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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Away Day Blues

Amongst all the excitement of deadline day I forgot all about the fact that I forgot about the fact we have now lost a game.
A lot has gone on since that game and not all of it good news. But there were still positives to be had from the 2-1 defeat at the DW Stadium by Wigan.
The first half was a mostly Wigan affair apart from when we scored the opening goal of the game with a sublimely taken free kick by Andy Reid. The best keepers in the world wouldn’t have saved it, and although the goal was pretty much the first time we got forward it wasn’t quite the smash and grab Wigan manager Owen Coyle has suggested.
Wigan then pretty much camped out in our half, and had singled out the left wing to attack down. Lichaj and Lansbury had both got booked and so Wigan took all their play down that wing knowing that the challenges wouldn’t be as fierce as on the side with an unblemished record.
Wigan for their part has some very dangerous players, and in Shaun Maloney have a player who should be top flight. Word is he wasn’t even fully fit. And this led to Wigan pretty much dominating the first half. We made vague in roads to their half and had the odd chance, but not clear cut, whilst Wigan created dangerous opportunities.
And no chance is more dangerous than a penalty, which we have away not a long time after scoring. Maloney dispatching it to Darlows right, and though the keeper got a fairly big hand on it, it still put Wigan level. I’d hoped we’d hold the lead for a long time but like often before an early lead isn’t something to defend. Had we held longer it may have been different.

And with a ref who was terrible to both teams it was never allowed to flow as a game, which I think helped Wigan more than us. There was simply no flow. The bookings mounted up. Which in turns means a player is less inclined to get stuck in fear of mis-timing and picking up a second? Allowing more space and time to Wigan.

Their second goal came after a wonderful shot was turned onto the bar by Darlow, it was a good save, and in a perfect world would have that extra inch or so of clearance be turned over. But alas it bounced out to a Wigan player, Jordi Gomez, who easily polished off for the Latics.

At half time we changed it up. Guedioura came off, Lansbury dropped deep, Cohen went forward and Harding came on into left back. The game changed. Forest had more of the ball, and we dominated the half. But for all the better possession, we couldn’t do anything with it. We didn’t create a scoring chance, and even after bringing on Paterson and Miller we still toiled away without making Scott Carson really earn his money. To be honest we didn’t look like scoring.

A word on the away support, where we pretty much filled that whole away end. Superb from Forest and our fans, and by and large we were in good voice, and as we drifted away after losing there was no angry words, no dismay, the knowledge that a narrow away defeat to a team who will be challenging isn’t shameful. There were the usual array of pockets of annoying idiots, more down to character than anything else, but that’s the same anywhere. The kids behind me in particular were partisan in their words, but you know without any action to back up their threats. In fact I’m sure I’ll get a few weeks laugh out of their “somebody send the ref a death threat” angry tirade from behind. Sorry to end on that, the support didn’t need it.

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