Reds make Foxes pay the penalty..

Wrong way, Kasper!

Leicester City – 2
Nottingham Forest – 2

I’m quite pleased with this result considering the performance level.  Whilst Leicester aren’t exactly on rip-roaring form at the moment, they’re a talented side who I expect to be in and around the play-offs at least come the end of the season.  The source of our equaliser seems to have become the main talking point of the game however.

I imagine if the boot were on the other foot then I’d be having a moan too, probably – but well, no penalties in fourteen months it’s about time we got one even if it’s soft.  Fact is, that happens outside the area and nobody would bat an eyelid at it being given as a foul – that the defender got a foot on the ball belies that his other foot was going through our player, and that he ended up scissoring him.

It was ill-judged and foolish at best, dangerous and uncontrolled at worst.  Plus it’s common sense not to do that in your own area – so I don’t have too much sympathy with mardy-arse Pearson, although can empathise with his frustration as there’s no doubt who the better team on the day were so it must have been a bit of a kick in the nuts for him, particularly in a game that means more than a normal one to the home fans.

“What do you mean my watch looks gaudy and tacky?!”

The only change in line-up for us was due to an injury to Dan Harding, Brendan Moloney replaced him with Greg Halford moving over to cover the tricky left back position with Moloney lining up in his more conventional right back spot.

Moloney    Ward    Collins    Halford
Cohen    Guedioura    Reid
Cox    Sharp

Moloney was immediately under a stern examination of in-form winger Dyer.  Reid had an early sniff of goal for Forest too, but put his effort considerably wide of the target.  It was just six minutes when the home side took the lead, Dyer tricked his way into the box and fired what looked to be an off-target cross-cum-shot that the unfortunate Elliott Ward deflected beyond Camp.

The Foxes nearly returned the own-goal favour, having picked up a freekick for a Schlupp (probably my favourite footballer name at the moment!) foul on Moloney, Cohen put in a dangerous free kick that Andy King almost cleared into his own goal.  At the other end Cohen was on hand to keep a Knockaert effort wide of the Forest goal.

Sharp – isolated up front with little service – won a freekick for the Reds on the twenty minute mark, but Reid is back on to kicking-the-at-the-wall at the moment.  The home side continued to pose the greater threat, a deep freekick from Waghorn nearly gave Wes Morgan an opportunity to put one past his old club, but the big defender couldn’t quite get the touch on the ball.

In a rare moment of nice cohesive football Forest got the equaliser – Cox and Cohen linked up well together with the midfielder getting to the bye-line and pulling the ball back into the middle of the area to meet the run of Guedioura who put a composed finish past Kasper Schmeichel to level the match somewhat against the run of play, it has to be said.

Leicester pressed and immediately won a corner that Forest cleared unconvincingly, whilst Gillett did well to prevent Knockaert causing us problems down the right.  As the game opened up Cox found Cohen in the box, but Chris’s short was scuffed wide with a number of defenders in attendance.

A home lead was restored as Knockaert scooped either a fortunate or a very impressive pass to Nugent in the area, who put a fortunate or a very impressive touch on it to lob the ball just inside the post.  It was a nice looking goal for sure – and Camp couldn’t really do much about the accuracy of the finish.

Dyer really ought to have made it 3-1 shortly after – he was put clear on goal by King but his touch let him down as he tried to beat the onrushing Forest ‘keeper fortunately for us.  There were a number of desperate last gap blocks and challenges that kept the Reds goal from being breached again, whilst Nugent wasted an opportunity from range by missing the target by a large margin.

At half time I don’t think it’s unfair to say that we were probably fortunate to still be in with a shout.  Forest had been disjointed and had struggled to create opportunities whilst the Foxes had proven dangerous and but for some last gap defending and profligate finishing we might well have found ourselves on the wrong end of a shoeing.

The second half started with the home side again in the ascendancy – early in the half Guedioura gave the ball away very cheaply to Nugent whose pass to Waghorn found the forward with perhaps too much time and space.  First time shot and I think he’d have scored, he took a touch and a decent shot which beat Camp, but gave Ward time to get on the line and make an excellent g0al-line clearance.

Despite his goal it had been a sub-par performance from Adlene, and perhaps this was the final straw for O’Driscoll who put Jenas on for him shortly after.  A rare effort for Forest came from a Collins long ball which Cox knocked down for Sharp who perhaps didn’t need to take his effort first time, he did and missed the target.

Camp made an excellent save from a Waghorn  header, then had the undoubted smug moment of watching it back on the big screen.  At the other end Cox was perhaps rash to have lashed a left-footed effort off target when he could’ve set up a team-mate with a more straight forward chance.

Dyer was text to test Camp who rose to the challenge to save the low shot from him, whilst Waghorn failed to connect with a decent clipped ball in from Drinkwater.  Despite the game feeling like somewhat of a forlorn hope from the away end, we were handed our life-line, Sharp was between Whitbread and the ball, the defender’s challenged was deemed a foul by the referee and the penalty awarded (see above for more detail on that).

The most important part of proceedings from our point of view was Simon Cox picking up the ball and stroking it comfortably into the net, sending Schmeichel the wrong way in doing so.  Shot-on-target number two, goal number two – we certainly took our chances – it has to be said!

This controversy sparked the home side into life again – Collins gave away the ball cheaply triggering mayhem in our box.  Ultimately Dyer hit a shot which appeared to strike Gillett on the arm, eventually the danger was cleared with Reid clearing a ball from close to the line.  I’m not convinced it was a deliberate hand ball, but well, we got lucky – you see them given regularly.

Waghorn continued to cause problems but perhaps his failure to convert a chance so far affected his confidence as rather than take on a chance himself he tried to combine with Lingard who didn’t seem to understand what was happening, giving Lee Camp the opportunity to reclaim the ball.

Reidy was withdrawn from Lansbury.  The home side continued to press – a tackle from Moloney gave them a corner from which Waghorn was able to get a free header at the near post.  He put it wide, thankfully.  Shortly after he picked up the ball on the left, but Jenas was on hand to prevent his cross causing any real problems.

An opportunity to really take the piss and claim three points was spurned when Billy Sharp volleyed over with his left foot from a Halford long-throw which had caused a certain amount of panic in the home box.  Blackstock came on for Gillett in a strangely bold move.  Three minutes of stoppage time saw Whitbread head wide from a corner, and Forest actually finish quite strongly, admittedly without creating any real opportunities.

So, all told a good point – even before the game it would’ve sounded good.  Considering our own lack of chances, our fortunate moments in the game particularly the penalty we were awarded, not least the one that they weren’t.

21 Responses

  1. If I were a fester fan I would be at a loss as to how we didn’t get thumped .They carved us open time and time again and we looked a poor side in my eyes.

    We are such a narrow side with no pace or wide men I m not convinced by the SOD school of tactics .Both our fullbacks were exposed time after time fester should have been 3 up at HT.

    When we did get it down the wings look what happened a GOAL wow not that difficult if you ask me.Maybe we can’t play two big games in a week cos we didn’t look sharp we looked very casual at times.

    Adilene gets taken off and jenas hardly bust a gut did he ? I think we have a hell of a lot to learn as a side still not convinced at all………..

    • I know where you’re coming from redric. Much as I go along with having patience, I still think our performances should be a bit better. Especially considering (on paper!) that we do have one of the best squads in the division. Lack of pace throughout the team is, and will be, a continuing problem, for us. However, I assume that the management will be aware of these issues and will rectify them. If not, then I don’t think our owners will be as patient as some of our fans.

      • The thing is David leeds, Derby festa have all sussed us out very quickly and we just dont adapt playing narrow wont win us promotion no chance.

        Im not being critical im just saying i dont get the system SOD advocates its easy to play against and predictable .No wingers allows teams to push right on in the flanks with quick guys and our defense comes under major pressure like yesterday.

        2 small guys up front also doesnt work for me as teams will force us to go long and mop up all day long again like yesterday .This is the system smoulderwood tried to play it doesnt work in this league unless you have top players and we dont ?

        Gonna be interesting to see how they coach the next 2 months ……….

  2. Lesta were going though Our midfield and defence like a hot knife through butter all afternoon. Collins/ward have not gelled yet (yawning gap between them for unbent to score their second) and Maloney is only good enough for this division when he is on top form (which he hasn’t been the last 2 games he has played).

    Hutchinson coming back, and either Ayala or time on the training field for ward and Collins will be key. Harding coming back won’t help much as he’s been found out too many times.

    Going forward cox, sharp and dex are what we need, but we are definitely looking for one of the attacking midfielders to fill the void left by Radi. Gueds hasn’t made the position his own yet- Jenas, Lansbury, McGugan take note!

  3. I don’t know how much the performance can be put down the live tv curse but that was a poor effort. Nine times out of ten the Reds would’ve been on the end of a hiding similar to the one they received in the FA Cup last season.
    Some serious work for SO’D on the training ground. It isnt really happening in midfield and this is causing the defence drop deep. For me Cohen needs to be brought into the centre to dictate the play for Reds.
    I can see why the ref gave the penalty as the Fester player had scissored Sharp. Fester’s shout was pretty clear. It looked deliberate handball by Gillett. If you watch how his head look down at the ball and then his hand move towards the ball, he meant it. Forest got away with it but we wil need to rely in more than luck if this season is going to progress into something special.
    Can’t shake the feeling that it will be same time next year for both Forest and Fester, though.

  4. It is quite obvious the midfield is wrong. Guediora and Cohen are too similar, up and down merchants. With Radi injured, either JJ, Lewis has to play as the creative midfielder. And the lack of any width is really annoying. Oh for another G Mac to run at defences…

  5. 4 4 2 its the future ,2 of the best strikers in the division,who spend more time in there own half,11 men back defending corners,why o why did we bring Coppinger in,lets at least give the bloke a chance,time after time we piss about over playing in our own half only to lose the ball ,putting our fragile defence under more pressure.I thought footy was a simple game with no need for taking notes on the half way line,or is it the players hae not got a clue what they are doing,playing nice footy on the floor is what we all want ,but not 10 yds from your own net,very hard to score from this position………………….

  6. Good to get a point at Fester. As much as we were outplayed there was an element of luck to both of their goals.
    Clear penalty for me. Sharp was hacked down from the knees. Like a good manager Pearson carried on for the cameras! He was never going to agree with the decision was he?

    I’m worried too things are looking shaky at Forest though. A really good October followed by three average performances this month. Don’t really know what the answer is? I keep thinking McGugan & Blackstock should be starting games but that can’t be the reason.

    I also agree with all that there is no width. All good sides have width.
    Most other supporters I know also think Forest look incredibly strong on paper but the formula for success seems to be eluding us at this stage.
    I don’t want to sound all doom & gloom but every season a club takes off in the championship at a given stage & don’t look back.
    In recent times, QPR, Reading & at this stage Crystal Palace can’t do anything wrong. Yet none of these teams look or did look overly strong on paper.
    Yet we turn over heaps of players, loan out players who play well elsewhere. Maybe it’s sour grapes but the sudden dip in form after such a solid month has to be of concern to SO’D & staff.

  7. I don’t know what’s worse…Pearson crying like a baby after the penalty award or jumping on top of his player in the first half after the player collided with hi,. It was cringeworthy. Trying to say ‘look at me i’m such a leader and have an amazing relationship with my players’! What a bellend. Proper fancies himself..

  8. Bit too much doom and gloom here. I agree we looked well short on Saturday and, not for the first time, we struggled to create anything. But this stuff takes time. The Palace team that’s on top of the division this morning took two years and a lot of patience (from chairman and fans) to get where they are. They were 17th last year and missed relegation by one point the year before. This division is wide open. If there are shortcomings in our squad, O’Driscoll and Pemberton will have a better grip on them than anyone else. Everyone relax and keep the faith.

    • I wouldn’t say it is doom and gloom. People are just a bit disappointed that the side seems to still a bit disjointed. There is plenty of time, though, with a 46 game season for things to click into gear so I for one remain cautiously optimistic…

    • Big difference between doom and gloom and honest analysis Mishi 90 percent of us who comment on here all see the same thing .We have a good squad better than when billy davies had us doing well its the system and playing guys out of position that is the problem.

      U reds

  9. Its not doom and gloom at all. its a reflection of how we played.
    I thought forest were poor saturday. Im not a fan of our fullbacks and we seem to have a right footed player at left back again. I still dont think we have filled that left back void as i dont rate harding.

    If forest can get two quality full backs then I think we can get into the top 6.

  10. We’ve also got a left -footer in Cohen playing on the right (narrow right). Get him in the middle, get Lansbury on the right. Or give Reidy a rest, get Cohen on the left, Lansbury on right and Jenas in middle. Every team has off days, we got a point out of ours. Lets not forget the good performances against Boro and Barnsley recently. We’re still up there. U REDS.

  11. 1) Lewis McGugan must be reinserted into the side ASAP, perhaps up front to give a little more height: I’d play him alongside Cocks
    2) Our defence is chronically fragile: Maloney should probably start at right-back; new left-back needed
    3) Fawaz: Step up efforts to bring the Daws home (on loan!)
    4) What is Jimmy Floyd-H doing? Why is he at the club?
    5) My side for the next game:
    Maloney Collins Ward LOANEE
    Gillett or Cohen
    Lansbury Jenas Reid
    McGugan Cocks


  12. Annoyingly too if you look at the current top 7 clubs, none of them have taken maximum points off Forest.
    So even though we’re somewhat flat over the last few games, Forest are still competitive against the form sides.
    Turn a few draws into wins & the confidence will come back!

  13. fao ‘HW RED’: yes, for sure McGugan ahead of Blackstock or Sharp. ‘Cocks’ is my little petname for Simon, obv. Good knowledge mate.

    • McGugan upfront to give a litle bit more height? I can just see him playing that sort of role! Is he taller than Dex then…or is it Decks (pet name…’obv’!)
      Your knowledge sounds limited.

  14. Ryan

    Forgive me for this but can I suggest that some of you visit with reference to the Festa game.


  15. Who is HR RED? Total nutter.

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