Forest 3 - 2 Derby County
29/08/09 13:00 Category: Championship
What an afternoon. If you’re going to break your league duck for the season, you might as well save it for your biggest rivals. The fall-out from this game is going to hang around for ages and the return fixture will be a fiery affair.
Last season, we failed to deal with the threat of Commons and Hulse whilst Savage ran the show in midfield. However, this time, the improvements to our squad were evident and we more than matched them. Commons struggled to have any impact and was replaced at half-time. Hulse was handled much better by Morgan and Chambers but still remained dangerous.
We’ve got a group of players willing to fight for the shirt and each other and not let the likes of Savage walk all over us. McKenna and Majewski dominated in the first half but Wednesday’s extra time caught up with them after the break.
Having taken a deserved lead into half time, we let them back into the game with a couple of freak own goals but we still ended up worthy winners. Their improvement after the break was due more to the tiredness and panic that set into our own side rather than any quality from the visitors.
Camp was threatened more by his own side more than anyone in a white shirt with Chambers slicing a clearance narrowly wide.The fun and games at the end has been completely exaggerated. Tyson obviously intended to complete a lap of the ground with the corner flag before their players started all the trouble. Before they got involved, he was nowhere near the visiting fans. It’s convenient to ignore the fact that there are also home fans at that end of the ground. A little misguided on his part maybe but it didn’t deserve the reaction from Leacock and his mates. There was only one team who were the aggressors on this occasion.
Clough and his players obviously have very short memories of the antics of his players after last season. You didn’t hear any sour grapes from Forest when Savage was enjoying his scarf waving; we simply took the defeat, regrouped and got on with the season. Now it just looks like anything to take the attention away from a defeat by their local rivals. You just expect a little more from Clough jnr.
Camp was in commanding form all afternoon. His decision making was spot on throughout, with a series of confident catches. A couple of smart saves in the first half but very rarely required after the break despite Derby’s extra possession.
Gunter saw a return to last season’s form with a much improved display at both ends of the field. The rest of the defence struggled, especially in the second half when Derby came back into the game. As ever, Cohen looked good in possession but struggled against their wide players at times especially when Croft joined the game. A new left back has to be a priority with Wilson’s imminent return from injury.
Chambers typified the change in our player’s performance more than anyone. In the first half, he was dominant and comfortable in possession. However, the second half was a different story. Suddenly he looked rattled and more likely than anyone to make that mistake to let Derby back into the game. Morgan dealt well with the threat of Hulse but lacked a calming influence alongside him in the latter stages as the panic set in.
MOTM McKenna was the main man in midfield yet again and continues to lead this team by example. Unlike last season, Savage found himself second best as we established a winning lead. Carried from the pitch in the closing stages which left us with ten men, keep your fingers crossed for some positive injury news for our captain.
Majewski started the fun and games with an amazing strike within the first minute and continued to cause problems for the remainder of the half. Similar to his midfield partner and in common with most appearances this season, his influence decreased after the break. Once he gets used to the demands of this league and starts performing for longer spells, he’s going to start making a real impact for us.
Despite an early booking, Garner showed all the fight you need in this sort of game. He made some decent crosses from the right and starting to justify his selection ahead of Anderson. His presence makes us a much tougher team to beat. Never let Savage and Commons settle into their usual routines.
Tyson was quiet for long spells in the first half as we tended to threaten down our right. He made the all important contribution on half time with an excellent run to take advantage of Blackstock’s intelligent through ball. Much more involved in the second half as we looked to catch them on the break.
McGoldrick’s seems to be improving with each game now. Looked more switched on that at QPR and his movement, often down the right, caused them problems throughout.
Blackstock worked as a lone striker for the majority of the game with one of the other strikers taking it in turns to get close and provide support. He’s a proper footballing centre forward who ran himself into the ground and replaced early after the break. Always looking to bring others into the game and his presence will bring the best out of his strike partners.
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