For the first 45 minutes of today's game Nottingham Forest were completely over run by a City side that was brimming with confidence. To go in only a single goal down at half time was a minor miracle and did not do justice to the imaginative play served up by the Blues. The Reds fell behind after only 12 minutes. Following good approach play by Terry Cooke, Mark Kennedy spun away from Louis-Jean and clipped the ball over Matrecano into the path of Shaun Goater, who hardly broke stride and drove the ball beyond Mark Crossley's left hand and into the bottom corner.
Forest lost Mannini with a recurrence of the knee injury he sustained last week, bringing on Hjelde, who again looked decidedly iffy. Before the break Forest could have fell further behind. Kennedy sent over a pinpoint cross to Goater who chested the ball and hit it on the volley, only to se his effort flash just wide.
Forest made much more of an effort in the second half, but always their final delivery was left wanting. Although they probably had more possession than City they never quite dominated in the manner that City had in that first 45 minutes. However, the first real chance of the half fell to City when Goater rounded Crossley only to dwell on the ball too long, allowing Matrecano enough time to get back and clear his weak effort off the line.
This let-off seemed to spur Forest on. Alan Rogers collected the ball and raced away from his marker, sending in a low cross that found the toe of Ian Wright , who deflected the ball past Weaver only to see it slide past the post. A long kick by Crossley caught the City defence napping. Ian Wright slipped the ball past Weaver but saw his effort hit the foot of the post and bounce clear. A minute later Scimeca had a great opportunity to level the score as he met a corner totally un-challenged only to steer his header wide of the target with Weaver stranded. Steve Chettle was next to come close. A 35 yard free kick was smashed past the wall, meeting with the same fate as Wright's effort and coming back off the foot of the post.
No- one really shone today, but Chettle looked more composed at the back than he has in a while, and Ian Wright again showed lots of enthusiasm. Scimeca also had a good game, looking especially effective when breaking from midfield. The major disappointment for me and many of the supporters at the game was the performance of Alan Rogers. Tank gave the ball away far to easily and seemed to be intimidated by the presence of Morrison, who granted, I wouldn't like to meet down a dark alley. I have not seen Tank pull out of many challenges during his time at the City Ground, but he continually did so today. With his pace, over weight , fat tossers like Morrison shouldn't get anywhere near him, so come on Alan, run these guys into the ground!!
So, all in all, it was a disappointing day, but I still believe that when we get back to full strength we will be o.k. Lets hope that we're not too far off the pace by then.