Forest 1-3 Orient
16 December 2006
A day may be along time in politics, but seven days is an eternity in football. Last weekend Forest walked off the pitch at Gresty Road as world beaters, but today at the City Ground, they were brought down to earth by a team that belied their lowly position in League 1. Forest will readily admit that on the day they were beaten by a better side.
The O's had failed to win a single game away from home so far in this campaign, but the way they started this game suggested they were far from a side languishing at the arse end of League 1. They took the game to the Reds' and passed the ball neatly, rarely giving it away, unlike Forest, who seemed uncomfortable and unwilling to make their mark on the game.
The opener came from a well worked move, ending in a Wayne Corden cross, that saw an unmarked Luke Guttridge side foot the ball sweetly passed the keeper Smith. Forest did little to threaten the Orient goal, except for a run from Morgan, where he took on the whole of the O's team and almost beat them, only for a misplaced pass to Southall, to bring it to an end. The Reds' were to be further punished on the stroke of half time when they were found asleep and ball watching. Walker beat Gary Holt with ease and found Chambers inside the box and on his own, who had nothing else to do except slide the ball into the net. 2-0 and you would have struggled to tell the sides apart from their respective League positions.
The halftime talk amongst the fans, was that the Reds' were more than capable of pulling back the two goal deficit, after all they had done it on more than one occasion this season. For all the complaints at the interval, this was by no means Forests' worst performance. They had along way to go to match the likes of Oldham and Scunthorpe. The second half got under way with faith in the side that they would get a result.
Forest did indeed start in an upbeat mode. They brought on Agogo for Curtis in search of a goal. The Reds' looked busy and more threatening, but could not get the breakthrough. Although Forest were having the better of the possession, it took until the 58th min for them to get a break. A Southall freekick found Breckin, who rose above the O's defence to head the ball home. The fans rallied in an attempt to find the equaliser . There was not a soul in the ground who thought that we would not get it.
Alas, football is a game that so often has a habit of kicking you in the nuts and today it didn't disappoint. Once again Orient were to hit us on the break. Walker played a perfect pass to Corden, who took on and beat Morgan and hit a powerful shot into the top corner of the net. 3-1 and Forest were well beaten. Outplayed and outhustled by a better team on the day.
The postmortem of the days events will show that Forest are still 4 points clear, ahead of their closest rivals. Although they did not play particularly badly, it does go to show that, there is still much work to do before promotion is a certainty. Forest are more than good enough to go up as they have shown on many occasions, but they have to banish their Jeckyl and Hyde tendancies before it is secured. Fair play to Orient, they were good value for their win. It would be a shame if they were to go down after this performance, as that would only add insult to injury. Maybe if this kickstarts their season, this defeat may in time become a little easier to bear. For now though we must lick or wounds and prepare for a busy Christmas period, starting at Doncaster next Saturday.
Forest: Smith, Cullip, Morgan, Breckin, Curtis (Agogo 46), Southall, Clingan, Gary Holt, Commons, Grant Holt (Perch 78), Tyson (Dobie 85).
Subs Not Used: Pedersen, Thompson.
Booked: Tyson, Breckin.
Goals: Breckin 58.
Orient: Garner, Miller, Lockwood, Mackie, Saah, Chambers, Guttridge (Barnard 84), Easton, Corden (Tudor 89), Alexander, Walker.
Subs Not Used: Morris, Keith, Connor.
Booked: Miller, Chambers.
Goals: Guttridge 25, Chambers 45, Corden 69.
Ref: K Hill (Hertfordshire).