Forest 2 - 1 Reading
16/01/10 15:00 Category: Championship
The first half produced some of the best football we’ve seen this season and the game should have been over as a contest. In the end, we only had two goals to show for our efforts as Reading came storming back and caused us some nervy moments. The most positive aspect of the afternoon was that everyone in the squad contributed to the victory, including the substitutes.
Earnshaw’s volley and Blackstock miss when clean through on goal should have killed off the game. In the end, Anderson’s finish from Cohen’s driving run followed by Earnshaw’s smart finish from Majewksi’s pass did the damage.
We still deserved the win and the three points lifts us to within striking distance of Newcastle. It will be interesting to see how they react to some pressure; their record in the past hasn’t always been that great.
MOTM Camp had an outstanding second half, with a couple of early low saves from diving header but the best was yet to come. His poor kick actually led to Shorey’s red card and resulting penalty. However, Camp redeemed himself with the save to maintain the two goal lead. Was finally beaten in injury time but we’d done enough.
Due to the red card, Shorey could have played his last game for the club. His introduction added a new dimension to the side at both ends of the field and he will be badly missed. How we respond to his departure will be key to how the season continues. We’ve suffered before with players filling in and to take Gunter or Cohen out of their natural positions would be a massive step backwards. The addition of a specialist left back is the primary requirement of this transfer window.
Anderson was a constant threat throughout and in recent weeks has added a more threatening dimension to his performances. Previously, he would have found himself running towards the corner flag and away from danger, now he’s always looking to take on his full back. Time and again, he cut in from the left hand side to provide service for the forwards which reduces the reliance on Majewski to deliver.
On the other side, Cohen was everywhere and directly involved in both goals with his running power. Firstly, he carried the ball from inside our own half to find Anderson to score and then chasing a lost cause resulting in the poor clearance leading up to the second. With the side down to ten men, we relied on his work-rate to make up for the missing player.
Blackstock worked tirelessly at both ends and caused ex-Forest target Mills numerous problems. His ability to bring others into the game was at the centre of most of our breaks with everyone benefitting from his display. Should have finished off the game in first half injury time but that was the only negative on a great afternoons work.
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