|Hands up, I was wrong about our prospects for the rest of the season.
I'm starting to get excited about the remaining weeks!
The manager of the month curse wasn't as issue against Chesterfield
where Forest battled against the elements to earn another 3 points. The
sun/wind/rain/hail stones appeared to rotate every 5 minutes at times.
The gap's closing each week now and the teams above us must be looking
over their shoulder.
Forest never really found their rhythm during the game but still managed
to win 3-1 and could easily have scored more. The run has to continue
next week against Colchester but another 3 points there and it really
starts to get interesting. I still have this doubt that the points we
gave Barnsley and Oldham will cost us in the final reckoning.
Regardless of where we finish this season, it's just nice to watch a
Forest side capable of scoring goals and winning games. We've suffered
more than most this season but the future prospects look much brighter
than they were at the start of this year.
Pedersen still fails to convince me (especially his kicking) but the
defence in front of him looked pretty solid. Our problems were in
midfield where we failed to keep possession and make enough challenges
when required. This resulted in Chesterfield joining the long list of
clubs that have scored from outside the box against us this season.
Up front, we created quite a few chances with Tyson and Holt continuing
their partnership but they had little support from the midfield. The
forwards had to work hard to created their own opportunities. Things
didn't improve until Lester and then Thompson were introduced late in
the second half.
The first goal arrived courtesy of an error from Barry Roche. Clingan's
mis-hit cross from the left appeared to be heading for the stand until
the wind brought it back into play. Roche failed to claim the ball and
Breckin's looping header found the empty net.
Shortly after, Grant Holt held up the ball, Commons played the through
ball towards Tyson. The defender failed to control the ball and Tyson
found himself running through on goal. The defenders were never going to
catch him and the cool finish gave Roche no chance and double the lead.
Shortly after, the Forest midfield failed to close down Picken and he
hammered a shot past Pedersen from 25 yards. No chance for the keeper
but question marks over the lack of challenges from Perch and Clingan
who should really have closed him down.
Forest could easily have added to their score when Commons and Tyson
fired shots narrowly wide with Roche well beaten. Half time arrived 2-1
Pretty similar pattern to the second half with Forest struggling to keep
possession and Chesterfield unable to get past our defence. Pedersen
made a couple of decent saves and Morgan saved us with a block on
Commons and Tyson both had shots pushed out by Roche and Lester then
combined with Tyson whose right foot shot went wide.
The clinching goal came from the usual near post corner routine which
has served us so well this season. Commons with the delivery and
Thompson's (instead of Breckin this time) flicked header flew into the
roof of the net. We've improved beyond all recognition from set pieces
and look dangerous every time Commons or Southall place the ball down.
The return of Southall still can't come soon enough and his return to
training could be an additional boost in the run up to the Colchester
game. His patience and delivery on the right hand side is sorely missed
as Clingan looks like a centre midfielder and Perch is failing to impose
himself on games. However, it'll be a tough decision to replace a
MOTM is an easy decision this week. Ian Breckin was immense and didn't
put a foot wrong throughout the whole game. I've never been his biggest
fan but considering the conditions, it was probably the best I've seen
him play for Forest. His goal completed a great day and he really
performed like the club captain.
Credit also to Lester and Thompson who improved the side during a nervy
period in the second half. The latter's goal arrived at just the right
time to kill the game and send us home wet but happy.
Now it gets interesting...