Match Report: Forest 3-1 Swans
Nottingham Forest delivered their best performance of the season in front of a rather disappointing City Ground crowd of just under 20,000. The 3-1 victory was a deserving result, where some of the football displayed was at times simply breath taking.
Davies made just the one change to the side that battled well for a 0-0 draw at Hull last week, with Kelvin Wilson having to settle for a place on the bench. He was replaced by Luke Chambers, who it has to be said, put in a performance that might suggest Wilson could be there for some time to come. With Moussi and McKenna acting like a brick wall at the heart of midfield and Lewis McGugan playing behind lone striker Blackstock, the Reds' were well set to tear the Swans to shreds.
Forest were on the attack from the off and had their first chance on goal after just 5 minutes. A superbly hit shot from Cohen stung the hands of De Vries in the Swans goal. Blackstock was well placed to bag the rebound, but some swift defending from the visitors saw the ball put out for the first corner of the game. The Reds' were on the attack again soon after and some lovely build up play ended with Gunter forcing De Vries into action again, as another good effort was parried away.
On 12 minutes, Forest were awarded a slightly fortuitous penalty, when Blackstock was brought down in the area by the keeper. De Vries picked up a yellow card for his protests and although contact was made, it did look to be minimal from where I was sat behind the Trent End goal. McGugan stepped up to take the resulting kick and made no mistake in putting it away to send the Reds' 1 up.
If the penalty had a stroke of luck about it, then it was no more than Forest truly deserved. The Swans weren't getting a look in and this was due in part to some fine work in midfield from Guy Moussi, who had Darren Pratley in his pocket all afternoon. With captain McKenna at his side, the pair put a halt to every Swansea threat and had the middle of the park well under control. Forest deservedly took the 1-0 lead into the break, without the visitors posing any real threat on our goal.
The 2nd half started with Swansea taking the game to us and for a while looked like they were going to ask a few questions of their own. Those forays into the Forest half of the field were short lived though, as some smart defending from Chambers and his defence, soon put an end to any Swansea threat. Some encouragement from the crowd not to sit back too deep and to go on the attack seemed to get through to the team, because Forest were soon on their way forward again and threatening the Swansea goal.
A brilliant move from the home side should have put us 2 up just after the hour mark, but a fine save from De Vries saw Anderson's goalbound effort tipped out for a corner. Lee Camp was eventually called into action and had to react quickly, as a well delivered cross into the Forest box saw him dive to take the ball off Nouble's foot just before he struck it home.
Another great move by the Reds' was rewarded with a 2nd goal for Lewis McGugan. He was well picked out in the penalty area by a good ball from Gunter. Some nifty footwork by our born again midfielder, saw him side step the challenges of 2 Swansea defenders and pick his place to slot the ball passed De Vries. It was a cracking goal and little more than the lads deserved for a dominant and emphatic display.
Things were to get better for the home support, as substitute Majewski put the game and result beyond doubt. David McGoldrick, who was making his first appearance since recovering from a shoulder injury, picked out young Raddy inside the Swansea box. He was as cool as they come and when faced with the on rushing De Vries, he simply and cooly just slotted the ball past him to put the home side 3-0 to the good. The Swans got a consolation goal in the final minute of the game, which will be the only disappointment from an otherwise enjoyable afternoon for the home fans. Some sloppy defending allowed Van der Gun to get one back for the visitors, but by then it was too late, as the points were in the bag and Forest were for the first time this season heading for the top half of the table. This result means it is now over a year since we lost a league game on home soil. That's quite a remarkable achievement and one that has by and large gone unnoticed. Next up it's the Blunts on Tuesday night. Hopefully that run continues and we can cement our place in the top half of the table once again.