Date:Sunday April 10 2011
Sometimes in football you just have to put your hands up and admit that you were beaten by a better side on the day and this was certainly the case in the 4-3 defeat to Reading. Forest gave it a good go and may have deserved a point, but it was the Royals who claimed the spoils, in a pulsating and entertaining game.
Due to injuries and suspensions, the team for this one virtually picked itself, but their was one surprising name on the team sheet in the form of Guy Moussi. The Frenchman came back into the side after an absence of 11 games and slotted in like a hand in a glove, showing exactly what we have been missing in the middle of the park. He tired towards the end, but that was to be expected after his time out of the team. With Earnshaw and Boyd playing upfront and Majewski and McGugan supporting from midfield, it was as an attacking line up as Billy Davies could put out under the circumstances.
The game started with both teams on the attack and some fierce tackling from the Reading defence. Any thoughts that either side would play for a draw were quickly dispelled, as first Boyd for Forest and then Long for the visitors went close with efforts to put their teams in front. With McCleary running down the left wing for the Reds` and Kebe doing the same on the right for the Royals, it was an open ended and entertaining game. First blood went to the visitors, when Shane Long won a free kick on the edge of the box. Chris Gunter clipped his heels as he waltzed through the Forest defence and went down like a sack of spuds. The Forest faithful took it as a dive, but contact was made, even though it was minimal. If there were any doubts about the validity of the free kick, there were none about the goal. Ian Harte struck an unstoppable shot from the corner of the box, that went over the wall and into the top corner of the net, leaving Lee Camp with no chance.
Forest went in search of an equaliser and got their reward just before the break, with a Kris Boyd penalty. McGugan went down in the box after the slightest of touches from Leigertwood, which left Boyd to rifle the ball home from the spot. It was no less than Forest deserved and 1-1 at the break, was probably fair on both teams.
If the first half was entertaining then the second would be more so, as both teams went in search of the win. It was counter attacking football at it`s best, or maybe it`s worst depending on which team you support. Jimmy Kebe gave Joel Lynch a bit of a runaround in the first half, but in the second he tore him a new arsehole. The winger left the Forest defender for dead on more than one occasion and he terrorised the Reds` defence all afternoon. It was an open and end to end game, with the teams exchanging blows like boxers in a ring. The Reds` took the lead after catching the Royals on the break and some neat and decisive build up play, saw Earnshaw fire in from just inside the box. Forest were good for the lead, but it didn't last long. Within 2 minutes of Forest going in front, the visitors drew level, with a Karacan header from the edge of the box. I thought Camp could have done better to be honest, but after the season he has given us, he`s entitled to one mistake at least. 2-2 and the drama had only just begun.
Kebe was to restore the visitors lead on 62 minutes, after he blasted in a shot from just 6 yards out. It could have been a killer blow for the Reds`, but fair play to them for once again clawing their way back. Forest won a penalty after Gunter was brought down in the box. This time it was McGugan to step up and he made no mistake from the spot. At 3-3 you thought Forest had done enough to earn a draw, but Reading thought different and bagged the winner in the final minute of the game. Karacan saw his shot deflected into the goal by Chambers, who held his head in disbelief. It was a cruel blow for the home side and scant reward for their efforts in the game. The scoreline could have been much worse for us as well, with Lee Camp saving a penalty late on, to deny the Royals an even bigger win margin.
Forest can feel hard done by, unfortunate not to have won another penalty and more than worthy of a point, but some poor defensive performances and a lack of clinical finishing in front of goal was our undoing once again. Not for the first time this season, Nathan Tyson squandered a guilt edged chance to get something for his team, when he missed an open goal from just inside the box. However, it was a performance that should give hope our poor run will soon be over, but with only 6 games left to play and 4 points away from the Playoffs, they have to find that form now. They get the chance to do that as early as Tuesday night, when Burnley come to town. That will be another tough game and a win will be essential, if we want to keep the promotion dream alive.
Forest: Camp(C), Gunter, Morgan, Chambers, Lynch(Konchesky 65min), McGugan, Majewski, Moussi(Tyson 65min), McCleary, Boyd (Adebola 77min), Earnshaw
Subs not used: Darlow(GK), Moloney, McGoldrick, Tudgay
Bookings: Earnshaw 57min
Scorers: Boyd pen 38min, Earnshaw 51min, McGugan 87min
Reading: McCarthy, Griffin, Karacan, Leigertwood, Long, McAnuff, Kebe, (Robson-Kanu 81min) Khizanishvili, Ingimarsson(C), Harte, Manset (Church 77min)
Subs not used: Tubb, Antonio, Howard, Pearce, Federici
Bookings: Kebe 62min, Griffin 87min
Scorers: Harte 19min, Karacan 54min, Kebe 62min, Chambers OG 90min
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Date:Sunday April 10 2011
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