MOTM Chris Cohen
11/04/09 15:00 Category: Championship
This was one of those rare magical days that makes watching Forest worth every minute. For so long we found ourselves out played by a Bristol City and barely looked like picking up even a point.
Things turned in our favour with three important substitutions, each of the replacements making a positive impression on the game.
Their keeper tried to waste time and threw the ball out for himself to receive treatment. Gunter threw the ball to their full back and then charged down the clearance. The same player pulled Gunter to the floor and deserved the second yellow card. This incident combined with Garner’s arrival turned the game in our favour.
From the resulting free kick, McGugan found Garner perfectly to score with a neat header. These two players plus McCleary were providing City with plenty of problems with their pace and movement. Garner in particular looked like he had a point to prove having not played for so long.
Forest weren’t happy with a point and continued to press forward and with other results going in our favour, McCleary crossed from the right a couple of headers in the area kept the ball alive and Blackstock produced a stunning finish to complete the fightback.
Turner had a game to forget, missing one cross which led to a simple opener and then needlessly raced off his line only for their header to drop into an empty net. However, one low save with his right boot kept us in the game when conceding another would have given us no chance.
The starting line-up didn’t provide enough creativity in midfield with the Perch/Moussi combination never looking like working. Moussi struggled to make any impression and Perch dropped too deep and gave the ball away as soon as he’d won it back. As usual MOTM Cohen led by example throughout and predictably we looked a different side with him in the centre.
Earnshaw seemed to be struggling with injury but found that moment of quality to get us back into the game. Blackstock has fitted in pretty well and showed his class with the perfect finale.
07/03/09 15:00 Category: Championship
For once, we started really well and forced Swansea back in the early stages. Earnshaw should have scored in the first minute from Chambers’ pull-back and then Anderson cut inside and saw his left foot shot flash narrowly wide. Osbourne hit the bar after a one-two with Moussi and then McSheffrey should have scored from Lynch’s left wing cross right on half time...
03/03/09 19:45 Category: Championship
First half was poor with both teams affected by the constant downpour and Forest tended to stand off Preston for too long. We threatened with a few long range efforts but never really got behind their defence... Read More...
07/02/09 15:00 Category: Championship
For long spells we looked second best but credit the young players with having the spirit to prise a valuable point from a physical QPR side... Read More...
05/02/09 21:47 Category: FA Cup
Despite the pre-match talk of missing players, we managed to put together a reasonable starting XI, however looking at the bench tells you exactly why things went so wrong... Read More...
03/01/09 15:00 Category: FA Cup
A fantastic afternoon's entertainment and a thoroughly deserved victory. We defended as a team, battled hard in midfield and broke expertly on the break using the pace throughout the side.
Scoreboard photo by Paul Bainbridge
We kept the same formation as we used at Norwich but with a slight change of position. Cohen replaced Heath at left back with Tyson moving to left midfield and Earnshaw starting up front on his own.
There were two incidents in the opening stages of the game that turned things in our favour. Perch made a crunching early challenge but forced him out of the game shortly afterwards. This allowed Cohen back into midfield to dominate from that point onwards and drive the team forward. Wilson joined the action at left back. Secondly, City's one real danger, Wright-Philips limped off with an injury and left them struggling for quality going
The biggest difference today (and at Norwich) from recent weeks was the passion and determination shown by our midfield, wanting the win more than their opponents. We hassled City from start to finish and never let them settle on the ball. Too often this season we have stood back and let the opposition play but today was a different story.
We started the game brightly and missed three free headers from McGugan, Thornhill and Breckin that we should have done better with. At the other end, Smith made a decent low save before we opened the scoring.
Tyson's stunning volley on the run after a poor clearance before Earnshaw doubled the lead following Cohen's challenge and Thornhill's shot.
With City improving early in the second half, Smith made one outstanding tip over from a long range effort to preserve our lead. Morgan had to dive in to block another goal-bound effort. City had most of the possession but failed to cause Smith too many other problems.
Garner replaced the tiring Earnshaw and soon joined in the fun. Hamann threw the ball straight to him and he cut inside onto his left foot and scored with a low shot inside the near post.
Even in the latter stages, we continued to catch City on the break but tiredness prevented us from capitalising.
Smith made an impressive return to the first team. Every decision he made was spot on, choosing to catch or punch when required and made a series of faultless saves. One low save to his left in the first half and one tip over in
the second stand out.
Chambers got caught out a couple of times early in the game but recovered to put in a solid no-nonsense performance. Wilson, out of position at full back, won numerous aerial challenges and got back to clear one looping effort from under our bar. Centre halves Morgan and Breckin looked dominant throughout in the air and made those last ditch blocks when required. In summary, the defence looked like the solid unit that was so trusted last season. The return of Breckin has made a big difference.
MOTM Cohen has consistently been our best player this season but today was probably his best performance to date. The outstanding player in midfield, breaking up their attacks and, in contrast to Perch, driving the team forward. If only he could find some goals to compliment the rest of his qualities, we'd have a real player on our hands.
McGugan had another frustating afternoon with a series of neat touches and intelligent passing but too often he lacked sharpness, looked sluggish and cruised through the game. The one player in the side to slightly disappoint on the day and is capable of playing much better.
Thornhill continued to link up the midfield and attack intelligently, making late runs that went unnoticed by City. Time and again he found himself free aroung the edge of the area but we lacked someone to pick that killer pass in his direction. Even in the latter stages with Forest 3-0 he was still charging forward looking to support. Won a lot of physical challenges, even in the air, and starting to look part of the first team squad. The current
formation with runners breaking late from midfield to support a loan striker suits his style of play very well.
Tyson caused problems throughout raiding down the left hand side but still found time to help out defensively. Similar story with Anderson down the right with both players suiting the current style of play. Could easily have made it 4 nil but dragged his shot wide from a decent position.
Despite the obvious height disadvantage to Dunne, Earnshaw caused problems throughout and never allowed the City defence to settle. Tidy finish for his goal but this was all about his all-round performance. Garner replaced him for the closing stages, scored another neat goal and continued the good work, winning balls he had no right to.
Over to you Billy - the standard has now been set!
06/12/08 15:00 Category: Championship
A promising display but, yet again, we’re let down by an inability to defend even the most straight forward of set pieces. Our usual failings at centre back (Wilson) and midfield (Perch) continue to hold us back when we should be getting much more from the players available. Any decent side would have won the game by a couple of goals against a poor opposition who should have been there for the taking. In the latter stages, we seemed to settle for a point instead of having the confidence to go for the win but in injury time both sides had chances to take the three points.
If ever you needed a warning about building a soulless plastic jelly mould stadium then the Ricoh Arena is a prime example. We found ourselves surrounded by thousands of empty seats, with no atmosphere or character. Visits to places like this make you appreciate our surroundings even more.
With Tyson suspended, Cohen made a welcome return to the starting XI but yet again, he found himself on the right hand side of midfield. Having been our most influential player this season, I still can’t understand why he’s wasted away from the main action. Perch isn’t the right player to be dominating the midfield away from home and today was another example of this.
Anderson and Moloney put together a decent partnership down the right last weekend and should have been allowed to continue this.
We made the worst possible start. Morgan and Perch didn’t clear the ball properly and when the resulting cross came in from the right, their centre back was left unmarked to score at the back post. Moloney had been left marking two players and we got punished.
It took us a while to get going after realising just how bad Coventry were. Cohen and McGugan involved in most of the decent half chances that fell for Earnshaw and Garner but that quality finish was just lacking.
It wasn’t much of surprise when the equaliser came. McGugan played Cohen down the right hand side and his perfect cross found Earnshaw unmarked to score from eight yards with a low header.
However, we ruined all of the previous good work immediately by gifting them another goal straight away. Wilson looked in complete control on the byeline but managed to concede a needless corner. The cross was flicked on at the near post and Morrison took advantage of Wilson sleeping to beat Camp from close-range. We looked better in the second half, with Perch sitting back allowing McGugan to push forward and dictate our attacking play. We deservedly equalised when his free kick was flicked into the bottom corner by Garner.
It looked as though the game was going to drift out for a stalement when both sides had great chances in injury time. Firstly, Camp produced a save from nowhere to tip a low shot from the edge of the area, through a crowd of players, around the post. At the other end, McCleary broke away from the Coventry defence and found himself clear on goal, under pressure his shot bobbled well wide of the far post. With the last attack of the game, Garner had a volleyed chance to win the game but mis-hit the shot into the ground and straight into the keeper’s hands.
Camp had very little to do apart from the goals and the outstanding late save. Yet again, another late contribution to preserve hard earned points away from home. Wilson continues to struggle and we lack Breckin’s no nonsense approach to complement Morgan’s decent spell of form. Moloney showed plenty of confidence bringing the ball forward from defence but looked much better with Anderson in front of him. MOTM Cohen showed what we’ve been missing in his absence, with McGugan very close behind him. His drive and commitment has been a consistent feature of his displays this season and one that we’ll need to continue in order for us to survive – if only he was playing in the centre.
Too often in the first half, Perch found himself in front of McGugan and promising attacks stalled with his lack of attacking ideas. We looked much better after the break when Perch sat deep and allowed McGugan to get forward and cause Coventry problems. Anderson continues to provide a dangerous outlet when we found ourselves under pressure but on occasions the final ball was lacking on his weaker left foot.
Since Garner’s arrival, our forwards look much more threatening but we badly lacked another option to bring on for the latter stages as Earnshaw tired. Both forwards missed chances but kept getting themselves in dangerous positions and the goals came eventually. Against their towering forwards, we had to build up the play on the ground and when McGugan came into the game, we looked much better.
A decent performance in spells with both forwards scoring, Cohen’s return and McGugan impressing but usual failings continue to hold us back.
13/09/08 15:00 Category: Championship
A series of poor refereeing decisions will take the headlines from this game but really we should be looking at our own inadequacies before laying the blame elsewhere... Read More...