For Those Who Could Not Attend
Nottingham Forest - Monday Dec 17th 2018
Referee - Keith Stroud.
Carson, Bogle, Keogh, Tomori, Malone
Bryson, Wilson, Mount,
Subs :- Roos, Jozefzoon, Evans, Holmes, Pearce, Nugent,
Conditions. Pitch immaculate, mild and great for football.
There could not be a more important Forest clash than this one. We are not only playing for bragging rights in many work-places and bars in the area. We are playing for the Brian Clough Trophy and for the sacred memory of our past heroes ie - Roy McFarland, Colin Todd, Kevin Hector, Alan Hinton, Dave McKay, John O’Hare, Terry Hennessey, Nigel Clough, and a host of other greats from our past. And, due to the closeness of things in the league table, if we win we will be 6 points out of sight. So there’s no doubt this is The Big One.
Unfortunately Derby were seriously depleted - missing such regulars as Forsyth, Davies, Johnson, Evans, and Bennett. We are facing a Flying Forest team brought back from the brink of ludicrousness (under recent managers), by Aitor Karanka to the present state of relative normalcy and professional competence. I think we have to admit he must be some manager to achieve that outcome from the dross in red shirts he had to contend with on arrival. We sincerely hope we will bring the whole project back down to earth and beat them handsomely - preferably with minimum anxiety and tension by our being in control and in the lead throughout most of the game. It promised to be a very tough match.
In the event, the game was largely stalemate, very exciting and pulsating from end to end with a lot of skill, commitment and quick passing (not always accurate due to fear of making a mistake). At first Forest looked in charge for just a few minutes but Derby got better and better such that, for most of the half, they dominated and looked more like scoring.
Mount shot over from about 8 yards and their huge goalkeeper had to make a number of smart saves. He is very agile for one so massive. Derby were denied a stone certain penalty when Lawrence was taken clean out by their dirty left back. Lawrence was much more effective than of late he had a good game. About half way through the half he threatened their goal and very clearly brought down. Only the ref - out of 31000 - thought it wasn’t a penalty. It was one of those incidents when you think he should be made to explain his decision before a public tribunal. There was a free kick in ideal Wilson territory and if his strike had been two inches higher as it crossed the wall it would have been a goal. As it was it just grazed the top of a defender’s head and ballooned over the bar.
A bit against the run of play - the half-time score was 0-0. After the break Forest looked quite a bit stronger and more determined. Both defences did well to contain the threat of Marriott and Grabban, respectively. Keogh, though he gave the ball away once to be rescued by a combination and Tomori and Malone, played an absolute blinder - popping up all over the place to keep their attackers under control. Malone defended well but needs coaching in better distribution. In fact for the whole game Derby’s final pass lacked inch perfect accuracy which I think accounted for our blank score sheet. Their goalie made more critical saves than Carson (who did make several) Tomori had a good game against Grabban and Bogle was not quite out of his depth and showed some good bits of control - again his final passing ability needs polishing. Huddlestone played really well and made some telling passes as well as some good MF holding and won MOTM. For me Keogh deserved that more than Huddz. Mount was just a tiny bit off- colour again for me :- Wilson has looked to be a little more effective. Not that Mount was poor. He still is a great prospect getting good match experience. Marriott was contained but caused them a lot of bother. Lawrence was a revelation. Much more motivated and always dangerous looking.
Now to the referee Mr Keith Stroud. He was very, very poor. He missed many things including the penalty. He got several decisions wrong and let things go that he should not have. And he seemed to be trying to prove his impartiality by favouring the visitors. A sure sign of his flakiness in my opinion. This was one game in the season when we needed a referee who understood what was going on. Stroud clearly did not understand.
For Those Who Could not Attend
For Those Who Could Not Attend