Sunday, 28 August 2011

Forest slump to home defeat against high-flying West Ham

Kevin Nolan leads the celebrations at the City Ground
Kevin Nolan and Carlton Cole both headed in close-range efforts as the pressure stacked higher for Forest boss Steve McClaren at the City Ground on Sunday.

A Luke Chambers own-goal had sent the Hammers on their way and the Reds were unable to find a route back into the game – although they hit back through Robbie Findley they failed to properly defend and New Zealand full back Winston Reid secured the points for the visitors with a late tap-in.
The first half began slowly for both sides but it was Forest who were asking the questions of the West Ham defence early on. The highly-rated Lewis McGugan setting up Findley with a corner in the first twelve minutes – the American did well to latch on to the ball but unfortunately it deflected off him and went narrowly wide.
Forest playmaker Chris Cohen then went close with a solidly struck free kick from 20-yards out forcing former England keeper Robert Green to jostle the ball wide for a corner.
Yet it was the East Londoners who took the lead after a great break – ex-Bolton midfielder Matt Taylor fizzed in a low ball from the left and Luke Chambers failed to connect properly for the clearance allowing the ball to hit him and deflect past Lee Camp in the Forest goal.
Three minutes later former Newcastle midfielder Nolan got a second for the Hammers after a long corner found the head of James Tomkins at the back post – he headed the ball across for Nolan who comfortably put the ball past the bemused Camp.
The home side had two chances to strike back immediately. The on-form Ishmael Miller sprang clear on the right wing but crashed his shot into the side netting, before Green tipped McGugan’s shot on to the post following Chris Gunter`s weighted cross.
However West Ham were not finished yet and scored again moments later sending a few home fans heading for early half time refreshments – Reid heading down Joey O’Brien’s cross in the box for the unmarked Cole who rose to head past Camp from a yard out.
The Hammers could have had four before the break after the Reds again gave them time and space in front of goal – Cole sending the ball across the six-yard box to Nolan who had bags of time but sent the ball wide of the far post.
In the early stages of the second half Forest pushed forward to no avail and McClaren decided to bring on summer signings Matt Derbyshire and Andy Reid in an attempt to salvage something from the game.
The change proved an effective one seven minutes later as Forest scored what was probably the best goal of the game. Cohen and Joel Lynch combined well on the left and Lynch cut the ball back precisely to find Findley who fired the ball into the roof of the net giving the Reds a flicker of hope.
The noise around the City Ground was soon subdued however as the visitors scored again. Forest failing to clear from yet another West Ham corner – allowing Taylor to loft in a defence-splitting cross to the feet of Reid – who had looked confident all game and calmly slotted past Camp.
Forest carried on until the final whistle but never looked like scoring and it was the away side that came closest in the third minute of stoppage time when Nolan’s shot was deflected just wide off Reds’ defender Wes Morgan.
Findley also came close to snatching a consolation in the dying seconds after beating Hammers’ keeper Green only to see his shot casually cleared off the line by the collected figure of Tomkins.
Forest remain without a home win in the Championship and play Southampton next on September 10th. The game is at St Mary’s and kick-off is at 3pm.

Miller on target as Forest sink Chairboys

Nottingham Forest finally found their attacking finesse on Tuesday evening as the Reds cruised past League One Wycombe to go into Saturday’s draw for round three of the Carling Cup.

Forest bagged two goals in the opening six minutes at Adams Park through Ishmael Miller and a Lewis McGugan penalty.

Robbie Findley scored a magnificent third after the break and although the Chairboys pulled one back from the spot, Radoslaw Majewski put the result beyond all doubt with a neat finish 15 minutes from time.

Steve McClaren’s decision to make a double change up front ahead of the game in Buckinghamshire proved to be a wise one as the Reds began the game confidently - USA international Findley partnering Miller who caused Wanderers problems from the off.

Within the opening two minutes Majewski teamed up well with Chris Cohen in the middle of the park – Cohen thumped in an early ball which flashed across the face of goal towards Miller but unfortunately the former West Brom man was unable to get on the end of it.

However Miller did not make the same mistake twice as shortly after he fired in Forest’s first following a perfect through ball from Majewski - Miller was quick to latch on and slid the ball past the standing Chairboys shot-stopper Nikki Bull.

The Reds continued to showcase their attacking flair and won a penalty minutes later after a through ball from Jonathan Greening sent Miller through on goal – he shrugged off the Wycombe defenders but was brought down unfairly by Bull.

Lewis McGugan stepped up to score his second spot-kick in as many games.

McClaren’s men continued to pile on the pressure as again the lively Miller was denied his second thanks to a great reaction stop by Bull.

For the hosts Swindon Town loanee Elliot Benyon’s shot took a wicked deflection and nearly had Forest keeper Lee Camp beaten but the Reds were saved by the inside of the post.

Forest continued to pose a threat and Findley got the Reds an excellent third just after the hour mark - Majewski fed a ball through to the rapid American who fought off two defenders to turn and curl a shot into the bottom corner from 16-yards.

Wycombe were then awarded a spot-kick of their own when Joel Lynch needlessly brought down Chairboys midfielder Stuart Lewis. Benyon stepped up and sent Camp the wrong way to give Wycombe a glimmer of hope.

Yet it was the Reds that continued to attack, substitute Joe Garner went close with a header before having a hand in Forest's fourth.

The frontman - who spent much of last season on loan at Scunthorpe United - beat the tackle of Dave Winfield before unselfishly squaring the ball to Majewski who applied the simple finish.

Nineteen-year-old prospect Kieron Freeman made his first team debut in the closing stages replacing McGugan in midfield. The hot-prospect went close to scoring in the final minute when Chris Gunter pulled the ball back for the youngster who slipped when set to strike.

The draw for round three of the Carling Cup will take place just after 12 noon on Saturday 27th August. The last 32 will include the Premier League teams involved in Europe.

Late Forest show denies Foxes a feast

Nottingham Forest 2 Leicester City 2: match report -George Boateng (right) scores a late leveller for Nottingham Forest
George Boateng (right) celebrates his last-gasp winner at the City Ground

George Boateng was Steve McClaren's unlikely hero with an injury-time equaliser as Forest came from two goals down to rescue a point against east Midlands rivals Leicester on Saturday.

The Foxes were on top at the interval scoring twice within three first-half-minutes after mistakes from the Reds in possession - but McClaren's men fought back late in the second half with a spot-kick and last-gasp Boateng goal helping them finish the game with a share of the spoils.

The first half was one to forget for the home side and Sven-Goran Eriksson's men caught the Reds sleeping early on - forcing Lee Camp to make two saves in quick succession. The first following a corner from Neil Danns that found the head of Leicester marksman David Nugent who saw his attempt saved. Soon after Ivorian defender Sol Bamba found space on the edge of the six-yard box and the Forest keeper was forced to hit his powerful shot away for a corner.

The high-spending visitors had been threatening a goal and it came after 18 minutes when Jonathan Greening gave the ball away poorly in his own half. The nimble Gelson Fernandes latched on quickly running past Luke Chambers and squaring the ball to the waiting Nugent who was left to fire into an empty net.

The Reds failed to learn from their first mistake – giving the ball away again in midfield minutes later. Chambers could only find Danns with his wayward pass and the sharp midfielder pounced darting into the box and playing a slick one-two with Nugent – although his shot was cleared off the line by Chris Gunter it came to Fernandes who buried the ball in the bottom left-corner to make it two.

The home fans looked shell-shocked at the break and not surprisingly considering Forest’s only chance of the half came when Gunter crossed from the left for new signing Matt Derbyshire who failed to test Schmeichel and headed wide.

McClaren decided to change things when the teams emerged from the tunnel for the second-half and Ishmael Miller was brought on for the second time in as many games – replacing Derbyshire who had seen little of the ball. USA starlet Robbie Findley also came into the action replacing David McGoldrick in attack.

Miller used his height well and began causing the Leicester defence problems immediately - setting up Findley with a precise flick-on from a long goal kick - the frontman crashed a powerful shot towards goal but Schmeichel dived to his left to make the save.

Miller then went close himself seconds later, turning quickly in the six-yard-box to find a shot out of nowhere - however Schmeichel was equal to it and clung on to the ball.

Following a good period of possession the Reds began stretching the Foxes’ back four and got a goal back soon after. Gunter got away down the right and put a cross in towards Findley who was blocked out by Leicester new-boy Matt Mills. Both fell to the ground and referee Jonathan Moss awarded Forest a penalty after Mills was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.

Mills was booked and Schmeichel was also given a yellow for arguing with the referee. Lewis McGugan then stepped up to finish clinically from the spot - smashing the ball out of the reach of the diving Leicester keeper. Schmeichel then received a second yellow card and was sent for an early bath in a moment of madness after throwing the ball away in anger.

McGugan could have put the game back on level terms just before stoppage time with Forest winning a free kick on the left 20-yards out - but his effort hit the wall and ran away for a corner.

Forest did get their dramatic equaliser a minute from time when Chris Cohen put the ball in from a left-wing position - his cross sailed over Leicester substitute keeper Chris Weale and was scrambled in at the back post by Boateng who ran to celebrate in front of the adoring home fans in the Trent End.

Forest now have five points from a possible 12 and their next game in the Championship is at home to West Ham. The match is on Sunday 28 August and kick-off is at 1:15pm

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Gunter helps McClaren to first league win

End of the drought: Chris Gunter heads home the winner
Gunter heads home his winner after 31 minutes

Chris Gunter scored the only goal to secure Steve McClaren's first league win as Nottingham Forest manager against Doncaster on Tuesday night.

However the Reds did not have it all their own way and had to contain a strong Rovers side, who had the bulk of possession for long periods of the second half.

Doncaster had several chances within the opening few minutes of the game, Rovers star James Coppinger first coming close with a shot that had Lee Camp diving to his right only to see the ball fly wide.

Moments later Kyle Bennett hit a rasping shot from 20-yards forcing Camp to react again, tipping the ball over his bar, however referee Andy Woolmer did not see the touch and failed to give a corner, much to the anger of the home fans.

Forest's first real chance fell to Wes Morgan following a Andy Reid cross towards the back post, but Morgan failed to convert looping the ball just wide.

Camp was soon called on again when recent Reds trainee Giles Barnes provided for Simon Gillett whose shot on goal was too tame and was easily gathered up by Camp.

New Reds signing Matt Derbyshire looked sharp on the break and should of done better when the highly-rated Radoslaw Majewski found him unmarked - but his low ball failed to find the waiting David McGoldrick.

Forest's goal came after Brendan Moloney won the ball in midfield and hit a cross from the right finding the towering figure of Chris Gunter who headed the ball down towards Rovers keeper Gary Woods - who was unable to stop the ball trailing over the line.

Just before the break Doncaster could of been level after Gillett's weighted ball found Coppinger who hit a shot towards Camp's far post - fortunately for the Reds Camp reacted sharply, parrying the ball over the bar with both hands.

Forest also had dangerous spells before the break and Majewski hit a volley wide of the right-hand post following a driven Reid corner.

Rovers took control early in the second half and Barnes found Gillett again with a good cross - but the ex-Southampton man was denied thanks to great defensive work from Gunter.

Following a spell of possession from Rovers, which came to nothing, Majewski came close with a free kick which curled just over the goal and rested on the top of the net.

Ishmael Miller made his Forest debut with 15 minutes remaining, coming on to replace McGoldrick who had failed to get any real grip on the game.

Sean O'Driscoll's men did come close to an equaliser after catching the Reds out with a quickly taken corner. Gillett made a run into the Forest box and hit a powerful shot at Camp who saved well allowing Forest to hold on for three points.

The Reds now have four points from their first three Championship games and play high-spending Leicester at the City Ground on Saturday. Kick off is at 3:00pm

Final score: Nottingham Forest 1 Doncaster 0

Miller to make Forest bow

Miller could make his debut tonight

Ishmael Miller could be in line to make his Nottingham Forest debut against Doncaster tonight after the 24-year-old put pen to paper on a three-year-deal at the City Ground.

The powerhouse striker, who started his career as a youngster at Manchester City, is relishing the chance of first team football under Steve McClaren after a bad spell of injuries at previous employers West Brom.

Miller did well during a spell on loan at QPR last season but has slipped down the pecking order at the Hawthorns following Roy Hodgson's long awaited capture of Reading frontman Shane Long.

The deal, worth an initial £1.2 million will see Miller team up with striker Matt Derbyshire who the Reds recently captured from Greek giants Olympiakos.

Forest will be looking to the six-foot-striker for goals after recent short comings in their first two Championship games against both Barnsley and Millwall.

Doncaster entertain Forest at the Keepmoat tonight and Miller is training with the Reds today in hope of a call-up.

Toothless Forest put to slaughter in Lions Den

Lions made up: Darius Henderson (centre) shares his delight after putting Millwall in front
Darius Henderson (centre) shares his delight after putting Millwall ahead at the Den

Having failed to register a single shot on target in 90 minutes of football Steve McClaren's Reds were comfortably beaten by Millwall at the Den on Saturday.

Former Sheffield United striker Darius Henderson scored from a weighted near-post header following a corner after only seven minutes of the first half.

The Reds controlled possession much better in the second half but failed to have any affect in the final third and Liam Trotter sealed the win for the Lions on 77 minutes following a great counter attack from the home side.

The home side were straight out of the blocks early on and a well timed tackle from Chris Cohen was needed to prevent Millwall midfielder James Henry getting a shot in on goal.

However the Lions did get their early goal after Henry's corner found Henderson in the area who rose above a static Forest backline to head home.

Forest's first chance came on the 15 minute mark after new signing Jonathan Greening found Andy Reid who hit a rasping left foot shot which had Millwall keeper David Forde beaten but also beat the left-hand post.

Before half-time a mistake by Reds defender Luke Chambers allowed the Lions possession in the Forest box but a last ditch tackle from veteran George Boateng gave Forest a let off.

Forest came out for the second-half looking much improved on the ball and USA star Robbie Findley clipped the outside of the post from close range following a Cohen drive at goal.

The Reds brought on Marcus Tudgay and Radi Majewski late on but the two had little impact - Millwall continued to catch Forest out with their quick bursts of pace.

Following a good spell of Forest possession substitute Dany N'Guessan broke away quickly in the 77th minute and fired in a cross over the recovering Forest back four, promising striker Liam Trotter finished clinically and made it 2-0 to the home side.

Minutes later the home side could of added a third after N'Guessan rounded Chambers to cross for centre back Tamika Mkandawire who failed to control the ball.

The Reds looked lacklustre in front of goal and were beaten by a good Millwall side who will be looking to improve on last season's ninth place finish.

The match finished 2-0, meaning Steve McClaren is yet to claim his first Championship win as Forest manager. He will be looking to do so again on Tuesday evening, on the road at Doncaster. Kick off is at 7:45pm.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Derbyshire pens Forest deal

Image text here
Matt Derbyshire is back in English football following a two-year spell in Greece

Nottingham Forest have secured the services of Olympiakos striker Matt Derbyshire on a three-year contract.

The former Blackburn Rovers forward spent last season on loan at Birmingham City - making 13 appearances but failed to seal a permanent deal at St Andrew's. 

Championship clubs Leicester, Cardiff and Brighton were all linked with the talented forward and Forest boss Steve McClaren was alerted after Derbyshire was told by the Greek champions he was free to leave for another club.

The Englishman, 25, has won 14 caps for the England under-21 side and in his two-year spell at Olympiakos scored 11 goals in 26 appearances.

Derbyshire's move to the City Ground comes at a great time for the Reds who have so far lacked fire power in front of goal in the Championship following the departure of starlet Robbie Earnshaw to home club Cardiff.

Reds battle to spot-kick victory over city rivals

Wes Morgan celebrates his goal
Wes Morgan celebrates his late equaliser for the Reds

Nottingham Forest won a dramatic penalty shoot-out against rivals Notts County on Tuesday night thanks to a last gasp Wes Morgan thunderbolt in the 123rd minute.
The Carling Cup first round game was level at 3-3 after extra time, and Magpies skipper Neal Bishop missed the crucial penalty for the League One side, blazing his spot-kick over and gifting Forest a 4-3 victory on penalties.

The Magpies started the brighter - defensive stalwart Mike Edwards put Notts ahead with 15 minutes on the clock. However the Reds were quick to respond - Forest ace Lewis McGugan found the top right corner of the net with a superb free-kick after 29 minutes.

Both sides looked threatening in their opposing boxes on many occasions but the game remained level at half time.

After the break Forest drew first blood - a close range effort from USA frontman Robbie Findley beat County keeper Stuart Nelson to make it 2-1.

However former Forest striker, Craig Westcarr levelled again for County in the 75th minute with a close range effort from inside the area, delighting the away contingent who had made the short trip across the Trent.

The Magpies soon built up momentum and attacked the Forest box again, and Lee Hughes got his deserved reward with a thunderous curling shot past Forest keeper Paul Smith to make it 3-2.

The home side looked dead and buried until Findley found Wes Morgan outside the area who rifled a shot into the top corner from 20-yards taking the game to penalties.

Jonathan Greening hit the post with Forest's opening spot-kick, but his blushes were saved when another former Forest player, Hamza Bencherif missed County's third penalty.

The Reds new signing George Boateng was denied by Nelson before County striker Lee Hughes fired over.

Forest captain Luke Chambers kept his cool to keep Forest ahead and Bishop blazed over sending County out and Forest into the next round.

The draw for the second round of the competition is set to be made live on Sky Sports following the conclusion of the Sheffield Wednesday v Blackpool tie at Hillsborough on Thursday evening.