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Club News

Lancashire Red: To Deny Seventh Heaven

6 November 2012

For the second time this season we’ve had the uphill task of putting the disappointment of a home defeat behind us and trying to get one over another of The Championship’s more fancied contenders.  With Boro able to boast six consecutive wins, it wasn’t much to ask for, then!

No matter. My old friend from the West Midlands who will be my host when we play Wolves later this month was quick to point out later that he'd have taken our result any day.  Praise indeed - as long as we break the habit of a lifetime and get something from that game.

Anyway, that's for then.  This is now.

FLC, Tuesday 6th November 2012, 1945
Nottingham Forest 0 – 0 Middlesbrough
The City Ground

Cool breeze, dry
Away fans
A little more animated than the Millwall contingent, despite having to watch their team being pegged back.  Some 1700 fans packed into the rear section of the Bridgford Lower – not something you’re likely to see on their home turf – more likely the empty lower section they overlooked.
Another punctual kick-off!  Now let’s try doing it on a Saturday.
The Match
Although a goal looked more likely as the second half wore on, it was not until a couple of minutes from time that SOD made a triple change, the poor timing somewhat reminiscent of the Hart era, and something I trust will not become a habit this season if we are to achieve anything significant.
Despite Boro allowing us to play more football than Millwall did (and we certainly did), this game was a little like watching us play last season, and although we looked generally more solid at the back, there was still that nagging feeling that Boro might nick one sufficiently late enough to win the game, which they came close to doing more than once – Scott McDonald causing a real hearts-in-mouth moment going one-on-one with Camp right at the end and thankfully lobbing the ball over the bar. That said, we created plenty of chances ourselves and ought to have done better on several occasions.  Nothing more frustrating than watching the ball skidding across the six yard box only for Sharp and Cox both to miss it by a whisker, or for a couple of Billy’s shots to strike the upright.  Most of the second half was end-to-end stuff in contrast to the opening period when balls were being pumped up field far too much, and whilst you couldn’t fault Cohen’s industry on the right it just wasn’t working.
Plenty of chances created – just need to apply that finishing touch; a big improvement on Saturday, there was little doubt about that tonight; a clean sheet to partly compensate for lack of goals scored at the other end.
Those chances all going begging, preventing those draws being turned into wins. The sight of Cox drifting wide to the right was frustrating as it left Billy Sharp isolated in the middle and at the mercy of a minimum of two defenders at any one time. Too much passing along the back for extended periods allowed the Boro defence ample time to dig in, making penetration even less likely.
Danny Collins’ crunch tackle to deny Jutkiewicz an almost certain goal late in the game; Chris Cohen’s industry throughout the game, and Simon Gillett doing what we’re used to seeing him do week in week out.
Harding struggled as the second half wore on (some dodgy clearances) and looked almost relieved to be replaced, though looked to be limping.
S Hooper – Did the usual City Ground stuff like dismissing calls for a legitimate Forest Penalty (that’s nearly 14 months now!) and administering the by now familiar sight of a Guedioura yellow card.
Entertainment Value5/10 – Always frustrating when no end product to show for the chances created, but Forest looked the better side for long periods of the game.
Promotion Rating2 – Another look at the year-on-year points tally season to date we’re two points behind season 2009-10, and two ahead of 2010-11, a fair reflection of progress made so far.  A tough month beckons, but winning three from the next four will put us in a stronger position than the current 11th place, albeit still only two points adrift of the top six.
Presumably The Money Shop ran out of money thus ending their association with the club, with the Bridgford End re-named in its plainest form, and plenty of bare advertising spaces.

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