Wolverhampton Wanderers – 1
Nottingham Forest – 2
Yeah, we never win at Molineux, even if they’re on rubbish form! It turns out that particular hoodoo is long gone after an open and entertaining game in the Black Country. Whilst the romantic matchwinner by former Wolves midfielder grabs the headlines, Henri Lansbury’s pass and Billy Sharp’s finish were just as lovely.
There were other opportunities too – and not a few scary moments at the back. New boy Alan Hutton had somewhat of a baptism of fire, with little cover from midfield to help him deal with Sako on the home side’s right hand side. However, I don’t think it’s unfair to say the Reds had the better opportunities and a narrow win didn’t flatter them on the day.
As noted, Hutton came straight into the side, Harding returned to the starting eleven after his injury whilst Lansbury came in for Reid, and Cox came in for Blackstock, giving us a line-up that looked something like this:
Hutton Ward Collins Harding
Lansbury Guedioura Cohen
So, match report is delayed – it’s been a busy weekend, so my apologies – there’s been a fair amount of booze consumed between the match and now too – so I’ll do my best to do it justice!
An open start to the game looked to be heading for disaster for the Reds. Pennant played a ball into the area after just six minutes, a ricochet from a lunging Gillett propelled the ball neatly to Sigurdarson who was in far too much space in the area – he got the ball under control and put a comfortable finish past Camp from inside the box.
Forest were understandably rattled for a while but regained their composure quite well – Cox and Sharp looked lively up front and Forest seemed to be overtly targeting a dinked ball into the channels over the generally quite high Wolves back line.
That doesn’t quite do justice to the pass Henri Lansbury dug out to find sharp advancing behind the Wolves defence though, he took a couple of touches and before the defender could get to him he’d slotted the ball into the net past the ‘keeper from inside the D to give Forest an equaliser much to our delight!
We had other chances too – Sharp tried to tee up Cox, Cox tried to tee up Sharp, Cox put another effort just wide after cutting in from the left hand side – whilst Lansbury spurned a chance to hit the target from range. Wolves were causing us problems too – generally Sako was the source of their danger, but he wasn’t too proficient at hitting the target fortunately for us.
He did find the target and brought a good save to keep the winger’s cross out, however it did fall for Edwards who looked odds on to score but for an excellent last gap block by Danny Collins in the area. Sigurdarson had a decent effort too that Camp saved with his legs, whilst another hit from range by Lansbury almost caused problems after a crazy deflection but was dealt with in the end.
Forest altered their shape a little in the second half to give Hutton more cover – with Cox looking more like a right-winger-cum-striker. The Reds started the half brightly – Cohen and Sharp combined to give Cox a sight of goal but he wasn’t able to direct his shot away from Ikeme. It was a brief reprieve for the Wolves ‘keeper though.
Just shy of the hour Cohen played the ball inside to the Algerian midfielder who took a couple of touches whilst advancing toward the area – never really looking like he had the ball under control – before unleashing a peach of a shot low just inside the post, with too much pace for Ikeme to be able to stand a chance of reaching.
Perhaps the quality of the strike combined with the overly muted celebration from Adlene against his former club even drew some applause from the home supporters which is quite sporting considering they’d just gone behind (and have been on a spectacularly poor run of results of late).
The only real other moment of note was a sour one for us – Simon Cox hit the deck after fairly inconsequential-looking contact from Foley, it looks like a stud caught in the turf – we’re now awaiting news from scans to understand the extent of his injury. Apparently the only striker we can recall from loans to other clubs is Matt Derbyshire, so we might as well not bother really. Hopefully Coxy isn’t too badly injury.
Blackstock replaced the fallen man, and it’s fair to say Forest didn’t quite play so openly as before as they sought to keep their lead . Sako caused a last gap threat with a dangerous cross that nobody was able to convert, late introductions of Moussi and Moloney helped us run down the clock to register a deserved win at what has been a very tricky hunting ground for us.
Very pleased with the win, whilst the injury to Cox is of course frustrating for us (and him, I’m sure). A trip to Ipswich next is both tempting and daunting because surely they can’t be as bad as they have been indefinitely. We can but hope. Because I’m running so late I’m about to go straight into writing a match preview after this post… tsk!
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