling, positivity was prevalent – with an underlying concern and sometimes actual utterances regarding Ipswich’s recent comeback against Barnsley.

The second half kicked off and the Reds were straight out the blocks again – a corner from Reid was met by the head of Tudgay only to be cleared off the line by an Ipswich player.  Moments later McCleary tricked his way past Cresswell and cut the ball back for Reidy, his shot was blocked and fell for McGugan who certainly should’ve been hitting the target from 16 yards, but was both high AND wide!

Ipswich started to build some pressure on us, and our defence was creaking appropriately.  A rash challenge from McCleary gave them a freekick on the edge of the area, but Emmanuel-Thomas put it over the bar.  At the other end though McCleary was continuing to pose Ipswich problems, beating his man again and putting a cross in for Tudgay who was able to get on the end of it, but ultimately we only ended up with a corner from it.

It has to be said that both the composure and committed challenges of George Boateng really helped dissipate some of the pressure the Reds were coming under, but the home side continued to attack – a ball in from Emmanuel-Thomas nearly caused some panic but for Cunningham to be on hand to clear for a corner.  From the corner Ellington rose to head but put it wide.

The pressure did reward them with a chance though – Emmanuel-Thomas went to ground in the area having jinked his way in there, under the challenge of Cunningham and/or Boateng.  The resulting penalty from Leadbitter was powerfully struck low into the left hand post, ricocheting right along the goalline, off the right hand post and in – not a fat lot that Lee Camp could do about that despite diving the right way, a cracking penalty.

Getting a goal back lifted the otherwise docile home crowd and it’s fair to say nerves were jangling aplenty for the Reds both on and off the pitch, but a break from Forest culminated in a fantastic cross from Reidy and an absolutely brilliant header from Tudgay to loop the ball beyond the ‘keeper and inside the far post to give Forest the two-goal cushion that left us feeling not-quite-so-nervous-but-still-quite-nervous.

A tired looking McCleary was withdrawn for Derbyshire with about seven minutes on the clock, and Forest started to – well – not exactly bust a gut to get forward and do their best to stop Ipswich doing so.  It was working well.  The only threat posed in the closing stages was a long range effort from Leadbitter which Camp saved.  Reid made the slowest withdrawal from a pitch we’ve seen since Billy’s time here and was replaced by Patrick Bamford, who pretty much got to hear the final whistle.

What a relief – of course, we’re not out of the mire yet by any stretch of the imagination, but a few goals and some points will do the lads the world of good.  It’s a pity we have the distraction of a cup game next week and can’t crack on with league fixtures, but such is life.  Well done to the lads on turning it around, it’s so great to have something positive to write about rather than my what-has-become-usual pissing and moaning!

If you’ve not seen them, the goals are here (before the YouTube police delete them!)

15 Responses

  1. Did we slip into some strange parallel universe at midnight on NYE?

  2. Gotta enjoy the win. 3 goals. 60% possession. (I’m leaving the worry about allowing the opposition 19 shots on goal for another day… but it will be a mighty worrying day when I DO think about it)

    • In Football parlance, just take the 3 points
      & don’t look back!
      The same way Brighton did nothing for
      92 minutes v Forest & got the points…

  3. Unbeaten in 2012! Woop

  4. Wow we damn well needed that but it felt good none the less we need to start to believe again and push on.Dont know why boateng hasnt been getting a sniff I like the look of the 3 behind a striker and 2 sitting in to hold midfield.

    Well done lads we need a wee run now to pull away from the mire its not good enough really is it ?

    U reds

  5. Fingers crossed and although all of us are extremely pissed off by the way the club has been run over the last 12 months (and for much longer if your me), some positivity would be appreciated from ALL Red’s fans. It’s easy to support the club when they are winning every week, but takes a little bit more dedication/resolve to follow them when they are in the mire. It’s only three years from when Billy inherited an appalling team & we are by no means as bad as that now; so with the reckless abandon of the Doughty era on it’ s way out look on the bright side Reds fans and support YOUR TEAM since you’ll all be back if we have a Cup run/challenge again in the near future!!

    • Spot on Graham. Though you’ve tempted fate by the mere suggestion of a cup run!

      Its been a terrible few months with things on the pitch just not going our way as well as some pretty bad play but you’re right about this squad not being as bad as when Calderwood was in charge. I think its been the compounded effects of the poor run and just the way the club goes about running itself that have left so many fans asking why do I do this? Everyone needs to feel like their wanted and their contribution is valid. There’s no difference with football fans.

      Cotterill has been honest with the fans and he comes across as a bloke genuinely trying hard for Forest and I’d like to see him turn the corner and do well and not just for the sake of the club.

  6. Excellent win, I said to my mate if we cant score against ipswich we may as well give up!

    This league is so unpredicatable, look at derby they were slipping towards the trap door and now with 3 wins on the bounce they are 2 points off the playoffs!

    I do believe we will have enough to stay up but like i have previously said we need to get rid of some dead wood at our football club and invest in league one players who can make the grade and are cheap.ie/cohen and chambers were good signings for cheapish money.

    Credit to steve cotteriil, genuinely nice bloke and you can tell hes desperate tp succeed for this football club.

    One final note, i said to my mate that two players id love forest to buy at the start of the season were Jordan Rhodes and pacey Matt Phillips off blackpool and both are having stormers this season.

    • Before buying league one players why not give the highly rated youth/reserve team members their chance?

  7. A great win, some goals at last and for the first time in ages, a result that reflects how Forest have been playing. That being said, I hope this is not a lure into a false sense of security. Ipswich are sh*te and decent opposition won’t be quite to obliging in terms of missing chances and bad defending. I hope the start of the year will see a turn in fortune and a run of better results. But I’m not holding my breath.

    As for this result though, I couldn’t be happier. Excellent 3 points, a few goals and a few days not worrying about the next league game.

    U reeeeds!

    • Cheer up! we have played so called better opposition in Cardiff, P’Boro, Palace & Brighton… our only failing was not converting chances ~ hopefully that monkey is now off our back

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

  9. ……..wow ..just seen the goals …superb ! bravissimo !! still think we are very slow at the back ..too much off standing ..i think we need a good strong central defender general..but well done to the lads who keep going…how much is the club up for sale? does anyone know ? kick the dribble out …onwards and upwards..Anoi !!!

  10. Greening is starting to play to his potential which is good news. With all our injured players back we certainly have a better squad tha most of the teams in the lower half of the division.Keep it going Forest !!! PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. I never really thought we were as bad as the 7 games without a goal suggested, because we played pretty well for most of the games I saw. But I think we were also lucky to get this one 3-1. Ipswich had a lot of very decent chances..

    Anyway: positivity at last. Let’s hope the CG crowd is infected with it too. We’ve still got the worst home record in the division and all fans have to take some responsibility for improving that situation.

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