Date: 21st February 2009 at 5:21pm
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The biggest criticism of this Nottingham Forest side today, is that they played without passion or desire for most of the match. That, for a Billy Davies football team is a worrying fact, because the one thing you do expect from his troops, is a battling display. Forest were well beaten today, make no mistake and were at times taken apart by a Derby side, who didn’t have to play particularly well to thump us 3-1. It was a fairly dour game of football, that the Reds’ deserved to lose.

A sellout crowd of just over 29,000, witnessed an abject display from the boys in Red. The Sheep got a dream start when as per usual, the Forest defence failed to deal with a ball into the box, from a Commons free kick. Luke Chambers stood idly by as Lewis Nyatanga stretched out a leg to stab the ball home. The home support gave good vocal backing to the lads, but they were getting precious little in return. The usually reliable Cohen was having an ineffective game in midfield and Lewis McGugan was a mere bystander, as his contribution in the first half was virtually nil. The closest the Reds’came to making any sort of a threat in the first 45, was when Earnshaw sent a lob onto the roof of the net after about 20 minutes.

This was a stroll in the park for the visitors, as they were hardly troubled all afternoon. Billy Davies can claim his side is inexperienced, but there can be no excuse for some of the performances on show from his charges today. Perch was huffing and puffing, but was out thought and out fought in every aspect of his game. His perpetual poor passing and needless giving away of the ball was only one example of the sub standard performances on show from the lads today. As the whistle blew for half time, the fans were glad to be only a goal down.

Things went from bad to worse, almost immediately after the restart, when Rob Hulse put the Rams two up. A well taken freekick from Savage, was met by Hulse at the near post. He was unchallenged by Perch, who stood and watched him knock the ball past an equally unmoving Smith. This was a disaster for Forest and just the right time for the visiting fans to enjoy taking the piss out of the home fans….Let’s face it, we’d have done exactly the same, only hopefully better.

The second goal silenced the crowd and sent quite a few hurrying for the exits. It was painful to watch and equally painful to hear the visiting support ripping us to bits. The Shaggers were having a rare old time of it and why shouldn’t they? It’s been 31 years since they beat us on our own turf in a League game and following the FA Cup debacle, they’ve now done it twice in three weeks.

Just as you thought the afternoon couldn’t get any worse, Perch pushed Hulse in the area, to give the Sheep a penalty. Davies made no mistake from the spot and put the Rams three up. It was party time for the Shaggers and time for the Forest fans to head for the exits again. This time it was a mass exodus from the ground, as row upon row of red seats were popping up all over the stadium. The fans couldn’t get out quick enough and some even had to queue to get out. It was shocking, truly shocking. It was also painful….very, very painful.

Forest were dead and buried and devoid of ideas. Heads dropped and the confidence was shot. It was clear that many of them would have rather been elsewhere, much like those fans who decided to stay and suffer until the bitter end. A consolation goal was to be the reward for those that were brave enough to stay and it wasn’t a bad one at that. It was such a shame that we had to wait for 88 minutes for the lads to string a decent move together, that resulted in a goal. For once in the game, Tyson was able to control the ball (hurrahh) and he linked up well with McCleary who picked the ball up out wide. The youngster McCleary sent over a great ball into the box, that was met by the midget Earnshaw, to head the ball home.

Lacklustre, passionless and downright poor are some of the words to describe this embarassing showing from the lads today. There are better words to acurately describe it, but they shouldn’t appear on this page. The club is pulling the wool over our eyes with the lack of new talent and the longer they continue to ignore the fact that new talent is needed, the sooner we’ll be getting relegated. This was an awful display from Forest and one that will show the most ardent of Forest fans that we really are going to go down, unless of course we can get active in the loan market.