Bloody Awful1-1Nearly Down
April 9, 2007
Lacklustre, ineffective, unproductive, uninspiring, and plain old boring are words that would best describe this latest Nottingham Forest display. Even in front of their biggest gate of the season, an almost pedestrian Forest side could hardly break sweat. Not even the news that filtered through the crowd of a looming Bristol City defeat could raise a gallop out of the lethargic men in Red. For anyone turning up for their first visit of the season to the City Ground, this must have been a tortuous affair. At least those of us who endure this type of fayre on a weekly basis, accept it as the norm. How the fuck we occupy a playoff place is beyond me and I make no apologies for the strong language, because if you witnessed this performance you would appreciate it is warranted.
The team lined up almost as fans would have wanted. Tyson played up front with Grant Holt and Prutton was installed in the centre of midfield. Gary Holt was at long last dropped and Lewis McGugan was deemed fit to play. Bring it on and let's send the Millers packing.
Nothing of the sort was ever likely as Rotherham could have taken the lead in the opening minutes. Smith was caught in a right flap when a harmless looking ball was palmed into the path of Ian Sharps, only for it to bounce off him and go wide. Grant Holt went close with a header, but within moments of this Millers stole the lead with a great strike from Chris O'Grady into the top of the goal after only 10 minutes. The Rotherham keeper kept out Tyson with a good save, but the Reds were firing blanks. Tyson won a penalty though, after being hacked down by Craig Fleming on 21 minutes. Grant Holt picked up the ball and gave Cutler no chance with his kick. The rest of the half fizzled out with Rotherham giving us a couple of frights and Forest looking as though they wished they were somewhere else.
Tyson had clearly been hurt in the penalty incident and was replaced at half time by Lester. There was no way Forest could be so ineffective in the second half, or so you would have thought. Sometimes this side needs a bullet up the arse, or a baseball bat around the head. That's exactly what they nearly got as O'Grady fluffed an effort from a few yards out. That should have been 2-1 and a wake up call.
The best chance of a Forest winner came from a Commons free kick on the edge of the box. His screaming goalbound shot was brilliantly saved by Cutler. The crowd that remained faithful to their side throughout the game, willed and pleaded for them to attack, but they were unwilling to take any risks or be adventurous in any way. Even with the announcement of an extra 5 mins, the players were treating the game as a Sunday afternoon knockabout. When the ref finally blew and put us all out of our misery, some fans expressed their disatisfaction.
Forest were all too defensive today and not inventive in any way. Lacking in ideas and confidence, even with the knowledge that your closest rivals are Royally screwing their own chances up, you can't help but feel that promotion is a long way off. Four games to go and we are unbelievably still in with a shout of automatic. The players don't deserve it, but the fans do and they want it badly. It would seem, probably more so than the players.
Forest: Smith, Curtis, Chambers, Breckin, Wright (Bennett 73), Prutton, McGugan (Morgan 59), Perch, Commons, Tyson (Lester 46), Grant Holt.
Subs Not Used: Pedersen, Gary Holt.
Booked: Grant Holt, Lester.
Goals: Grant Holt 21 pen.
Rotherham: Cutler, Worrell, Sharps (Mills 43), Fleming, Brogan, Henderson, Cochrane (Keane 82), Jarvis, Woods, Facey, O'Grady.
Subs Not Used: Montgomery, Newsham, King.
Goals: O'Grady 10.
Ref: M Thorpe (Suffolk).