A crushing 4-1 defeat at home does little to make many people take us seriously as contenders for promotion.
Regardless of the result however, it has to be said this game saw our best attacking display in the league this season.
Steve McClaren made one change to the side that was on the right end of a 4-1 result against Wycombe earlier in the week. George Boateng came back into the team in place of Joel Lynch, with Chris Cohen being pushed into left back.
Shortly after McGugan had managed to jinx and wriggle his way through the West Ham defence before lacking the composure to slot it past Rob Green. The one touch passing between Greening, Cohen, Miller and McGugan in the build up was encouraging.
Chris Cohen was then the next person to test West Ham, as an in swinging free kick from 35 yards evaded everyone and forced Rob Green into an excellent reflexes stop to just tip it around the post.
The resulting corner came to no avail and seconds after West Ham were on the attack.
Slick and strong passing between Nolan, Cole and Faubert ended up finding Matty Taylor who’d cut inside the Forest box. He whipped in a low left footed cross across goal which resulted in Chambers slicing the ball into his own net. A totally soft goal against the run of play but that’s what happens against the best team. It would be the start of a miserable day for the Forest skipper.
3 minutes later and West Ham had scored again. An over hit corner by Taylor found an unmarked Tomkins, who headed it into the path of Nolan to flick into the goal. It was a calamity of defensive errors and one that needs resolving as soon as possible.
Forest fought back immediately from the kick off. Raddy and Miller unlocked the West Ham defence with a sweet one-two. Miller went one on one with Green and put the ball the wrong side of the post.
McGugan then went even closer when he thumped the post with a half volley.
You were beginning to get the belief that Forest was going to get something from this match with the Hammers on the back foot. By 30 minutes, it was all over when the Hammers scored again.
Another poorly defended set piece saw Taylor over hit another corner. This time O’Brien chipped the ball back into the box, for Nolan to flick across to an unmarked Carlton Cole. Of all people to leave unmarked in the melee it had to be the international striker.
Nolan then went on to miss an absolute sitter.
The question on everyone’s lips was how many were we going to lose by today? Despite looking slightly promising going forward, nothing was working at the back leading me to believe that a left back not all we need in defence.
Half time couldn’t come quick enough. When the game restarted it was nearly 4-0.
Gunter tried to clear away Collinson’s attempt but only got as far as Faubert whose shot just deflected over – totally wrong footing Lee Camp in the process.
Nothing was working and by 58 minutes Boateng had been subbed for Joel Lynch giving Cohen the license to partner Greening in the centre of midfield. Derbyshire and Reid shortly followed in place of McGugan and Raddy.
Forest then made a breakthrough on the 70th minute. A short throw in saw Lynch and Cohen play a glorious one-two. Lynch then managed to cut the ball across goal for Robbie Findley to scoop past Rob Green. Game on.
I have to add that Lynch is the best LB in the club. He’s not a popular figure with fans but when he plays, the team does seem all the better for it. After all you then allow Gunter and Cohen to play in their strongest positions. If we aren’t going to buy a LB, then we have to play Lynch.
6 minutes later and any hopes of a comeback were cut off – provided they hadn’t been already.
Matt Taylor’s corner was totally misjudged by Greening who hit an airshot. Fortunately Morgan was behind him to hit it away. Gunter then ran as far as the edge of the box before losing the ball to Taylor who whipped the ball back in for Winston Reid to slot in past Camp. It was atrocious defending.
A flurry of Forest fans soon left the ground, leading to the Hammers chanting “Is there a fire drill?” and then their favourite “How Sh#t must you be? We’re winning away.”
West Ham then pumped a long ball forward causing Camp to make a hash of catching the ball. Piquionne beat him to it but then headed wide.
Camp looked a shadow of his former-self it has to be said. Tame goal kicks normally ending up in the ground, no fan interaction and a general lack of interest. Maybe he was fed up of the shoddy defending in front of him or maybe he’s fed up of being at the club having had a move to Swansea blocked.
Chambers almost scored from a corner with his header being cleared off the line before West Ham almost added a fifth in injury time, when Nolan’s deflected effort wrong footed Camp and steered just wide of the left hand post.
The full time whistle couldn’t have come soon enough, leaving McClaren with some big thinking to do over the international break about how we can bounce back from this.
Whatever we do, we have to react sharpish as visits from high flying Southampton and Derby are up next.
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