Date:Saturday March 7 2009
Forest fought for a hard earned point at the City Ground today, in a game that belied our fourth from bottom placing at the start of play and also showed that we may have enough about us to avoid relegation.
Unusually for the Reds', we got off to a flyer and could have taken the lead as early as the first minute, when debutant McSheffrey sent his first shot on goal wide of the target. Soon after his effort was followed by chances for Earnshaw and then Anderson, as the lads showed that we were more than up for this one.
Forest may have had the lions share of the posession in the first half, but the Swans were not without their chances and showed on numerous occasions, why they were by far the best team in League 1 last season and at the same time more than worthy of their playoff potential this time round in the Championship. Martinez is as canny and smart as they come and his Swansea team are a match for any side in this division. At no stage today, did his team look like they were beaten and just as you thought we were getting the upper hand, up they popped and showed just why they are one of the outsiders for promotion this season. In Jason Scotland, Angel Rangel and Jordi Gomez, they have a side that could go all the way in this division.
On loan midfielder Iasiah Osbourne saw a good shot deflected off the bar and his fellow loanee Gary McSheffrey also saw an effort go wide just before the break. The first half may have ended in stalemate, but it wasn't without chances for both sides.
The second half started with the visitors on the attack. We managed to hit them with a break away and a decent cross from Chambers found Cohen unmarked in the box. Unfortunately for us, his header was tipped over by De Vries and the scores remained the same. McCleary had replaced Anderson at the interval and was looking a threat down the wing, but just as the Reds' were coming back into it, the Swans took the lead. Our defence for once looked solid and reliable today, but not for the first time this season, we were let down by some slack marking. Jason Scotland was left on his own, to slot home an unchallenged effort, that put the Swans in the lead. Fair play to the lads though, because their heads didn't drop.
Just before McGugan was replaced he managed to draw the scores level. For the second time in as many games, Lynch put in a pinpoint cross that found the revitalised McGugan on the end of it. The midfielder hit a powerful header passed the watching De Vries, to give the home side a more than deserving equaliser.
1-1 was just about a fair result today, although both managers and both sets of fans, will probably claim the bragging rights afterwards. From a Forest perspective though, we aren't going down on this display and there was much to be pleased about. Not least, the performance of Joel Lynch in defence. I've been a huge critic of the guy since his arrival on loan from Brighton, but for the third game in succession, he looked immense and he may become a footballer yet. Maybe there's hope for the rest of them. Well done to both teams today. It was a thoroughly entertaining game.
Date:Saturday March 7 2009
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|6. Derby County||29||12||12||5||10||48|
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