Today’s game was one with a certain amount of apprehension in the build-up, and I for one was not entirely sure where the goals were going to come from today as Leyton Orient visited the City Ground. Forest however had no such concerns, and ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.
The game started promisingly for the reds, with a lot of territorial play, but it was Orient who threatened first, with a curled free kick from the impressive Sean Thornton which was tipped over by Smith. And it was Thornton again who came close for Orient, smashing the ball against the inside of the post from the edge of the penalty area. Had that gone in, the game could have been very different.
This seemed to sting Forest into action however, and straight away they won a corner. Orient were caught napping as Davies played it short to Commons, who crossed it in for Grant Holt to head home from six yards out. Until then, Holt had displayed the inconsistencies that have frustrated some of the fans of late, but after that goal he was a different player.
Forest continued to press for the remainder of the first half, and went in 1-0 up, Davies having come close with a volley from a tight angle. They were slow out of the changing rooms at the start of the first half however, and were nearly caught out just 30 seconds after the restart. A ball through from the dangerous Orient forward Barcham found Wayne Gray, and only a great one-on-one stop from Smudge kept the reds in front.
Just as Orient were looking like they were getting back in the game, Forest struck again. A good ball forward from Cohen found the run of Holt inside right, who rounded the keeper and went down. Personally, I wasn’t convinced it was a foul, but the referee seemed to be, and then decided to book the keeper. Bearing in mind Kelvin Wilson’s sending off last time out, one wonders where the consistency is in refereeing. Holt stepped up to take the penalty, and smashed it into the bottom corner.
From then on it was all Forest. Commons came forward down the inside right, jinked one way, then the other, and crashed it in off the foot of the far post. The final goal came when Forest were probably most comfortable, from the two substitutes. Emile Sinclair was put through and pulled it back for the promising-looking Matt Thornhill to tuck home for a fourth, despite a slight miskick from the youngster.
It could be said that 4-0 flatters the reds slightly, but in my opinion it wouldn’t be fair to take this win away from them after that performance. Orient were by no means a bad side and might feel a little hard done-by, but in the end they were just outclassed.
It can’t be said that the squad is the finished article, but if we can score four goals with neither of our two best strikers, it seems the problem is possibly less urgent than feared by some. It’s fair to say we still need a striker, if not two, but today’s performance was excellent.
Paul Smith – 9 – Excellent performance from Smudge, made several crucial saves at very important times.
Matt Lockwood – 8 – Showed why CC signed him with a solid display, and got forward a lot as well. Good performance.
Ian Breckin – 7 – Looked solid, and did everything that was required of him. No real spectacular contribution, just a solid performance.
James Perch – 7/8 – Filled in well at Right-back, and got forward a fair bit as well. Generally underrated I feel.
Chris Cohen – 6 – Not his mot spectacular performance in a red shirt, but certainly not for lack of effort. Full of running as always, and played Holt the ball that won the penalty.
Sammy Clingan – 6 – A few uncharacteristic misplaced passes from Sammy today, but other than that a generally sound display.
Lewis McGugan – 9 – Masterful performance from Lewis, who is coming on leaps and bounds. Was excellent from start to finish, always provided an option and was never afraid to have a go.
Kris commons – 8 – Good display from Commons, who seems to like playing against Orient. Supplied the cross for the first goal, and took his brilliantly.
Aaron Davies – 8 – Skilful display from Aaron, full of running at defenders, and was unlucky not to score with a volley from a tight angle at the end of the first half.
Grant Holt – 8 – Showed just how important confidence is to him, as after he scored he was better than he has been in a forest shirt for months. Best display of the season from Grolt.
Luke Chambers – n/a – Didn’t have long to shine, but made good runs forward in the last ten minutes.
Emile Sinclair – n/a – Didn’t get into the game too much before his contribution to the final goal, laying it off for fellow substitute Matt thornhill.
Matt Thornhill – n/a – Looked comfortable on the ball, and it was nice to see him get his first Forest goal.
Wes Morgan. 8 (edited)