Well I always knew this weekend would shape our future either way of staying up going down. It certainly seems to have played out that way.
Saturday first of course and I was in positive mood for this game, though my colleague for the game (the forums Mr Geo Challenge) less o. Mind you still put money on a decent Forest win, and even money on a Blackstock hat trick.
Should have guessed early on this wasn't going to pan out that way. One of THOSE days where you dominate the game and fail to get anything. I am sure most of us are now aware that we lost to a penalty, and that penalty was almost pretty much all the City offered in terms of an attacking threat in the game. Journeyman Stead is a dangerous striker, and Wood who was also playing scored twice against us for Birmingham back when Schteve was in charge.
Anyway, how we can play the better football and still loose is an art Forest have mastered (and more recently my Arsenal team on Football Manager (31 shots to an opponent’s 2 and I lose?)Anyway FM asides aside, the states clearly show we were far far far better. 60% of possession. 19 shots to their 3, with 8 on target to their one. Yes their one, that sole goal was their only effort to be on target and even then Camp nearly saved it.
And there we go, Camp. Whose fault it was. He perhaps should have turned the cross that hit the bar in the first place over the bar. Then when he started chasing after it he lunged feet first at Jon Stead. Now it was the most stonewall penalty you will care to see. There were no doubts about it. Camp, as I say got his hands to the penalty but not enough to stop it going past him.
We had a number of good efforts but as seems all too often we met a keeper on inspired form who saved everything we chucked at him. The best was turning over a Lynch header, but also saved well from Tudgay, Chambers and a Reid free kick.
A mention about those corners. We twice had corner routines ruled as offside. Now the ball wasn't being played forward when touched the other second man so why was it offside? My gripe is we tried it a second time when we knew the linesman didn’t like this routine. A minor gripe. The referee also tended to be inconsistent. Not playing advantages when he should, very annoying, and ordering Blackstock after treatment, despite not having any treatment.
All in all, very frustrating. Why though some booed at full time. We dominated that game. We were the better team. People were calling for changes, but the thing was we were playing better and playing the better stuff, so shy change that? People often seem to want to change for change sakes.
With a quick turnaround it helped us to try and get this out of our system. We knew we played well, so do the same again and it should all come good. And it did. Again we started brightly and dominated playing the betters stuff. But as always with Forest this merely serves to make me more nervous, playing well but not leading, as all too often this season the goals gone the other way and counted against us.
Dexter though has a couple of times managed to get the goal which rests the nerves. And yesterday was no different. McCleary's run and cross and a good touch from Dexter and a good finish off the bar to see us in front.
It wasn't so much a case of holding on that time as it could have been that we would have started going for a second until he red card. Now Radio Nottingham immediately claimed it was never a Red ( I Missed the game due to work commitments) having watched it again on TV from that position it certainly looks like potentially a two footed lunge. However the club said they are appealing and the ref immediately said he may well look at it so let’s see.
Should we be missing G-Mac in the next few games it may well be somewhat a problem missing our most influential player who holds all the creative flair in the squad right now. That said McGugan looked bright again and might be able to be implemented on the right wing to be able to assist the teaming that role.
We should be safe. There are enough points and matches for it to be caught, but the likelihoods are slimmer and slimmer. We are creeping back up to the clubs like Barnsley and Peterborough and now above Millwall for now. Things look rosier. For us to be relegated now would turn quite amazing turns of events.
For now I remain cautious and don’t mean to celebrate survival yet. Let’s hope that’s coming up in the next few games.