Forests unbeaten run ended last night at Glanford Park, somewhat unexpectedly.The Reds fell to a first half Dagnall goal.
Forest went to Scunthorpe knowing that a win would send them second, ahead of the big game against Cardiff on Saturday. This would have given us the momentum needed in what could be the biggest game of the season.
Forest fans went in a state of anticipation, having seen Cardiff slip up the previous night,against Burnley, and having scored a very creditable draw at the week against high flying QPR, with only 10 men.
Forest had the first good chance of the game, Tyson was free with an open goal essentially,and missed. An all to often occurrence for Tyson. It seems when presented with the easier chances, he either panics or takes his off the ball because it simply isn't good enough, especially when considering his form of late.
Not long after Forest went behind to goal they would never recover. Dagnall netted close in on 18mins, from a Lee Miller assist. A scrappy unattractive goal on a scrappy unattractive pitch.
And there is another issue. A very poor pitch was a great leveller, not allowing Forest to be able to the same passing game as they would like to have. It is true of course than in football you have to tackle everything over the season, and that includes bad pitches, so it can't be an excuse. However it was all to readily used by the media around the game. But then two teams have to play on any surface, it's just a matter who masters it first, and that's why home advantage is termed just that.
Forest had a few other efforts in the first half, to no avail. And at the break Scunny were ahead. However, with 45 minutes to go it wasn't quite panic stations. Surely after the break it would change?
Well, yes and no. The scoreline didn't later, but Forest went closer, and piled on late pressure in attempt to get something out the game. Dele Adebola was closest when he came on, hitting the bar with a header.
A number of close in swinging corners had to be cleared by Scunthorpes keeper Lillis from under his bar. Forest had 5 corners to Scunthorpe's one. In fact they had many more shots on and off target to Scunthorpe but possession was equal. The lion share of chances for Forest were in a second half period, and in the last 10 mins piling the bar into the area.
Whether this was a bad day at the office, complacency or just a case of getting the tactics wrong, it was a painful defeat,not just because of the offer of going into second place, but also that Scunthorpe had one home win to their name all season previously. That coming against Crystal Palace in August. Scunthorpe are becoming somewhat of a bogey club for Forest over the last few years where we have shared divisions.
Questions may be asked about some changes, some were enforced, but we all knew they would come, and ours quad, being one pushing promotion has to be strong enough to beat teams struggling against relegation. Last night bought may of old question marks back to life.
Whether this is a mere wobble, or the beginnings of a full on derailment of the promotion train will become apparent over the next weeks. Needless to say quick recovery on Saturday is needed.