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Nearly but not quite… Forest 1-1 Birmingham City

November 10, 2008

Due to the lateness of this report I’m sure that unless you’ve been on Jupiter for the past 24 hours you’ll already know the ins and outs of this match between the two “2nd” teams in the Championship so rather than bore you all with all the details that you’re already aware of I’ll bore you in another new and exciting way by making this more of an opinion piece.

It’s fair to say that we were excellent in large portions yesterday, most notably in the second half. This isn’t really anything new (at least not during home games) but what is new is that we’re actually getting something in the way of a reward, albeit not quite as substantial a reward as we usually deserve.

It’s becoming clear that our upturn in fortunes has a lot to do with the abundance of players making their long awaited returns yet even without Earnshaw and McGugan we still should have taken a deserved three points from 2nd place Birmingham City. But despite the performance Forest turned in despite the absence of these two keys players I can’t help but think that the presence of the absentees would have turned a deserved three points into an actual three point haul.

Despite the performance there was one or two points for concern, the most obvious being that once again we haven’t won but that frustration is quelled somewhat by the performance level against what was undeniably a far superior side on paper. I would have been happy with a point before the game so I can’t be too grouchy given that a point is what was achieved.

The most worrying (yet most subtle) concern however was the goal we gave away. Last season in particular we were never really overly trouble by set pieces yet the opposite seems to be true of this season. Of course the step up in quality is going to be a factor but the space given to James McFadden yesterday was a worrying sight…only topped in the anxiety stakes by the sight of our backline standing around whilst he slotted in their solitary goal of the day.

Granted they never really threatened Lee Camp after that moment…nor had they done so before. In fact our defence was pretty sturdy for the majority of the match yesterday and did exceptionally well to keep arguably the Championship’s best forward line surprisingly quiet. However, all that good work can be undone in an instant and the goal conceded yesterday is not the first time that an alarming defensive lapse has cost us.

I don’t want to end on a negative note however as on the whole there were plenty of signs of encouragement yesterday. Both Heath and Thornhill acquitted themselves splendidly despite a nervy start, particularly from the former and at the end of the day we made an excellent side look resoundingly ordinary.

On the whole not a bad days work.

Keep it up Forest.