Gaz Knocks Reds Off Perch
30 December 2006
For the first time in four months, Forest are off the top of League 1. They now sit second in the table, behind new leaders Scunthorpe, who have a better goal difference of +3.
This was a game played in torrential rain, but conditions alone could not excuse a below par performance from the Reds'. Tranmere set their stall out and clearly came for the draw. Well organised at the back and stifling the game at every opportunity, it was evident that it was going to be a frustrating afternoon.
Forest had the best chance of the half when a Tyson header rattled the bar, Southall picked up the loose ball, but his shot went across the goal. Soon after came the most bizarre moment of the game. Keeper Achterberg collided with Tyson who looked clean through on goal, although he clattered the striker who stayed on his feet. His tight angled shot was cleared by Shuker. Achterberg who was injured in the collision was replaced by the injured Gavin Ward. Forest then seemed to let Tranmere control the game and began to play very deep, which as we all know normally spells disaster.
The first half ended in stalemate, but not before Commons went off with what looked like a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Agogo on 42. Tranmere were to take the lead after 48 mins. A McClaren cross saw that man Taylor beat the defence and rifle the ball home. Only three goals for Taylor before today's' game, so it was odds on he was going to score against his former team.
Forest searched for the equaliser, but were held back by a steady Rovers defence. Coupled with the fact that the referee did nothing to stop the Tranmere time wasting, it was indeed becoming frustrating for the fans. So much so that it was probably turning into panic within the team. In an attempt not to turn this report into a rant, let's just say that Forest were playing into Tranmeres' hands. All too often Forest needlessly gave the ball away and played too deep. Despite the fact that the visitors had replaced one injured keeper with another, the Reds' failed to force Ward into a single save. One or two efforts came close, but things were looking ominous. The crowd had to wait until the 72nd min for the equaliser. A good ball from Clingan sent Curtis flying down the wing, as he charged into the box, he cut the ball back for the on rushing Perch to slot the ball into the net.
The goal came at what you would think was a good time. This rallied the crowd who willed the side forward, but again we sat back and rarely threatened. Tranmere got what they came for and despite my sour grapes probably deserved the draw. Forest however can take few positives from the game, except that they didn't lose.
The game on New Years Day now has added significance. An already difficult game against inform opposition, means that defeat could see them fall to 4th in the League. It's too early to hit the panic button, but supporters have known all along that our lofty position has been down to a lot of luck and some dire performances by the chasing pack. We are good enough and i am sure Mr. Calderwood knows this and needs no telling where things need sorting. But the coming weeks will be very important as to how Forests season continues. The transfer window opens on Monday, spend wisely Mr. Calderwood, all eyes are on you. Good luck.