Match Report

Match Date18/11/2006
CompetitionCoca-Cola League One
Score1 - 1
ReporterSimon Hough
 Forest's unbeaten away record continues after a hard fought point kept this season's momentum going. However, on a weekend in which 8 out of the top 10 sides in the division won, this was one of the few occasions this season where we've allowed the chasing pack to close.

At the end of the season, this could well be one result considered as 1 point gained rather than 2 lost. Rotherham's recent run has been outstanding as they have made short work of the initial 10 point penalty which would otherwise have seen them riding high in the league.

The starting line up was the preferred 343 using Smith / Morgan Cullip Breckin / Southall Perch Clingan Curtis / Harris Agogo Commons. We had numerous attacking options on the bench with both Holts, Tyson and Lester. We ended up needing them!

We created the best chance of the opening stages when Clingan's long range short produced a great save from the top corner. This was our only real chance in the first half as the front line struggled to produce enough quality. We were unable to hold the ball up and attacks quickly ended as soon as they'd started. Perch stood out in the midfield with some neat touches and smart passing switching play from one side to the other.

At the other end, Southall produced some smart defending to prevent us going behind. Rotherham looked the better side going forward but neither team created too many chances. In particular, their left winger Woods stood out.

Yet again, Forest had a good effort in the early stages of the second half. Perch fed Commons who could only strike the keeper when clean through. With his recent scoring run, it was surprising not to see him score.

Before Tyson could replace Harris, Forest found themselves behind. Woods crossed from the left, great control from Hoskins then an instant shot high into the net. Smith with no chance. One of the few occasions when the three centrebacks were parted and looked vulnerable.

Rotherham continued to attack and some great saves from Smith were required to prevent the lead from being doubled.

On the hour mark, Harris was finally withdrawn and replaced by Tyson. This added an extra dimension to the attack but he initially struggled to find much support from those around him.

Similar to the Tranmere away game, we only started to play in the final 10 minutes, following the introduction of Grant Holt for Clingan. Finally we had a focal point for the attacks with Holt holding the ball up and providing flick ons for Tyson and Agogo either side of him. We look a much better side with him providing a physical presence up front. Unlike Harris, Holt does not drop deep into midfield where he simply disappears. Instead, he moves wide and is able to beat players and create chances for others. Agogo had looked pretty poor up until that point but suddenly improved with quality alongside him.

With the momentum now in Forest's favour, the equaliser arrived with two minutes of the game remaining. Morgan's forward pass was flicked on by Agogo. Tyson shielded the ball from the defender and flicked the ball past the keeper. Cue one of the best celebrations of the season.

There was still time for Tyson to escape down the right and hit a looping shot towards the top corner. The keeper leant back and tipped it over the bar. Worringly, Tyson, continued to hobble through until the end of the game...

There just wasn't enough time to capitalise on the attacking threat we now offered. With a little more adventure shown by our management earlier in the game, we have been able to turn one point into three but a draw was a respectable return.

Smith made some excellent saves at times to keep us in the game. The back three were solid as ever, winning numerous aerial challenges and looking to play the ball sensibly forward.

Whilst it is encouraging that we are now finding a consistent formation and lineup, there are definite improvements still to be made. Curtis does not offer enough going forward down the left to mirror the threat offered by Southall down the right. He very rarely crosses the half way line with any purpose. As we need someone able to attach but with defensive qualites, I don't think Commons could play here so possibly Bennett could provide a better option. It doesn't look like Calderwood rates him in this position though.

Perch had an impressive game in midfield and for long spells made a real impression on the game. For too long, he's struggled to impose himself in games, but if you able to play well away at Rotherham then there's no reason that this cannot be repeated week in week out.

We looked pretty weak going forward with the ineffective Harris (as usual) and Agogo struggling to hold the ball up. However, the boos that accompanied the former's departure were uncalled for. Holt and Tyson offer a far superior attacking threat and the frontline should be based around them. Last season proved that they can work together successfully.

For his first goal of the season and providing one of the moments of the season so far, Tyson takes my MOTM this week. Even in our successful run, the relief and celebrations that accompanied the equaliser stand out as one of the highlights so far.

Lessons learned? It would be nice to think so. With slight changes up front, this formation could prove to be very effective.
Man of the MatchNathan Tyson


Player No.ScoredBookingsSubstitutedSubstituteReplaced
SMITHPaul10 0
HOLTGary40 0
MORGANWestley50 0
TYSONNathan91 15
HOLTGrant110 16
LESTERJack140 0
HARRISNeil150 0
PERCHJames170 0
CURTISJohn210 0
AGOGOJunior230 0

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