Forest Starting To Look Like Promotion Contenders
It's now an incredible 33 games unbeaten at home in the league, thanks to Tuesday's 1-0 win over Bristol City and whilst this wasn't the most dynamic performance in that run of games, it could prove to be one of the most important.
This was one of two games in hand Forest hold over their promotion rivals and although not a 'must win' game, it was a chance to catch up on the points difference and put pressure on those above. As it turned out, we went up to 5th place in the table, taking us to within a point of 2nd. Not a bad nights` work when all is said and done.
Due to injuries and a run of poor results, it came as no surprise that City`s game plan was that of damage limitation. They put men behind the ball and tried to hit us on the counter. That made them difficult to beak down, but we almost took the lead as early as the 7th minute. A brilliant curling free kick on the edge of the box, was heading for the top corner of the net, until James leapt to his left and pulled off an equally brilliant save. That was probably the brightest moment of an otherwise fairly dull first half.
If the game itself wasn`t a spectacle, watching Guy Moussi put in another sterling shift was. He won everything in the middle of the park and made every pass count. On the rare occasions he did lose the ball, he made sure he won it back again, with a determined and influential performance. Another standout and workmanlike performance was on show from Robbie Earnshaw and whilst he didn`t get on the score sheet, was our greatest threat upfront.
The one player from City who caught the eye, apart from David James in goal who had a stormer, was former Forest target Albert Adomah. He went close in the first half with a header that went just over the bar, in one of very few chances on goal for the visitors.
Forest got the breakthrough after only 2 minutes of the restart, when Cohen sent over a well delivered free kick. Chambers headed goalwards, but it took a deflection and wrong footed James on the way into the net. This now meant that City had to come out of defence, if they wanted anything from the game. City fired a couple of warning shots at Forest shortly after we took the lead, with chances falling to Campbell-Ryce and Adomah. At the end of the day though, Forest were just too much for them and did just enough to win the game.
Not a spectacular game by any stretch, but a win is a win as they say and it doesn't matter how they come. The lads now have something of a break from the league this weekend, when the FA Cup takes centre stage. However, it will be a short reprieve, as it`s a trip over to Coventry next Tuesday. That will also be a vital game, where victory could not only cement a place in the top 2, but also make the rest of the division sit up and recognise us as genuine promotion contenders.