When the ball hits the goal, it’s our great little Pole, that’s Majewski..

Crystal Palace – 0
Nottingham Forest – 3

Just as we’ve been bigging up Reidy, then Guedioura, then McCleary, it would seem that teams shouldn’t content themselves with nullifying these midfield threats – because Radoslaw Majewski would appear to be grasping his opportunity to be in from the cold with aplomb.  A second half hat-trick for the Pole providing the Reds with an invaluable three points on a tricky trip to Selhurst Park.

It was all mind-games around McCleary before the game from the manager – presumably with awareness that the winger was likely to feature, but certainly just as many of our hopes were pinned on him being available, perhaps his late confirmation in the line-up might just have focused our opponents attention on the danger-man too, and leave opportunities for others to grab the limelight, perhaps?

Gaz being back pushed Gunter back to defence and Wootton onto the bench, aside from this switch Steve Cotterill has been sticking to the line-up that’s been delivering the goods for him lately, with Elokobi coming onto the bench

Gunter    Chambers    Lynch    Cunningham
McCleary    Moussi    Guedioura    Reid

Majewski was the first to have a chance – but from long range he hit his first effort wide and belied the danger to follow.  The Reds had a pretty positive start all round – a Cunningham cross found Blackstock who brought a decent save from Speroni – so often seemingly our nemesis.  Palace seemed lacklustre and content to offer Forest both time and space to dominate possession – without creating masses of chances.

Forest created another opportunity when Reidy picked out Raddy who managed to evade a couple of defenders but dragged his effort off-target again.  Whilst the home side had created very little, they really should’ve taken the lead with their first chance of note after 37 minutes.  A ball over the defence by McCarthy picked out the run of Owen Garven but the midfielder conspired to put his shot wide of the target.

The best spell for the home side followed, Scannell did well to get down the right unmarked, but his cross towards Murray lacked composure and was too powerful for him to get anything on.  The Reds had the last attacking word after good work from McCleary down the right, he got the ball into the area where Blackstock couldn’t direct it goalwards, Reidy latched onto the resulting loose ball but put his effort wide.

So, half time and 0-0, which – in truth – wouldn’t be a bad result on paper.  Palace had offered very little evidence as to why we shouldn’t continue to probe though, although had given warnings of what they’re capable of on the break – so alertness at the back would be key too.  Plenty of grounds for optimism though, although I’ve noted before that grounds for optimism alone are sufficient for me to feel pessimistic!

The second half had started pretty sluggishly and then BOSH, we’d scored – it was McCleary who got the ball to Majewski who still had plenty to do, getting past a man and cutting into the area before smashing a poweful left-footed strike into the top near corner of the goal, a cracking finish that caught Speroni truly unawares – I would imagine the talented keeper won’t be happy to have been caught out.

Palace rallied and the Reds wobbled a bit at the back as is customary, a bit of juggling from Lee Camp was dealt with thanks to a timely clearance from Luke Chambers.  This lack of composure didn’t last too long – the lead was almost increased when Lynch rose to meet a curled Andy Reid freekick, but his header was straight at the Eagles ‘keeper.

There wasn’t long to wait for the second goal for the Reds, though – again McCleary combined with Majewski, this time Raddy finishing with his right foot with a powerfully curled shot inside Speroni’s far post, having touched it to the side to get the space for himself to get the shot away.  There were a few niggles after this, both Guedioura and McCarthy went in the book after a lot of moaning and a bit of shoving and handbags – not great to see really.

The home side tried to pile on a bit of pressure – a couple of times flashing crosses through the six yard box, but each time that crucial intervention wasn’t there to convert.  Forest worryingly started to look to defend their lead, but perhaps more sensibly keep McCleary as well as we can bearing in mind his hamstring trouble, taking the winger off and replacing him with Wootton – resurrecting the side that started the Leicester away game.

Worrying was certainly premature though, in this case – as the Reds attacked the now-more-advanced Gunter pulled the ball back to Raddy from the bye-line in the area, the midfielder still had a bit of clever footwork to get right before curling the ball inside the far post, again with his left foot, to secure his hat-trick and make the win pretty-much safe for the Reds and cap off a real fairytale of a return to favour for him.

The home side thought they’d get a goal back but Easter was flagged offside as he converted a cross from Zaha from a yard out.  Moments later Easter again was causing problems, grazing the post with another effort.  Forest wound the clock down by withdrawing Blackstock for Tudgay, and later Reidy came off to be replaced by Elokobi and were able to see out the game without much other incident.

A cracking win, congratulations of course to Raddy for his goals and performance, but also to the rest of the boys and Steve Cotterill and his coaching team too.  Looking at the league table we’re six points ahead of the trapdoor on 43 points – I can’t help but think that two more wins will do it, feasibly that means we could have all but secured our status come the end of the Easter break.  That might be fanciful, but the home game against Bristol City coming up is huge.

Here are the goals before they fall victim to the YouTube police.  Nice, aren’t they?

26 Responses

  1. What did I tell you..Another win !!!Welldone the team ! Wat a pity we didnt start the season like this ! All this ,of course is great news for us,the fans and the potential buyers of our club !!!!!
    Keep up the good work and ease our nerves as soon as possible !!!!

  2. NFFC, change the ‘great’ to ‘special’ ? It sounds better. Clotterball now has a squad of professional footballers who want to play football. The rest are just a bunch of money grabbing charlatans. I am sure one day they will look back on their careers and realise that they have wasted so much of it. Anyway, well done Forest and well done Radi. I hope it’s not too late for him to make the euro’s.

  3. Superb superb win im really pleased for the Manager the staff and the players and full credit to them and raddy of course.

    I commented that I thought the boys were gaining in confidence over the last week and we are going into the business end in top form.We are a good side confidence is massive in football and we lost ours but its coming back in bucketloads.

    We look like a Nottingham Forest side again we are playing good football and scoring cracking goals.It has been very dark at times this year I feared for us big time we seem to be coming together at the right time im mega chuffed .

    Lets put Bristol to the sword next week and raise the roof at the CG and unite as a club and secure next season and hopefully new owners.
    The jobs not done but hell 3 nil feels bloody brilliant …..

    A very happy Red Ric

    U reds

  4. Fantastic result; what is interesting is that only one of McClaren’s signings featured for us yesterday. It really does show what a complete mess the club made after deciding to call time on Billy. Lets try and get rid of the dead-wood i.e. Derbyshire/Miller/Boatang & keep other members of the squad; and then suddenly things will start to look brighter again. After a very difficult start it looks like the manager is starting to move us forward again. You Reds!!

  5. Almost promotion form pity it’s late in the season but it is very nice to get good results one after another,my favourite being Leeds.If the lads carry on they will finish in mid table and that I will count as a success given the first 6 months and all the turmoil that was at the start of the season.It is quite incredible how one bad decision can affect a club so badly I am talking about Steve McLaren.Steve Cotterill seems to have learned the value of playing people in position and to be fair his loan signings apart from Marlon I think most people would agree are a success and have brought spine and confidence to a team that was lacking both.It’s great to see Radi amongst it again as he does have a little something which he bring to the team in much the same way as Reidy does.I hope McGugan sees this and decides to get his finger out as he is another that can produce that little bit of magic that every team needs.
    I am looking forward to next season now and hope that with new owners and a bit of common we might be able to hold on to our established players and the ones out of contract that we want to keep as well as some of the loan signings that will give us a good start next season.Of course there are others at the club who need to leave both for us and their careers to progress.What a wish list!!!.

    As usual your notes on the game and atmosphere are up to your usual high standards.Thanks

  6. A great win. If we can beat Bristol City next Saturday I think we will be safe.

  7. Listened on the internet,and watched the highlights on bbc football league show, what a joy to see all 3 goals came as a result of passing the ball on the floor, the influence of Sean O Driscoll is clear to see. We need to remove Rob Kelly and appoint O Driscoll as number 2, fair play to Steve Cotterill, who at least appears to be listening to O Driscoll, and next season could yet be a return to the good times,with some proper football being played on our fantastic pitch.
    Well done everybody,onwards and upwards.

  8. Yep Brizzle is a biggy, top marks to them team, that midfield has really shown some balls recently.

  9. … all we now need is McGugan back in the side and we’re comfortably a mid-table team (assuming the current penchant for playing everyone in their correct positions continues…)…

  10. Brilliant afternoon. What a difference from a couple of months ago: the boys looked in good spirits before, during and after the game. Still a few too many aimless hoofs from Camp but otherwise they kept the ball down and passed it around nicely. And of course Radi finished like a dream for the first time in a long time. We always seem to do well at Palace..

    O’Driscoll was quite prominent on the sidelines I thought, but maybe I’m still too stuck in my anti-Cotterill ways. Clearly he’s done something right. The confidence is back: if we keep playing football we’ll be safe very soon.

  11. Question for Ian ?

    Why should McGugan be in the side ? we are playing great stuff our midfield looks solid and googles application and attitude at times is poor.

    I agree he has ability but he has faded in this fight for survival ?

  12. Great result!
    Unbeaten in 4 games, consecutive clean sheets,
    Radi back to his crafty best, even Lee Camp has
    managed to pull his finger out!
    Again teams below us have scrapped well so
    Forest must be relentless in their pursuit of
    safety. Knocking off Bristol C this week will go
    a long way to cementing our spot, but I honestly
    thought we would beat Donny a while back so
    nothing is certain in this league.
    This good form has only put a 6 point gap on
    the drop zone so there is still much work to be done. Agree with other comments that we
    seem to be playing passing football. Long may
    it continue.
    U REDS

  13. Do you think Ian is little bi-heads Dad?

    Ian he just isn’t good enough sorry……he has the talent but not the committment.

  14. sorry that should have read “little big heads”

  15. McGuganshould be selected ahead of quite a few of the useless no-marks who stodged our midfield and forward-line for the middle third of the season. As it stands I wouldn’t actually mess with the midfield (as it currently is – i.e. Reid, Raddi, Guadiora and The Moose), so I’d select McGugan as one of our two forwards, e.g. just behind Blackstock.

  16. Dont want to put the kiss of death on it as we are not out of the woods yet but well done SC for getting the team playing well again and winning.

    There is obviously alot of sorting out of our squad to be done this summer. I dread to think how much we are shelling out in wages to players we dont want or need. According to the OS, the only injured players at present are Gunter and Moloney. But look at the list of those who couldnt even make the bench on saturday;-

    McGugan,Greening,Anderson,McGoldrick,Miller,Harewood, Boateng, Derbyshire, Findley

    Time for a mass clear out and to replace with younger talent from the lower leagues who are hungry for success – as the likes of Norwich have done so well.

  17. Ian

    Since Raddi came back into the side where has he played? Inthe whole behind Dex!!!!!!! In your midfield you’ve forgot Gareth. So in short on Saturday our midfield read:

    McCleary Moose Guadiora Reid

    So in order to accomodate your son you’d drop the Man who has just scored a hat-rick or the men who has transformed our season or you’d play him as a holding midfield player and get overrun?

    The simple fact is Lewis isn’t good enough!

  18. A fit and committed McGugan could do Radi’s job in behind the striker but neither of these two conditions seem to apply at the present

  19. I agree with your point Ian Google would be at his most dangerous behind a striker with 2 wide men.

    Arthur hits the nail on the head his attitude and commitment is depriving him of getting a game.I dont think its anything to do with ability he has bags of it he is good enough but along with the likes of Derbyshire and Miller he can F….. right off from Forest in my opinion.

    U reds

  20. PS Everyone is forgetting Chris Cohen, who clearly needs to play when he’s fit.
    PPS My team for next season (many assumptions here…):
    Smith, Gunter, Lynch, Chambers, New Left Back, McCleary, The Moose, Reid, McGugan, Majewski and Blackstock.

  21. Ian,

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Why not:


    McGugan McGugan McGugan McGugan

    McGugan McGugan McGugan


    McGugan McGugan

    Now that has BALANCE!!!!!

  22. Ian

    Perhaps we just play 11 McGugan’s job done he plays everyweek has the ball all the time!!!

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  23. Sorry Ian, I expect Chambers,Gunter and Mccleary to be gone this summer. Teams like Everton can offer Mccleary far better terms than we could,and a footballers life at the top is relatively short…..Guediora is certainly one we should fight for,as it seems wolves are going down anyway !Him,Moose and Cohen in midfield sounds good with Higginbotton resigning for another season as he is enjoying playing for us.
    3 Points saturday !!!!!!

  24. good friday 1530 mission bay aucland new zealand leeds supporter’s mpv wrote in dust NFFC7 LUFC3 culdnt help myself.

  25. Good skills Arthur get it right up them !

    U reds

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