Cockneys vs. Zombies..

Nottingham Forest – 1
Millwall – 4

Oof.  A poor showing from Forest yesterday afternoon saw us succumb all too readily to an effective gameplan from Millwall who, despite certainly not having the Lion’s (arf) share of possession, were a lot more decisive in using it to devastating effect when they did have the ball.  Forest again struggled to break down a physical side – this time one with craft going forward.

Henderson and Wood caused constant problems when the Lions were on the attack, and with in-form Trotter and substitute Andy Keogh also amongst the goals it’s not hard to see why Millwall are on such a good run of form.  Even though I said pre-match they’re not a side to be underestimated, I certainly think I might have done that!

Sean O’Driscoll made the expected change of bringing in Ward for the suspended Halford, and sticking with the narrow 4-1-3-2 type formation we’ve been using lately…

Moloney    Ward    Collins    Harding
Cohen    Majewski    Reid
Sharp    Cox

It was a shit start too – a booking for Harding, a freekick badly cleared fell to Trotter who got past Gillett and fired a neat finish inside Lee Camp’s far post to give the visitors the lead.  Annoying!  Forest stung into action had an effort from Majewski in to the side netting, before he was left prone on the deck after a Millwall player challenged him clutching at his ankle.

Whilst you can’t really use it as an excuse for the poor performances all over the pitch this was a big blow.  I think Raddy has been a pretty pivotal part in our upturn in performances lately – he’s capable of that little bit of trickery or craft that might have helped us have more joy in unlocking a determined Millwall defensive line.  Alas, t’was not to be and Guedioura came on to replace him.

The Lions continued to fashion chances – Camp saved from Taylor but spilled the shot into the path of Henderson so was forced into action again to deny the big striker.  Forest did start to wake up though, and produced probably their only moment of real quality to equalise.

Reid got the ball to Sharp on the edge of the area, he made a move inside and laid the ball off to Simon Cox whilst carrying on his run into the box.  Cox picked out the perfect through ball putting Sharp clear to slot the ball neatly past David Forde in the Millwall goal.  A lovely goal, and another quid into the Goals for LJS fund.

Sharp was looking lively after this – Forest finished the half strongly, a dangerous cross from Harding looked to be arriving at the striker to get his second but for an impressive defensive header clearance by Beevers resulted in us just getting a corner.

A penalty shout was waved away after Sharp nudged the ball beyond Forde and appeared to be clipped.  I’ve seen ’em given but frankly it looked to me like he’d put too much on the ball anyway, and went down a little too easily.  Plus y’know, it’s us isn’t it?  We don’t get penalties!  At the other end Henderson was close to restoring their lead, and the final chance fell to Guedioura whose dipping powerful drive was just over.

At half time I must admit I thought I’d see a much improved Forest come out, but well – it certainly wasn’t!  For a player as dangerous as Darius Henderson to be unmarked from a set piece is ridiculous.  James Henry put in the freekick and the big striker was able to head it past Camp with far too little challenge.

Sean took off Reidy for Blackstock to try to drive our attack some more, and whilst Forest did press Millwall back we struggled to fashion any chances.  A clearance looked to be going out for a throw but James Henry had other ideas, getting to it and breaking towards goal with Ward caught between him and Wood.  I thought Ward did really well considering, only for Wood’s fairly tame shot to deflect off Collins (I think) to wrong-foot Camp and give Millwall a third.

Forest lost all shape after this by withdrawing Gillett for McGugan – we were rather gung-ho but without any penetration and increasing use of long-balls weren’t really cutting the mustard against Millwall’s giant centre halves.  The crowning turd of the afternoon came late on when Taylor crossed from the left for substitute Andy Keogh to convert.

We definitely deserved to lose because we didn’t create enough – I’ve seen arguments pointing out the penalty claim, but I’m not sure it was one.  Others pointed out that Henderson appeared to elbow Danny Collins before he scored, but the referee clearly didn’t see it (I didn’t either, I was following the ball which Collins had just headed out) – but well, we should have been doing more ourselves, and we didn’t.

Fortunately for us we’ve an opportunity to get straight back on track, less fortunate is that our next visitors are in-form Middlesbrough next Tuesday.  I’m assuming ‘dangerman’ Ishmael Miller won’t be playing (or maybe as a condition of loan we stipulated he had to play against us.

As for yesterday, one to forget for sure – although the Millwall fans chants of ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’ were somewhat bemusing!  Credit to their team though, I thought their movement going forward was extremely dangerous and their forwards were deadly with their conversion of their chances – so sometimes you just have to give credit where it’s due and accept defeat.

I saw a post on LTLF that likened the game to Cockneys vs Zombies – whilst I realise that the South Londoners would baulk at being described as cockneys it’s not a bad analogy for how the game seemed, with Forest very slugglish and lacking in their usual organisation and drive.  So that’s the source of the headline..

8 Responses

  1. Reality certainly bit us on the arse yesterday! We aren’t the finished article and if we needed proof, this was it!

    Whilst we were defo off our game, credit to Millwall who stuck to a good away team plan and deservedly kicked our backsides!

  2. I thought were very poor and well below what we know we can be but thought the ref had a huge influence on the game and was awful. He let so many of the Millwall ‘physical’ challenges go but forest got nothing whatsoever, their players were constantly in the ref’s ear and that definitely played a part. I dont like to say it as I cant stand teams that play that way who give it out but cant take it, but it seems to get any decisions these days thats what you’ve gotta do. The only player we have who does talk to ref’s is Reid and he had his worst game in a long time yesterday. He’s probably still trying to get his breath back, it cant be easy trying to control the ball with some cheating Millwall ‘defender’s’ arm across your throat.
    Hopefully yesterday was a blip but i feel the ref had such an influence on the game which is a shame, especially looking at the 4th goal when surely harding was fouled? Although th defending that followed from us was appauling.

  3. Millwall fan’s chants explained by the fact that during the last couple of seasons it has seemed that every time we beat one of the ‘bigger’ clubs, and especially by a decent score, their manager has subsequently been sacked !

    • Ah! Fair enough, Ron! Nice to be considered a ‘bigger’ club I guess! Personally I think we are still very much a work in progress..

  4. Weirdly, even after letting in four, forests defence are still in the top 6 in the division. It can only mean many other teams are also struggling… 1.29 goals per game conceded is too leaky for my liking. Our 2 playoff seasons under Billy conceded 50 and 40 in 46 games. We are on course to concede 60. Ward, Collins, Ayala, Halford and Hutchinson look a good bet with time, and Lasceilles deserves his time to shine. I’m less sure about Harding and Maloney, and I think we are yet to see whether SoD will be equal to the wee Scott’s team on the defensive front in terms of prep and coaching. We certainly have the quality in the middle of the park and up front. Mending the nets in defence could be the deciding factor.

  5. Great headline. Shit result.

  6. What a shitty result. Didn’t see that one coming. I guess the players didn’t see it coming either.
    Perhaps we need to look elsewhere for more depth in defence as Ayala & Hutchinson came to Forest after lengthy lay offs. It’s probably why a deal was able to be struck for both.
    It’s a gamble that hasn’t payed off at this stage as I can’t see either defenders putting together a solid run.
    A point would’ve been nice as a few of the pacesetters stumbled as well. But losing 4-1 at home normally means you weren’t up for the challenge so let’s hope the lads bounce back against in form Boro’…..
    Still early days but even though Millwall are in form, I honestly thought Forest would bag all 3 points.

  7. S OD out ?!?!

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