Forest Nick A Point To Maintain Unbeaten Run
Forest stretched their unbeaten run at home in the league to a very impressive 31 games, despite going two goals down and looking second best for the majority of the game. As good as the lads were against Derby in midweek, they were equally as poor against Barnsley on Saturday.
Davies opted to leave Ramsey and Tyson out of the starting eleven, which gave a rare start to McCleary and a recall for McGugan. With Bertrand out for a few weeks with a dodgy hamstring, it meant Cohen would fill in at left back. It was a typical New Years Day start to the game, with both sides looking lethargic and struggling to get going. Despite the slow start, it was the visitors who looked slightly more interested and they tested Camp with a close range shot, that the keeper did well to block with his feet.
The neat passing and flowing football that tore Derby apart in midweek, was nowhere to be seen from Forest in this game, who continually gave the ball away to make it all to easy for the Tykes. One such careless mistake from Morgan gave the visitors the lead, when he made a poor pass to Tudgay which the striker had little chance to control. As the ball bounced off the striker, it fell into the path of Hill, who gladly ran onto the ball thanking Morgan as he ran past. He beat our none existent defence for pace and ran the entire half unchallenged to put his shot passed Camp and send Barnsley 1- up.
The goal did little to awaken a Forest side still shaking off their Christmas excess. The only real chance of a sorry half from the home side fell to Majewski, but his speculative effort from the edge of the box ended up nearer the corner flag than it did the Barnsley goal. When the half time whistle blew, Forest fans were glad to only be a goal down because in all honesty, the performance deserved far worse.
The talk at half time was mainly about young Adam Hammill and the fact he`s a Forest target. On the performance he gave in this game, you can see why we`d be after him, as he`s a pacey winger and he can deliver a cross. £500,000 would be a snip, but you can see why others are interested and that our chances of landing him might be slim.
You hoped that the Reds` would come out of the blocks in the second half, after a roasting from the gaffer to get them fired up, but it didn`t go to plan as the Tykes doubled their lead. A good run and cross saw Trippier beat Cohen with ease and his well delivered ball into the box was met by Gray, who rose unchallenged to give the visitors a 2-0 lead, as he headed the ball home passed a lonely looking Camp.
Davies then made the much needed changes and introduced Ramsey and Tyson, for the ineffective McCleary and Majewski. Forest still struggled to get a grip of the game and it was still the visitors who were dictating things. Then, after over an hour of lacklustre play from the Reds`, we spring into life and a great ball from Tudgay finds Gunter on the edge of the box with the goal at his mercy. A Barnsley defender stuck out his leg, to which Gunter dutifully makes contact with and falls over it. Claims for a penalty are greeted with disbelief from the visitors, but the referee points to the spot and in the process hands an undeserved lifeline to the Reds`. McGugan stepped up and made no mistake, as he hit a powerful shot passed the diving Steele in the Barnsley goal, to make the score 2-1. Adebola came on for Earnshaw, as the home side began to come into the game a little more and whilst not exactly looking like getting an equaliser, we were at least venturing forward and out of our own half.
The introduction of Adebola seemed to worry the visitors, who up until now had precious little to worry about at all. A couple of hoofed balls up front to the striker, suggested that this might be the best way forward for the Reds` and it was from one such ball that we managed to draw level. A goalmouth scrambled ensued, where Tudgay went down. Whilst shouts for another penalty were ringing around the ground, the ball continued to bobble around the area, edging closer to the Barnsley goal. Tyson managed to get a foot on the ball, to send it limping over the line and give the Reds` a rather fortuitous point.
By no means vintage from a Forest perspective, but we`ll gladly take a point, because we never looked like getting even that for the majority of the game. The home run continues and so does the race for the Playoffs and above. We were always going to have an off day at the office and I think this was it. Happy New Year folks. Onwards and hopefully upwards in 2011.