Forest Fail To Fire Again
October 30, 2007
Before the game, Calderwood stressed the importance of getting three points and how it would make life difficult for them in the coming games if they did not achieve it. Well, they didn't achieve it and the next two games, both at home, will now be very difficult indeed.
A win would have put the Reds comfortably in second place, as it was a point had to do, against a tricky Oldham side who played neat and tidy football. They also came to the City Ground and gave it a real go. No putting ten men behind the ball or playing for a point, they played well and better finishing would have given them the points.
Forest were second best in midfield tonight, lacking the steadying presence of Neil Lennon. The formation to start with was 4-3-3, but the midfield was being overrun and coming off second best. Calderwood switched this to 4-4-2 in an effort to get a foothold on the game. It didn't really work, as Commons, Cohen and McGugan were all guilty of giving the ball away needlessly. Only Sammy Clingan can escape any real criticism in that department.
Defensively, we seemed to be on a suicide mission. Not wanting to be too critical, but Breckin has no job to do in a side that is supposedly adopting a more passing game. His hoof it style causes unnecessary problems for us and gives the defence no respite, as the ball invariably comes straight back. Up front Agogo was working hard, but with little service and few options he was easily snuffed out by the Latics defence. Holt was playing the wide roll and was totally ineffective and virtually anonymous. He needs his operation and he needs it now. Give me the knife and I'll do it, he's of little use to us in his current state.
The early season confidence and tippy tappy football seems to have disappeared as quickly as it arrived. The chances created by Forest in the first half were few and far between. The best chance fell to Breckin who missed the target from about five yards with a header and should have scored. Oldham had forced Smith to make a desperate save from a Davies shot. Diving backwards at full stretch, he just got his fingers to the ball and nudged it over the bar for a corner. The half time whistle was met with a sense of relief by most and by a chorus of boos from the rest.
The second half started in brighter fashion, with the Reds seemingly having more urgency and looking like they had been given a severe rollocking by the manager. Whatever Calderwood said, was soon forgotten though,as they fell back into their dire first half ways.
The long awaited introduction of one Arron Davies sparked some life into the otherwise comatose City Ground crowd. The replacement for the ineffective Holt almost made an immediate impact. Picking the ball up on the flank, he ran at the Latics defence and scared the living daylights out of them as they back tracked and retreated. He beat the last man, only to see his shot go narrowly wide. Apart from a Chris Cohen effort and a curling shot from Agogo, that was about it from Forest on the night.
Oldham squandered several chances to go away with the points, but poor finishing cost them and probably saved us. The Latics will take heart from this game, as it belied their lowly League position. Forest on the other hand need to take a long hard look at themselves to decide where they are going wrong. They won't get long to find out, because next up is Tranmere and that's on Saturday. A similar performance then will see us with nothing to show except two points from the last four games.
Forest: Smith, Chambers, Wilson, Breckin, Bennett, McGugan (Thornhill 84), Clingan, Cohen, Commons, Holt (Davies 64), Agogo.
Subs Not Used: Roberts, Morgan, Power.
Oldham: Beresford, Eardley, Trotman, Stam, Bertrand, Liddell, McDonald, Kilkenny (Allott 90), Taylor, Davies, Wolfenden (Smalley 69).
Subs Not Used: Crossley, Kalala, Ricketts.