Forest Fail Again At Luton
For the second time this season, Forest have come off second best at Kenilworth Road. This time in the second round of the FA Cup. The scoreline of 1-0 flattered the Reds, who did little to deserve anything from the game. Luton dominated from start to finish and will face Liverpool in the third round, thanks to a Calvin Andrew goal 8 mins into the second half.
If it wasn't for the antics of Paul Smith in the Reds goal, the defeat would have been far heavier. At times the commentary was all too reminiscent of Groundhog Day. Forest clearly learned nothing from the first encounter with the Hatters and lost out or were second best in every department. The only saving grace by half time, was the fact the scoreline was still 0-0.
The Reds ended the half without a single chance of note. Smith on the other hand had kept us in the game with at least four decent saves. As much as Forest would have been patting themselves on the back for being level at the break, Luton would have been kicking themselves. They won every ball, dominated and controlled the game and looked like the side who wanted to win the game.
Calderwood needed to tear into his side during the interval, but whatever he said had little effect. Forest came out for the second half still content to pass the ball to a Luton shirt instead of one of their own. Time after time and not for the first time this season, they simply gave the ball away.
Within 8 mins of the restart, the Hatters got what they had threatened all night. The only surprise was it took them so long. Calvin Andrew gave them the goal that was to take them into the next round, heading past the helpless Smith at the far post.
Calderwood made a double substitution in Agogo and Commons, but neither were to have any effect on the game. Chambers came close with a header and Cohen should have levelled, but was unable to get enough purchase on the ball after rounding the keeper. His tame shot was easily cleared. Those two efforts were about all the Reds offered all night.
The 1,000 or so fans who made the trip down the M1 will be disappointed in the manner of the defeat. It was a lacklustre performance by the lads tonight, that not only cost them a glamorous home game with Liverpool, but more importantly they lost out on as much as a £400,000 pay day for the club as well. That's what the gate receipts and Sky money could have been worth.
Calderwood and the boys will be left to lick their wounds and concentrate on the League now. They have the chance to make amends for this no show as early as Saturday, when they entertain Northampton at home. Any repeat of this performance will see the team punished again. Only from now on it will cost them a lot more than money, it will be points instead.