Forest Fire Blanks
11 August, 2007
Forest were led out onto the pitch by a bloke in a skirt, turns out he's the new club mascot Robin Hood. But he looked more like Rob Roy or someone out of Braveheart. When the laughter subsided the football got underway. Forest started with Dobie as the lone striker, so you got the immediate impression that goals would not be plenty. You would have been correct in your assumption, as Forest were held at bay by a solid and well organised Bournemouth defence.
The Cherries made five new signings on the eve of this match, so it was to be expected that they would look disorganised and unsettled, but they were neither. Telfer made a miraculous recovery from a groin strain, to martial the Cherries in defence and keep the Reds chances to a minimum.
Bounemouth were first to come close when a Gowling shot came through a crowd of players to be well saved by an unsighted Smith. Forest were doing their best to keep the ball on the deck and at times were passing it well, which in itself has to be a huge improvement on last years displays. The Reds came close when a Dobie shot went narrowly wide and Bournemouth once again came close when Anderton put a free kick straight into the hands of Smith. He should have done better. The best move of the game and worthy of a goal, came from a move that started in the Reds penalty area and ended up with Clingan striking the post. Morgan picked the ball up in the area and resisted the chance to hoof it. Instead he passed the ball to Perch who sent it wide to Lockwood. He in turn took the ball to the half way line and put it into the path of Commons. KC then took on the Cherries defence and beat two of them before putting a delightful throughball in to the path of the on running Clingan, He unleashed a cracking shot that rattled off the post. That should have been Forest one up.
The half fizzled out with the crowd becoming impatient and some even booing the players off. Forest in the second half were a little slow to get going. Dobie ran tirelessly, but was not seeing much of the ball. Lennon, when not shouting and bawling, was stroking the ball around well and never looked under pressure. Debutant Moloney was having an impressive game and looked dangerous when coming forward, but was to be tightly marked throughout and his threat was minimal.
With half an hour left and a goal from either side looking unlikely, Colin Calderwood showed that he had indeed learned something from last season, when he made a very positive double substitution. Off came Moloney and Dobie and on came Agogo and Holt. This raised the expectation levels of the City Ground crowd. All the substitutions did though, was to highlight how unfit Agogo still is, he clearly needs more games. He did come close with a tame shot in the dying minutes, but it was to end 0-0.
Forest will look at this as two points lost and Bournemouth will no doubt be the happier of the two sides. Forest to me showed signs of improvement, but their shortcomings infront of goal and lack of clearcut goalscoring chances for the strikers was clear for all to see. It will be several weeks before the injured return and there could be one more to add to the long list, as Perch was taken to hospital after an ugly challenge from Paul Telfer. Not a vintage performance from Forest, but not as bad as some who were already berating Calderwood and Co after only one game. Forest can and I'm sure will do better than today. We won't let many in, but at the moment we don't look like we will score many either.
Forest: Smith, Wilson, Chambers, Morgan, Lockwood (Bennett 75), Perch, Lennon, Clingan, Commons, Dobie (Agogo 61), Moloney (Holt 61).
Subs Not Used: Bastians, Roberts.
Bournemouth: Begovic, Pearce, Gowling, Cummings, Garry, O'Connor (Christophe 72), Telfer, Anderton, Gradel (Cooper 81), Pitman (Vokes 55), Kuffour.
Subs Not Used: Moss, McQuoid.
Booked: Kuffour, Telfer.
Ref: K.A. Woolmer, Northants.