Four Games Without A Goal Leaves Forest Bottom
October 4, 2008. 3pm
Nottingham Forest sit bottom of the table tonight five points adrift of safety, thanks to a 2-0 defeat at home to a less than threatening or impressive Crystal Palace.
The Eagles got off to a flyer when the Forest defence failed to deal with a Watson free kick effectively. The ball came out to Paul Ifill, who hit a bullet of a shot into the top corner of the net from 18 yards out to give the visitors the lead. Fair play to Forest, their heads didn't drop. They took the game to Palace and played some tidy stuff. The wily Warnock, had his players well primed and they had referee Richard Beeby in their pocket. The spoiling and time wasting tactics of the Londoners were being executed to the limit at every available opportunity. Beeby fell for every trick in the book, including the obligatory rant from Warnock. That must have taken up a good 5 mins of the half at least.
Beeby was obviously being unaffected by the critics amongst the home support and saw fit to book Tyson for having the audacity to go in for a 50/50 challenge with keeper Speroni. Despite Tyson's lack of contact with the stopper, Beeby felt it was worthy of a caution after Speroni's theatrics.
Forest should have at least levelled before the break when Bennett sent two bullet headers over the bar from corners. McCleary went close as well and forced a decent save from Speroni to deny us. Bennett went close again with a speculative effort, that had the keeper sprawling all over the place. Apart from a shot from Watson, the visitors offered little, except for some Oscar winning play acting.
The joker Beeby then had his finest moment of the game in denying a stone wall penalty for the Reds'. Tyson was through on goal and only had Speroni to beat. On the edge of the box and with Beeby well positioned, the keeper wrestled Tyson to the ground. Blind as a bat Beeby waved play on to the disbelief of the crowd. Even the Palace fans were blessing themselves and could hardly believe their good fortune.
The teams left the pitch to a chorus of boos echoing in their ears, but it was aimed at the match officials and Beeby in particular. The half time chat amongst the home fans was positive and the general consensus was that we would go on and win. That chat as we know now, was all pants.
Forest didn't start the second half as brightly as they did the first and began to give the ball away too easily. Palace had more possession in the early stages, but the Reds' gradually fought their way back into it and once again began tapping the ball around nicely. Although we were witnessing the tippy tappy football we all know and love and crave. It was all without an end product. That might be where some of our problems lie. We don't appear to have anyone who can burst the back of the net with the ball. Just a thought for you there Colin. Maybe Tyson and Cole aren't good enough? It's certainly worth thinking about.
On 81 minutes and out of nowhere, up popped substitute Shefki Kuqi. He was given the ball on the edge of the box and drifted harmlessly out wide. Smith then decides to go AWOL and makes it his business to come and challenge him. Thinking better of it, he decides to make his way back to goal. But Kuqi's a smart cookie and spots the hapless Smith in no man's land. He cooly lofted the ball over his head to send it into an empty net to give the visitors the lead, the points and the spoils.
When the final whistle blew their were the inevitable, but half hearted chants of 'Calderwood out.' I'm left a little non plussed after this latest defeat, because up until now I was blaming the defence for all of our troubles. On this showing we have problems up front as well, because it's now four games without a goal. Plenty has to change for us to avoid the one way ticket back to League 1, but can Calderwood do it and is he the right man? Discuss.