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'Play To The Whistle'

A bitterly cold night on Trentside saw Forest win at home for the first time in just under 3 months.

Sky's decision to screen the game, coupled with the lack of public transport, meant that the eagerly awaited Boxing Day clash attracted a reasonable crowd of just under 23000 - however, these fixtures are normally much better attended.

The R's arrived at the City Ground sitting second in the Championship but had never won here in any of their previous 31 visits.

Forest hadn't won at home since beating Derby on 28th September - so a draw seemed to be a fair bet.

The Londoner's boasted a wealth of Premier League stars in their squad, which included former Forest loanee, Clint Hill and also marked the return of Forest's Academy graduate, Jermaine Jenas.

In general this season, Refereeing decisions seem to have largely gone against Forest and without doubt, this decision favoured Forest BUT how many times are we told or even teach our kids - play to the whistle?

It's somewhat annoying that the game may be remembered for the Reid goal - when all he did was run on to a long clearance from Abdoun (no, it wasn't a hopeful through ball), Halford missed it and Reid finished calmly past Green.

Yes, the Assistant Referee initially flagged (I was sat right behind him), but he immediately put the flag down when Keith Stroud (some 60 yards closer) over ruled him.

The drama continued as Mr Stroud came to speak to his assistant, surrounded by aggrieved QPR players, but it was evident from their discussions that Reid had run from an onside position and Halford had not touched the ball!

So, Forest were 2-0 up, with 10 minutes plus 6 minutes injury time to play!

This was no more than Forest deserved, with the other scorer (Halford) having missed several gilt edged chances and Clint Hill clearing an effort from Hobbs (who should have done much better) off the line.

Halford did force a great save from Green, when clean through in the first half and scored a powerful header from Abdoun's pin point cross, but he could have scored 3 or 4, had he kept his shots down or been a little more composed.

Without being disrespectful, I was a little disappointed by QPR, they can point to missing players, but then again so can Forest (probably more so) - I just think Forest's work ethic knocked the stuffing out of them!

Credit to Harry and his team, they were gracious in defeat - despite the controversy!

Kevin Bond (QPR Assistant), gave his assessment:

'The damage was done in the first half. They got after us and stopped us from playing. Really, we never laid a glove on them in the first half. The second goal was a consequence of us chasing the game. The damage was done before that.`

In my opinion, that's a fair assessment.

Harry 's, post match comments were equally astute:

'I saw the linesman put his flag up and then I turned to Joe. Next thing they're celebrating. But one of the first things you learn as a player is that you play to the whistle. We just stopped. No excuses, we have to do better. I just thought they were busier and there was no end product from us.'

So, Leeds up next on Sunday and I hope that Forest carry confidence and momentum from this deserved victory into that game.

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The Journalist

Writer: Our Kids Dad Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 27 2013

Time: 11:57AM


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