Reds survive Semedo day to snag three points..

Match winner: The unfortunate Liera scored the winning goal for his opponents..

Nottingham Forest – 1
Sheffield Wednesday – 0

Some of the reports I’ve seen have been a little harsh on this game, but for some wasteful finishing or questionable decision making there could’ve been a number of goals for both sides.  As it is, it was decided by an unfathomable own goal from Owls defender Liera after a good cross in from Chris Cohen on the right.

O’Driscoll made a couple of changes to the side, granting Jermaine Jenas his first start in a Forest shirt since his move on loan from Tottenham Hotspur at the expense of Adlene Guedioura, with Dexter Blackstock coming in for Simon Cox who was on the bench having picked up a knock during midweek international dutie for the Republic of Ireland.

Moloney    Ward    Collins    Halford
Cohen    Jenas    Reid
Blackstock    Sharp

With a big following of 4,400 fans – many bedecked in Portuguese flags and cut-out masks of their midfielder Semedo, it was certainly one of the more interesting away followings we’ve had for a while.  With the inimitable ‘Tango’ lapping up the usual inane ‘banter’ from the home fans and conducting the visitors, it promised to be a good atmosphere at the ground.

It was the Owls who started the better too – Camp having to dive to save from Madine within the first few minutes – and moments later he was on hand again to deny Jay Bothroyd who really ought to have made more of the space he had in the area.

Forest’s first attack resulted in a great opportunity for Reidy – the Irishman played a one-two with Sharp and found himself through on goal but Kirkland was upon him fast to block the chance.  Madine again came close for Wednesday heading wide from a long throw.  Our best chance came from a Cohen cross, Jenas rose to head it wide, taking it off Billy Sharp’s head in the process.

The Owls had the last chance of the half, a corner came in and was knocked down by Miguel Liera to find Pecnik unmarked in the box, who conspired to hideously miss the target from twelve yards in what seemed like acres of space.  So half time, and 0-0 – a really open game with both sides susceptible to defensive lapses, and by the same token not taking their opportunities when they presented themselves.

Shortly into the second half Reid was withdrawn for Henri Lansbury, he is apparently struggling with a hamstring problem.  Like some sort of curse-of-the-Forest-oldboys it was Jenas who needed to head to see the physio to be replaced by Adlene Guedioura.

Lansbury had an early attempt from range which Kirkland spilled, but not quite far enough to reach Billy Sharp who was lurking ready to pounce on the rebound.  At the other end it looked like Bothroyd had capitalised on Camp spilling an effort from Jermaine Johnson, he struck the ball goalward only for Danny Collins to head it over from close to the line.

Supposedly once a Forest target, Jermaine Johnson demonstrated his limitations quite aptly moments later when presented with an opportunity to lash the ball home for the opening goal from eight yards, only to spanner it high and wide into the Trent End.

Meanwhile we replicated the wastefulness at the other end – Lansbury moved well on the edge of the area, playing the ball in to Blackstock and continuing his run into the box to receive it back again – then promptly spannering it over!  I assumed there must’ve been a deflection or a save, but upon looking at the replay he just missed.  Pity, it was a nice move!

Just as we were starting to chunter about it being a draw we got the fortunate breakthrough – a decent cross from Cohen looked like it was heading into the path of Dexter Blackstock’s run into the box, only to be headed powerfully into his own goal by Liera.

Since he was writhing about on the floor in agony early (under instruction from Kirkland) after a nothing aerial challenge, I didn’t have much sympathy for him – but it must’ve been quite embarrassing for him particularly to look up at the disappointed faces of his own supporters (and of course the bizarre sight of hundreds of Semedos looking back at him!).

Wednesday did have moments after this but few direct chances, and the same for Forest really who largely seemed content to hold the ball up when in the opponent half.  We did have one final lovely move which culminated with a shot from Chris Cohen which ended up just wide of the far post.

All in all, a very welcome three points – although a fortunate one, it was one of those open games with plenty of defensive mistakes that – if punished – could’ve gone either way.  I guess we benefited from the biggest defensive mistake on the night sending Wednesday’s impressive away following disappointed.

I am hoping that the Lansbury’s appearance from the bench might herald a new opportunity for the midfielder to properly get his Forest career underway – he looked positive, incisive and eager to find a way to unlock defences.  In the absence of Raddy Majewski through injury and Lewis McGugan through lack-of-favourness we could really do with that kind of mindset in our midfield.

Still, three points are three points and very welcome they are too ahead of next weekend’s tricky trip to Molineux.

Post-match it was all about the Nottingham Arena where Carl Froch demolished Yusaf Mack in three rounds with a devastating body shot.  A cracking atmosphere from the Nottingham public spurred the Cobra on to retain his IBF Super-Middleweight title – a cracking night and an excellent day for Nottingham sport!

8 Responses

  1. Yes a welcome 3 points but not sure if we really deserved them? But then we did against Boro and ended up with one. As a ex-alcoholic Spuz player once said ” its a funny old game!”

    We really have to sort this defence out. I’m afraid my patience has run out with Moloney and the sooner we ship him out now, the better.

    Lansbury certainly looks a prospect and his ability to see a killer pass may end up being the difference between a mediocre or good season. We need to get him and (and more importantly) keep him fit.

    With Reidy injured now I’d like to see Cohen go left and Coppinger given a chance on the right. He always seems to do a job on us when he played for Donny so why not?

  2. Does’nt matter how we get the points it’s just nice to get them. If we are looking for a red hot striker there is a guy here playing in the Australian A League who has scored 5 goals in 6 matches. Emile Heskey. Anybody heard of him?

  3. We cant say we havent had any luck so far this season very fortunate if you ask me to have 4 points from the last 2 games.

    A very narrow side again with no pace down the flanks i just dont get it we have a lovely big pitch thats crying out for pacey wingers.

    Im looking forward to how the players that are out of contract react to offers or maybe no offers and who SOD brings in ……..?

    This is just an opinion and im gonna be controversial here but im not convinced by the SOD blueprint for moving us forward.

    We should be shaking a leg much more than we are with the quality that has been brought in the reality is we are struggling to find the formula cos its too bloody complicated.

    4 -4- 2 all the way with the ability to change if needed out manager seems to passive to me and i think this rubs off on the players ……..

    Lets wait and see ……

  4. Just before I read this article I read the 1865 blog and it said that Maloney had his best game ever in the Garibaldi……..well if that was it I must be in a time warp!!!! Like so many full-backs in the modern game he is very good going forward but xxxx at defending!!! On Saturday he was easily muscled out of situations. He might however benefit from a run in the side?

    We looked lethargic to me again in midfield but Pep and Lansbury changed that.Ive been very critical of Reidy but to me we looked to have better balance once he went off? Once we scored I don’t think we looked too troubled but hell we made hardwork of it again!!!!

    3 points is 3 points.

  5. I agree reg we look very laboured at times and we shouldnt with the players and talent we have .The reason and here i go again is we have no pace down the flanks we should be zipping the ball around at the CG give the visitors the run around ………..

  6. Just remember it took Brian Clough 21/2 seasons to get us promoted. from this devision and he had a load of quality already at the club to tap into. This manager took over in late July without a senior defender on the books. Give him a chance. He’s trying to turn this club into a footballing club again not easy at this level where many teams are determined to just snuff us out and having a goalkeeper who does not have the confidence to distribute the ball quickly and accurately. Other than the bottom 3 anyone can beat anyone else this season so there are no easy games where we can just stroll on to the pitch and expect the opposition to roll over. Problems have been casued through injuries and suspensions that has led to a lack consistency. I don’t think anyone has been consistent in their game all season that makes it even harder to get a settled side. The effort is there the will to battle is there the quality will come through eventually. Give it time and keep the faith this has all the makings of becoming a very successful club again in the next 3 years.
    Chris Sheffield based Red for over 40 years now.

  7. Chris
    I have the faith.After last season mid- table would be good. I dont thnik we look anything like the finished article at the moment.My criticism is not of SOD and think we are in good hands Watch us go on an unbeaten run now until the end of the season :).

    Ryan, I’ve just caught up with The Cobra and what a performance that was!!!!

  8. im not convinced with the managers tactics ….at the beginning of the season ..bristol city were demolished ..what a game to watch ! then bolton away .what a performance ..charlton ..awesome ….our team are new ..and they had their own qaulity ..individual they were …but for me clicked …then SOD has slowly brought his tactical play and hold on the players ..i feel too negative …we have 3 top strikers in this league ..tactically …all 3… blackstock , cox and sharp ..imagine what the opposition would have to do to just set up a marking plan..minimum 5 defenders ..which would leave the midfield wide open to dominate…i really am not convinced …i couldnt believe the basic tactics went out the window against millwall …they had a very strong and very tall defence ..yet throughout the game …..crosses were being pumped in ! hard and low should have been the message ..SOD is a good manager if your club is in financial difficulty and have very limited resources …but our club is on the up …and for me ..SOD is not our man to take us to the top flight ..and im sure that if youve attended the last 5 games …you know what i mean .

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