Click crest to navigate

Quick links   Home Diary Links Contents Fixtures E-mail Terrace Banter

Bradford survive

Pre-season tour
Gallen signs
Hornets sting Town
Owls shot down
Gray returns
Wijnhard crashes out
Worthington woe
Ayre departs
First home point
Bye Bye Brucie
New manager announced
Fans show anger
9 points to safety
First home win
Ndlovu at first sight
Town leap to safety
Macari wins award
More cup woe
Ndlovu joins Blades
Jamie jumps ship
Town hit rock bottom again
Morris' McApline move
Prodigal son returns
Biggest win
QPR doomed
Nearly there
The bitter end

Saturday 3rd February.

With Nottingham Forest pushing hard for a play-off place, and no doubt wishing to exact some kind of revenge for the humbling they had to endure at the City Ground, this was always going to be a tough fixture. If you’d offered me a 1-1 draw before kick off, I’d probably have snapped your hand off, but by full time I was disappointed that we hadn’t managed our first league double of the season.

The main surprise in the 16 on duty was the omission of Jamie Vincent but no mention had been made of any injury, so unless something happened just before kick off the transfer rumours might be about to turn into fact? Whatever the reason, Macari elected to begin with Thomas Heary playing in an unfamiliar left back role, with Dyson and Lucketti in the centre and Moses playing as right back and the rest of the lining up as expected.

Whether it was the defensive reshuffle or whether it was that Forest were up for this game was unclear, but save to say that Forest were by far the sharper team in the early stages. Although they didn’t create too many clear-cut chances they looked very quick up front and new signing David Johnson from Ipswich Town had plenty of pace although thankfully he was edgy in front of goal. Town seemed to have trouble getting out of their own half of the pitch and it was no real surprise when Forest took the lead after only 12 minutes.

Following a throw in from the left hand side, a raking ball was played into the Town penalty area where it was met by Ricardo Scimeca who was well positioned behind the nearest marker. Nico Vaesen had little chance of making the save, but once again this season the defence was found wanting. There was a feeling that the unbeaten run was about to come to a sticky end, but strangely the expected Forest onslaught never actually materialised. David Johnson for all his pace was wasteful when faced with a goal scoring opportunity, and it gave the home fans chance to remind David Platt what a waste of money he was.

The remainder of the half seemed to drift into a dour midfield battle as Town strived to get themselves back into the match, and Chris Holland worked manfully to try to gain some possession but all too often the passing was slack. Simon Baldry’s injury restricted him to a place on the substitutes bench, and we missed his pace on the right hand side, Ben Thornley tried hard but has lost the modicum of pace he once had and seems unable to get past defenders. The first half was drifting to a close with only a one goal deficit to turn round in the second half (after all we are a second half team aren’t we?), and the fourth official indicated 2 minutes of stoppage time added.

Normally, stoppage time means a period of play when Town have to try their utmost to stop the inevitable concession of a goal, but not today. Ben Thornley seemed to have ages on the ball as the Forest defence sat back, and eventually he looped it into the penalty area. The cross was met by Delroy Facey who headed the ball upwards, but in the direction of Kevin Gallen who returned the complement by heading the ball back to Facey who had made space for himself on the edge of the 6-yard box. The rest was easy as he got over the ball and steered his shot past the helpless Beasant to give Town an unlikely equaliser.

After only a couple of minutes of the second half Macari reshuffled the team, bringing Dean Gorré on for Jon Dyson, switching Heary to right back (thank goodness) and dropping Craig Armstrong back to left back. With Adie Moses partnering Chris Lucketti in the centre of defence the side had a more balanced look and Town started to control the game. Unfortunately for Town, veteran Forest goalkeeper Dave Beasant decided to have one of his more inspired games, pulling off some magnificent saves to keep the midlands club in with a chance. The end-of-game statistics showed that Town deserved more out of the game, with an on-target shot count of 5-2 and 14 corners to the visitors’ 9, but we have got to rediscover the killer touch in front of goal.

Plenty of crosses were delivered into the Forest area, particularly following the introduction of Simon Baldry just after the hour mark, but the forwards seemed slow to keep up with play. When we did manage to get a shot on target, Beasant proved to be up to the job blocking a shot from Chris Holland who looked set to finally notch his second goal for the club. Martin Smith who looks to be getting back to his best after his injury lay off had a couple of excellent opportunities saved by the keeper, as Town continued to search for the winner they deserved for their second half performance (although not the first), but they almost fell to a sucker punch after around 82 minutes. David Johnson wrestled his way through the Town defence only to hit his shot wide when he looked to have done the hard work, but it would have been against the run of play.

Some referees seem to favour the team they consider to be the bigger club, and today was a case in point. On more than one occasion Simon Baldry’s forays forward ended with him being dumped unceremoniously into a heap with little preventative action from the referee, but undeterred Town continued to press right up to the final whistle. Deep into stoppage time, Kenny Irons who had been brought on to replace Kevin Gallen played a delightful ball through to the advancing Dean Gorré but his flicked ball was cleared off the line with Beasant finally beaten.

This result was probably fair on the balance of play over the whole 90 minutes, but it’s frustrating when we could have won the game and started to put some daylight between us and the teams in the bottom 3. We’re not really losing any ground despite having so few fixtures in January, but we could do with turning the odd home draw into a win to start to be upwardly mobile and enjoy and nice dull end to the season. If we carry on drawing so many games, it will be a real nail biter right up to game 46.

TOWN 1 (Facey 45)

Nottingham Forest 1 (Scimeca 12)

Position in table – 21st

Town – Vaesen; Heary; Lucketti; Dyson (Gorré 48); Moses; Armstrong; Thornley (Baldry 62); Holland; Gallen (Irons 87); Facey; Smith. Subs not used – Margetson; Gray.

Nottingham Forest – Beasant; Edds (A Johnson 72); Edwards; Bart-Williams; Benali; Scimeca; Williams; Pruton; Harewood (John 83); D Johnson; Reid (Brennan 55). Subs not used – Roche; Vaughan.

Referee – George Cain (Bootle). Attendance 13,838



All words and thoughts by Chris except where stated.

A big thank you to Machala for putting up with me doing this and Ian for his support and my Mum for her proof reading.

If you enjoyed this site ... send me a message

If not - tell me