Team: Kenny, Walker, Gorkss, Hill, Mackie, Derry, Faurlin, Smith, Taarabt (Rowlands), Ephraim (Clarke), Hulse (Agyemang).
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Borrowdale, Hall, Andrade.
Attendance: 22, 859 (2,076 R’s fans)
The minute’s silence was impeccably observed of course and joining the players and officials were S/Sgt David Lafferty of the Royal Engineers and former Forest player, 91 year-old Sid Ottewell, who had served in the RAF during WW2. A number of R’s fans remarked that if we were going to record our first victory at the City Ground, this was a great opportunity to do so despite Forest’s long unbeaten home record stretching back 27 games.
Jamie Mackie filled in at right-back and Clint Hill moved into the vacant centre-half slot for the suspended Matt Connolly and Hogan Ephraim started. The early stages of the match were fairly even with Dexter Blackstock heading over the bar and Lee Camp made a good save in the 13thminute following a powerful header from Kyle Walker after a long throw into the box had been knocked on.
After 25 minutes,Tommy Smith was bundled over in the box by McGugan, amid strong protests for a penalty. I didn’t get a very good view of the incident, but Neil Warnock had no doubts: “The one decision he had to make was a blatant penalty, it was nailed on, blatant. But I don’t expect Andy to give me anything. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything off him. I thought he had a good game otherwise.” Adel Taarabt belted one from 25 yards which forced Lee Camp to dive full length to keep it out. However, Taarabt skied his next effort from inside the box, well over the bar. Rangers had the best of the half and most of the possesion.
Lee Camp got a very mixed reception as he ran towards us. Some clapped, others booed and the rest were just indifferent. Jamie Mackie filling in well at right-back, was put into a good position by Tommy Smith, but his effort hit the side-netting. A couple of shots hit wide in quick succession from Taarabt, frustrated a couple of R’s players who felt that they were better positioned. Paddy Kenny made a magnificent save with his legs from Lewis McGugan in the 72nd minute and at the other end, a wonderful chip from Taarabt looked like it had caught Camp out, but he made a acrobatic backwards save to tip the ball over the bar. Martin Rowlands, as you would expect, got a great reception when he came on for Adel Taarabt in the closing stages.
Also towards the end, Shaun Derry was yellow carded for the fifth time this season and will miss the Derby home game. Looking at the stats, I noticed that we had 59% of the possession. Despite a net along most of the Upper Tier, objects had seemingly been thrown down earlier at R’s fans, who were turning round and pointing whilst the stewards and police looked for the culprits. I also heard that there had been trouble before the match in Hooters. Unfortunately, still no historic win, but the run continues. Many thanks to Jimmy for the lift and hope you’re feeling much better mate.