MOTM Paul Smith
The FA Cup is proving to be an enjoyable distraction from our struggles in the league this season. After victory at Man City and a battling draw at the Sheep, we now have Man Utd waiting for the winners in the next round.
With Morgan missing due to family illness, Wilson moved to centre half with Lynch returning from injury at left back.
From a Forest point of view, the first half was a non-event as we struggled to put enough passes together to make an impression on the game. The supply to Tyson and Earnshaw mainly consisted of aimless punts downfield with very little support from the midfield.
They created a few decent openings but failed to really trouble Smith until a cross from the right, a neat dummy and a smart low finish put them in front. We got away with a few other scares from set pieces and were relieved to only be a single goal down.
Lynch paid the price for a poor first half by being replaced with McCleary. Cohen withdrawn from the midfield to shore up the defence at left back with McCleary right and Anderson moved to the left.
Forest were transformed at the start of the second half, instantly imposing themselves and putting the hosts on the back foot. Wilson carried the ball forward and fed Tyson whose low shot was well saved. Tyson continued to threatened down the left but too often found himself lacking in support to take full advantage.
With an almost identical goal, it wasn’t a surprise when Forest equalised. McCleary’s cross from the right, Tyson’s step-over and Earnshaw’s turn and low shot. Forest continued to press forwards with Earnshaw and McGugan both having efforts straight at their keeper.
Forest looked set to go on and sneak a win until a bad injury to Anderson caused a major disruption to the game and turned it in the host’s favour.
Smith had to produce a number of decent saves in the closing stages to earn the replay. One tip over from Hulse’s bullet header stood out amongst period of sustained pressure on the Forest goal with Commons also being denied.
MOTM Smith continued his decent run of form since Camp’s departure and kept us in the tie in the latter stages. Lynch looked badly out of form, struggling to keep up with play and giving the ball almost as soon as he’d received possession. Another option in the position has to be the absolute priority in this transfer window.
Chambers did what was required, used the ball much better and looks more comfortable since his re-introduction to the side.
We didn’t miss Morgan too much thanks to Breckin and Wilson’s combined efforts. Wilson in particular set the standard at the start of the second half bringing the ball forward into dangerous areas.
McGugan was anonymous in the first half and only slightly better in the second. Perch wasn’t that much better but at least put in some crunching challenges when required. Once the left back position is sorted out, sorting out this position has to be the next priority.
Cohen was the best in midfield in the first half and best defender in the second and continues to lead by example. Even from the defensive position, he was able to drive the team forward and showed Lynch exactly what we need in terms of effort and ability on the ball. In Lynch’s defence, Cohen tends to drift inside and won’t provide the same level of support as Anderson on the other side.
We’re going to miss Anderson in the coming weeks with his tireless running with the ball and energy to get back and support the defence. He’s been improving as the season has been progressing with a better end product to match his endeavour. It remains to be seen whether McCleary can repeat his decent form from earlier in the season to replace him. Davies doesn’t look like realistic replacement on the basis of his recent appearances. Get well soon Paul.
Tyson looked a real threat in the second half when the rest of the side started to provide a reasonable level of service. Another tireless ninety minutes effort, chasing lost causes and creating opportunities from nothing. Alongside him, Earnshaw continues to provide great value with another clinical finish just when we needed it. Even without the ball, his work-rate was outstanding, formin