MOTM Luke Chambers
13/02/11 13:15 Category: Championship
Under normal circumstances, an away point at the league leaders would have been a creditable result, but having conceded a poor opening goal and then found ourselves down to ten men this was an outstanding achievement.
We started very brightly. Tudgay, hit the post (from an offside position) in the first minute and forced a number of corners as we caught QPR cold. Unfortunately, we couldn’t capitalise and paid the penalty when Smith picked the ball up from deep, run unchallenged and scored with a well-taken curling effort. Camp was left with no chance as McGugan, Konchesky and Chambers should have put him under more pressure but it was a quality finish.
It was noticeable that once Smith got injured, QPR didn’t look as dangerous when breaking from midfield. We marked the likes of Taarabt and Routledge tightly as QPR resorted to increasingly long balls in an attempt to put us under pressure.
Despite going behind against the run of play, we didn’t have too much to be concerned about as we’ve shown plenty of resolve in recent games. However, we really put pressure on ourselves following the dismissal of Majewski. Initially, it looked like he slipped and didn’t make contact but the replays were conclusive and he can have no complaints. He seemed to have calmed down his tackling recently but this was a return to the rash, jumping challenges he often made last season.
His dismissal galvanised the side and showed further evidence of the steel and spirit that exists within our squad. Everyone who played made a difference as we made relatively light work of the man disadvantage.
Our equaliser might have been a fluke but we certainly deserved something for our early endeavours. McGugan’s long range free kick was going well wide until hitting McGoldrick on the knee and bobbling into the bottom corner.
We even had chances to win it with Morgan’s downward header tipped over from another corner. McGugan had another couple of long range efforts unusually off target, whilst McKenna charged forward to put an effort wide.
Not too many opportunities after the break as we couldn’t afford to get caught out on the break. Tyson’s pace in the closing stages caused a few problem but too often he found himself downfield on his own and without any support.
Camp had very little to contribute due to the number of last ditch blocks on the edge of the area by those in front of him. QPR very rarely caused us problems within our area and were restricted to long range efforts and hopeful set pieces from distance. The closest they game was one header from a corner that Gunter recovered to head off the line.
The most impressive defensive displays came from MOTM Chambers and the also outstanding Morgan. Chambers has been one of our most consistent performers this season and Morgan now seems to be finding some form with another flawless display. Any mention of Kelvin Wilson has been completely forgotten as he finds himself excluded from the first team squad.
Lynch joined the action in the second half, allowing Konchesky to move into midfield. Up against the pacey Miller, he made a number of solid challenges and even found himself charging forward in a right wing position trying to pinch a late winner. Konchesky looked one of the fittest players on display and could easily be used further forwarding the coming weeks, especially if we lose anyone else from midfield.
Gunter had a great battle with the dangerous Routledge and was dominant almost through- out. The only time that Routledge found any space, he resorted to diving in order to gain an unlikely winner.
In midfield, McKenna put in another impressive performance to continue his welcome return to form. The wasteful ‘over the shoulder’ passes into space are a thing of the past and showing the sort of midfield domination he displayed when he first joined. He made a number of important interceptions in midfield and used the ball very well when in possession.
He was well supported by Cohen, McGoldrick and Tudgay who all ran themselves into the ground. McGoldrick in particular produced the sort of battling performance that hasn’t really been evident during his Forest career so far. McGugan was in and out of the game, had a few opportunities around the edge of the area but failed to trouble their keeper.
The substitutions brought badly needed fresh legs at the right time and we never eased up and allowed QPR to settle.