Back to Winning Ways

In a drab drab match which was instantly forgettable save for a Garath McCleary solo effort, Forest finally won a game again then raised them out of the relegation zone.

To be fair it was a match in which neither team wanted the ball for the first half, possibly nervous about doing anything with the ball. In a game with so much riding on it, the teams almost seemed nervous about what to do.

Both Coventry and Forest for the first half certainly and for large periods of the second half lived up their positions of relegation threatened teams by playing poorly. Even the recent bright spark Guedioura was largely ineffective and poor.

The tactical decision to play one up at front at home didn’t work, Tudgay was not a battering ram, and the side barely got up front much to support. The wingers supposedly able to push on.

It wasn't just Forest though. Coventry themselves looked a poor team. But how bad that we couldn’t break down a poor team? Surely that signals as much as them being poor, is our complete inability to turn this to our favour?

The second half however saw a positive move from the off. Findley and Blackstock coming on for Tudgay and Wooton. The switch to 4-4-2 and having a dual pronged strike force immediately made us look more balanced and with more impetus. We came out brighter. However the unclogging of the midfield buy releasing one upfront eased the logjam for Coventry to also have bright points, and have more space.

Indeed they could well have taken the lead, and probably should have but yet the ball ricocheting in the area and shot back in was deflected away from goal.

The goal when it came though was a diamond in the rough. McCleary picking the ball up in his own half and running at them. He just kept going, like Forrest Gump galloping through the midfield rather unencumbered. He could easily have been bought down by McSheffrey, and get booked, and in hindsight he must wish he had, as three defenders approached McCleary, a step over and a dropped shoulder, and moving the ball on his left foot evaded them all and he rifled a low shot in the corner.

McCleary was later removed, to a catcall of boos, fans apparently unable to realise he was injured. As before his removal he stopped moving as much, and had been a doubt before the game. It's been good to see McCleary blossom given a run in the team. Often our most potent weapon at the moment.

The second goal was purely beautiful craft from Reid with his wand of a left foot. A high ball through in the air evaded the defence and Findley was in, a good touch (for once) and a good finish practically sealing the points for Forest. Again pleasing for Findley who gives plenty of effort often for no reward.

There was time for a potential third. Half the Trent End though that a high floated through ball had crossed the line when the keeper caught it. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

A word for referee Mark Clattenberg who had a great game. No bookings, and none needed, pickier refs might have done so a couple of times, but he left them, as it had been a clean game, save for one lunge by a Coventry player and a Forest penalty appeal when Findley was felled in the area,

All in all three vital points. Considering the results elsewhere it was imperative we won, and the three points take us back to safety for now.