|Derby County 3 v 3 Sheffield Wednesday|
Saturday, 8th May 2021 Kick-off 12:30
|mrmorisato added 18:47 - Dec 14|
cbower added 20:21 - Dec 14
Murphy could have done better with an early headed chance and Nouble did really well with a run from the half way line and a rasping 25 yard effort which swerved in the air forcing the Forest keeper to parry before Forest took control. Town fans were infuriated with a clear dive from Cox as he raced into the area to be met by Gerken. Mick says he thought it looked like a pen and kudos to the ref for getting the decision right but he should have taken action against Cox (who had already been booked) and I feel he bottled it somewhat. Had he been deceived by the dive, Gerken would almost certainly have seen red.
Forest were getting most joy down the Town right. The narrow 433 leaving Chambers all too often 1 on 1 and sometimes 2 on 1. Slight tactical adjustments, withdrawing Murphy a little to the left allowed Tunnicliffe to offer Chambo more support but this was not before Cox had thudded a header against the Town crossbar. Not sure if Gerken got a touch. If he did, it was a great save.
For Town, McGoldrick had a couple of efforts from range that really did not trouble the Forest keeper with much more than routine saves. Town worked hard and by half-time, they had stemmed the tide and the game was more even.
The first period of the second half saw Forest on the front foot. Lots of crosses, a succession of corners and long throws from Halford in particular required solid defending from Town and a couple of decent chances went begging for the home side. Gerken produced a point-blank stop from Cox and the Town defence stood firm. As the minutes ticked by, the home fans became increasingly frustrated as Town came more into the game. Berra, breaking forward with a give and go, went close to breaking the deadlock. Cresswell was then booked for an altercation after being quite cynically fouled by Lansbury. From my vantage point, the Town full back may count himself a little lucky as he certainly moved his head in the direction of the former Canary. Town got an undeserved corner which bought howls of derision from the home crowd and much dispute from Andy Reid. It almost proved to be the pivotal moment of the game as Berra headed Cresswell's fine delivery goal ward, forcing a point blank stop from Darlow in the Forest goal. Town fans sensed their opportunity as the home crowd became increasingly tense. Thereafter, both sides pressed for a winner without creating too much that could be called clear-cut. Mick sent on Mings for McG (his only change of the day) as Town saw out the game for a well-earned point.
Gerken - some fine stops which ultimately earned us a point. Despite this, he can seem rooted to his line at times when he should be dominating the 6 yard box
Chambers - a few sliced clearances and took some abuse from his former fans. Generally solid, one great cross first half. Whole-hearted pro.
Cresswell - getting better and better both defensively and going forward. Great news about the contract. Hope this means we keep him not just beyond January but next season too.
Smith - Solid performance from one of Town's best players since Mick came.
Berra - Like Smith, Berra is solid and an excellent acquisition by Mick
Tunnicliffe - nothing spectacular but worked hard throughout
Hyam - ran his socks off, harried, won the ball and did all the hard work asked off him. Every team needs a player to do the dirty stuff.
Skuse - decent enough, some good block tackles and fairly clam if uninspiring in possession.
Murphy - nobody should criticise Murph for his workrate but ultimately I find him frustrating as he does not consistently make the most of his obvious aerial ability
Nouble - one flash of brilliance from Frank in first half and better hold up play and control from him than I have seen in the past. He is far from the finished article though
McGoldrick - Coming from deeper today and comfortable in possession. Shots from range didn't really trouble the keeper too much and overall it was one of his quieter performances
Mings - did what was asked of him in the few minutes he was on
Hope you get something from this if you weren't there today. We are certainly making progress and the future looks promising. Remember where we were 14 months ago!
Mullet added 20:23 - Dec 14
A game full of bluster early on saw the wind carry the ball and the flow of play back and forward and side to side with little rhyme, rhythm or reason. Forest often took their best attacking intent straight from Towns'. Counter-punching with speed and sure footwork in a spell where the best chances where often half-chances.
Murphy struggled all day in the air, thanks to wind assistance and interference but he did the hard part when the ball dropped over his shoulder, only to let the left boot miss and the right boot connect – sending the ball towards the touchline. It was perhaps his best chance gone begging.
Forest grew in confidence and tested a defence which scythed and chopped balls into the air weakly and needlessly. Reid sent it wide as you'd expect from the one man midfield as Town struggled to put feet; on, through or under the leather. He was also to supply Forest with their most contentious and easiest chance. A rare hole in our rear allowed the centrally deployed wideman to penetrate, only for Cox to blow his chance. Diving pathetically over an onrushing Gerken when he lost the ball through his own stupidity. No penalty, no card, no advantage Town following his earlier yellow.
Town had already had their best(looking) chance in the same portion of play when Nouble courted more Kuqi comparisons. Opening his legs through the middle, his yomping run unleashed a swirling shot which had Town fans cooing. His movement on and off the ball today shows all the marks of good coaching I'd suggest.
The large contingent of away followers were festive from the off. Like any good cheeseboard a variety of blues of all maturities gave rise to choruses of singing and chanting with vigour. It was our praise of returning Chambers which drew boos and for McGoldrick which caused bizarre praise for Saints as the home fans reminded us “he used to play for a big club”.
Terrace banter mimicked on-field battering of a ball kicked and rushed out of play. The game ebbed and ebbed between ends. Gerken was arguably the busier of the two keepers as Town looked to drill cross goal balls into the danger area while Forest cut inside all too easily through wonky winger Arnaud. The bearded #39 impressed with a neat inside step and instep which stung gloves – I immediately wondered what Mick Mills would have to say about it.
The blues looked good in spurts, our game often felt rushed in the face of a home side with clear quality and the nasty edge you'd expect from Billy Davies. Rumours even his mother thinks he's a tw@t remain likely after another 90 mins of watching his team kick at anything that flashed in front of them with varying success.
McGoldrick looked lively. His movement often leaves defender out on a limb and today was no exception. However too often and from too deep he managed to misjudge the conditions and fire crosses, shots and simple balls frustratingly off-key in an attack which today felt all too syncopated. Forest by contrast were able to be more direct closer to goal but equally impotent.
An injury to Skuse provided ample example of the hosts inhospitable nature under Davies as the scant metronomic passing ceased from a tap on the ankle of Cole. Down for some time he arose to clutch his buttocks and brace himself for the remainder of the 45. As half time came Town fans were happy to settle for a performance below top-drawer and the shelter in the City ground's belly.
In the second half Town were better. With the wind blowing on their backs and towards us away fans: Mick's men looked to slash and burn their way into an early lead. Stunted movement down the flanks and misjudged flicks all too often meant Forest were able to flex and stand tall in the face of typically scrappy Championship fare.
Hyam had a quietly effective 90, looking much better than he has previously. His manner and skill set was perfectly suited to today's match. Often it was he that blocked gaps and smoothed bouncing balls into something approaching passages of play for Town. Tunners' exuberance embodied Town's habit of bustling in the blustery weather but failing too often to storm the Tricky Trees' defences.
The youthful faces of Town predominantly had the most success. Cresswell misjudged one through ball in the first half but was otherwise faultless in defence throughout. He even had the temerity to beat Lansbury from the back with such class the Wenger reject felt obliged to jump through the back of his legs in a manner showing why he'll always be scum. Town's latest signing jumped up only to be head-butted back down. A yellow card each – well played again ref. The turning point clearly pointed straight to a draw as the final third bled away and remained untroubled for either side.
Forest hinted that the predictable 0-0 might be stolen when the impressive Gerken again defied them as he saved from close range. He seems to do it once a game but, again he spread wide and low to smother and deflect a shot away without knowing much about it. Had he been able to release the ball quicker at times instead of leaving his distribution late and to the elements he might not have compounded Town's ability to play more football on the floor.
An immature performance today from Chambo was countered by some lovely movement from Town's younger faces. Whereas the RB-cum-CB looked to do too much too often in the face of some needless needling from the home fans; a lovely move down the left involving for the most part Cressy, Hyam, Tunners and Noubs frustratingly came up short. A similar venture saw Murphy and McG covering the LB as his wasted cross whipped into the box right where both blockers should have been attacking it.
Murphy who had lacked so much in the air as he failed to judge a single high ball was a different prospect on the floor. Twice he surged down the left and the second bore an obvious corner from a deflected cross. Reid who had been steering the ref all game was incensed. The Red's dwarf flapped his black hole once again with ferocity, the ref was too scared to show a caution. Those softer in the head might say the man in the middle tried to let the game flow. However when a match has all the rhythmic thrusts of someone having a fit down a flight of stairs, you have to wonder at his decisions for both teams.
Apart from that, there was very little to suggest the endeavours of Forest would likely bear sweeter fruit despite constant rotation with a fresh crop of subs plucked from the bench in quick succession. Mick opted to reply and removed the threat of Dido for the imposing Ming. Town went into a fluid shape, pushing Cress well up and 2 banks of 3 centre-minded players supported the brawn of Murphy and Nouble into injury time as the blues streamed forward with force but little direction.
Overall Town can be pleased with the point. A win would have seen us supplant Forest in the top six but it would have been rough justice for either side to take all three today. Town can be pleased that in difficult circumstances against a half-decent side, they stayed the course. Another split of points amid the top -half logjam means a positive step for us and another two taken from our rivals. A result which keeps us and the desire to dream alive. It's not too late to write to Santa is it?
Guthrum added 23:40 - Dec 14
A decent away point at a team in a similar position to ourselves in the table.
flashblue added 02:35 - Dec 15
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