Forest Felled By Off Colour Clarets
September 13, 2008. 3pm.
Nottingham Forest had hoped to get back to winning ways today at home to Burnley. But thanks to some shocking refereeing and some woeful play from the Reds in defence, it was a defeat that the fans were sent home with.
Once again, the City Ground bore witness to a disappointing attendance with only 20,504 turning up. Those that were present were in good voice and got behind the lads from the start. Forest started brightly and looked to be in the mood to avenge the lacklustre display dished up at Molineux in the previous game.
The visitors were hardly getting a look in, until McCann let loose with a shot that had Smith diving to make a decent save. Tyson should have put us in front on 15 mins, when he was sent on his way by a defence splitting pass from Cohen. Tyson's first touch let him down and the ball went a little too far in front of him. Faced with a one on one with the keeper, you'd normally put your house on him scoring, but Tyson sent his shot just over the bar to keep the scores level.
It has to be said that the opening goal came slightly against the run of play, but fair play to the Clarets, it was a belter. Guy Moussi was harshly adjudged to have committed a foul and a free kick was awarded from 25 yards out. Alexander hit an absolute pearler of a shot, that left Smith with no chance as the ball curled into the net to give Burnley the lead.
It was at this point that Forest seemed to forget all the good things they've done this season and began to resemble the shambles we had to endure at times last year. It was the return of 'hoofball,' as we began to kick it aimlessly and hopefully anywhere we could. Forest ended the half at least equal to their more experienced Championship visitors in many ways, but way behind in the guille and cunning department, as the Clarets knew every trick in the book to frustrate and annoy a slightly naive Forest side.
Calderwood made no changes at the break and Forest went about their business in the same way they did at the start of the first. Once again we looked lively and passed the ball around well. We did little with it, but at least it was on the deck! The visitors were happy and content to sit back and soak up whatever we could throw at them. A breakthrough was soon to come though and it came once again from newbie Robert Earnshaw.
Earnie saw precious little of the ball today, but when he did he looked lively. He bagged his 5th goal in the Garibaldi from a Martin free kick. The Man Utd loanee floated a dangerous ball into the box, that was headed onto the bar by a Burnley defender. Earnie reacted quickly to tap the ball in and give the home fans a deserved equaliser.
Forest took control of the game now and should have gone on to increase their tally. But fair play to the visitors, they are a wily bunch of serious and experienced professionals, who know how to play Championship football, unlike some of our defenders, namely Morgan and Chambers who clearly do not. Forest couldn't add to the score though and were thwarted by a resolute Clarets defence and a referee (Clive Prenton) who was as clueless as they come.
Forest were to pay a heavy price for not capitalising on their chances and making the most of their most dominant spell of the game. Once again a Burnley goal came against the run of play. Wes Morgan, who was in my opinion having a mare, had a dreadful decision given against him. He made a decent sliding tackle on Akinbiyi and the deflected ball hit him on the arm. Morgan could do little about it and protested his innocence, but to no avail. Prenton may have got it wrong, but Alexander got it dead right from the spot kick, to send the visitors away with all three points.
This was a mainly disappointing display from the Reds today, as they have definitely played better at home. Calderwood will no doubt draw some positives from the defeat, but he should look a little closer at our frailties first. Morgan and Chambers can't cut it at this level and the sooner he realises that the better. More disappointments will follow, unless these problems are addressed and soon.