So Near, Yet So Far: Geordies 2-0 Forest
Forest manager Billy Davies says the club will still fight for an automatic promotion place, following the 2-0 defeat at Newcastle United. Whilst it is still mathematically possible to catch the two sides above us, it will take a catastrophic failure on the parts of WBA and the Geordies to do so.
Despite the wet and miserable conditions, the match was watched by nearly 46,000 fans, with a more than respectable turnout from Nottingham. Infact, special mention to the away support in this game, because they outsung and out supported the home side, for the vast majority of the game. That will come as no surprise to regular followers of the Reds away, as it happens every week.
The game started with Davies making two changes from the side that beat Palace at the weekend. Tyson replaced Earnshaw, who was moved to the bench and a fit again Perch, replaced Chambers, who was also moved to the bench. The lads started brightly and were on the attack from the start. Forest showed they weren't in town for the draw and had clearly come for the win. Forest played a very high line and had the home side retreating and scrambling at the back in the early stages.
Dexter Blackstock should have done better with a decent cross from Tyson, when he headed high over the bar from 12 yards out. It was the first of a couple of guilt edged chances the striker would squander on the night. Soon after this, the home side could have taken the lead, but thanks to a great reaction save from Camp, Carroll's shot was turned away by the keeper.
Forest were playing the ball around well and causing the homeside alot of problems at the back. Despite their endeavours though, Forest couldn't find a way through to goal. That said, neither could the Geordies, because Perch, Wilson and Morgan were in fine form at the back for the Reds'.
United are a powerful side on the attack, but they met their match with a resolute and determined Forest defence in this game. Much of the season has seen Forest fans bemoaning the weaknesses we have in this area, but none was on show last night. Perch made one tackle on Lovenkrands, that if not timed to perfection, would have been a certain penalty. His sliding tackle on the forward, was indeed timed to perfection, but it didn't stop the cheating git from pleading for a pen. Fortunately, referee Wiley was well placed and he waved play on.
Forest had their best chance to take the lead, when Blackstock totally mis hit an effort from a Tyson cross. Blackstock had more time and space than he knew about, but his mis timed swing at the ball, saw it go out dreadfully wide for a goalkick. Towards the end of the half, it was the turn of the homeside to hit us on the break. The ball ended up in the box and a scramble ensued. Carroll was left twisting and turning with the ball, but couldn't get his shot off. Boots and feet were flying in from the Reds' defenders in an effort to get the ball clear, but all to no avail. Camp eventually managed to crawl through a maze of arms and legs to gather the ball and make it safe. Halftime came, with both sides having given it their all, but nothing to show for their efforts.
The second half began with Forest going on the attack. The Reds' broke with pace and an excellent Anderson cross was put straight on the head of Tyson. The striker was unmarked in the box and had a clear view of goal, but his tame header was an easy save for Harper in the Newcastle goal. That was a let off for the Geordies and another wasted chance by the Reds'.
Morgan picked up a harsh booking after supposedly fouling substitute Ameobi on the edge of the box. Danny Guthrie stepped up to hit a dangerously positioned free kick, but luckilly for us, it went high and wide over the bar.
Newcastle took the lead when Cohen tried to feed a through ball into the path of Majewski. Unfortunately his pass hit the trailing leg of the Pole and it sent the Geordies on the attack. Nolan was able to set Ameobi on his way and he hit a superb shot past Camp, who had no chance in keeping it out. As the home side were beginning to turn up the heat, Davies took off Majewski and Tyson, for Earnshaw and McCleary. For the first time in the game, the Forest defence was looking stretched. The goal gave the home side a lift and with it the home support, who found their voices for the first time all night.
Forest couldn't get the ball forward enough to threaten the Newcastle defence and were under mounting pressure from a now resurgent and confident team. But the lads held firm and despite coming under heavy pressure at times, Gunter, Perch, Wilson and Morgan at the back did well to fend off a dangerous and powerful Newcastle attack.
The Geordies got a second goal through Enrique deep into stoppage time. His well worked goal was finished off with a great shot, that went past Camp at the near post and into the back of the net. It was a cruel blow to Forest and made it a scoreline they didn't really deserve. Missed chances is what cost us in the end though, so we should have few complaints on that one. The result all but means that the Geordies will be going up and all but means that we'll be in the Playoffs. Despite the disappointment of that, it's something everyone of us would have given our right arm for at the beginning of the season.