On a sun drenched day at City Ground, Forest lost to Reading in dramatic and heart wrenching fashion. It was however not really surprising. For a neutral this must have been a real spectacle. 4-3 and a missed penalty. Had we won, I'd say it was a classic.
Reading were good value for their win, every attack looked dangerous, specifically down the right flank. Kebe gave Lynch a torrid afternoon. It's hard sitting in here a few hours later thinking of even where to start dissecting what wrong for Forest. We scored 3 goals, that is the one good side for a team that has struggled in front of goal of late, although admittedly two were penalties,you still have to be in the right end to get a penalty.
We lined up in a good old fashioned 4-4-2 but with wingers that would switch. Moussi being back in the defensive midfield role was a welcome boost and we need him to get fully match fit soon.
Defensively itdid all gowrong, it opened up in frontof Reading too often. In Long they have a striker who is a constant danger. Indeed it was Long who won the free kick which Reading would score from. Long running across the edge of the 18 yard box away from goal, went down, the referee adjudging a clip on the heels from Gunter. Long went down very easily, and the ref fell for the dive. Ian Harte of curse is a free kick specialist. He neeted the free kick, the left footed drive from 19 yards beating Camp.
The Forest equaliser came from a penalty. McGugan on the right wing swivelling and falling over the defenders leg. At first the ref looked like he wasn't going to award the penalty, but the linesman was flagging,and the ref awarded it. McGugan initially seized the ball to take the kick, but Boyd instead was to take the penalty. A well taken powerful strike into the bottom left hand corner.
And so 1-1 at half time. Probabaly fair enough. Forest had looked good in parts. Moussi returning had bolstered the midfield. Boyd was looking better than he had, certainly more mobile than against Leeds.
The second half would be spectacular. A lovely move by Forest from one end to the other finished by Earnshaw. Forest had swept forward, and there was excellent work down the left wing, leading to Earnshaw firing from on the left hand side of the area from around 12 yards. At this stage I felt ecstatic. And was tweeting my review of the goal and therefore missed Readings quick reply. Reading scoring from a Harte taken corner with a header by Jem Karacan.
Then again a few minutes later Reading would score again. Kebe netting after a shot was parried by Camp, Kebe finished with a near open goal into the centre of the net. He removed his shirt in celebration and was booked. This prompted Forest into a round of subs. Tyson and Konchesky on in an attempt to bolster the left side of the pitch which had been weak. Moussi went off on his return. McCleary switched back to the right and Tyson playing down the left.
Previosuly to the Reading goal Earnshaw was booked when he nicked the ball off the keeper in a drop kick situation. To be fair to Earnie, the keeper did not have control of the ball as he tossed the ball up kick, Earnie whisked it away. Technically the keeper was not in control of the ball, and Earnie was legitimate in his action. However, these types of goal are never going to be allowed, and Earnshaw was booked for unsporting behaviour.
After a lot of endeavour and a previously turned down penalty appeal (which I think was stone wall,with Adebola being felled in the area) Forest did get another penalty. Gunter was felled by the sub Robson-Kanu and McGugan stepped up to bring Forest level. Elation poured out in the City Ground. We were back in it, and probably deservedly. We obviously forget the lesson learned in the Preston game. Do not think a late goal is job done.
Reading would retake the lead and the win. An attack down the right again, and then a certain amount of debate between some sources about who scored. Chambers with an own goal or Simon Church. Being sat in the Trent End and without the Championship having been on yet, I can't be sure. What is sure is that it was a killer blow to Forest. It knocked all the stuffing out of us, and as a large swathe of Red seats were exposed by an exodus of Forest fans.
Reading then also won a penalty for handball by Gunter. Long, the villain of the piece stepped upand Camp saved! A good saveto his right too, and suddenly Forest weren't quite so dead and buried. Well,yes we were as there was barely time to get the ball up field.
And so Forests playoff hopes are left hanging by a thread. It was a painful defeat to endure. It almost felt like the playoff semi final defeats for the manner of our capitulation. Preston was a few weeks ago and it seems the same ghosts are lurking. Davies post-match talked about naiveity and it showed. The team were and had been all match making many an error. Defensively it looked horrendous. 11 goals in 3 games is dire form. We were ripped to shreads far too easily by Reading. We didn't create too many clear cut efforts in this game, so without the penalties, we had one goal from open play that was well crafted.
It leaves us in a precarious position now. Down to 8th, behind even Millwall now. Two big games this week will decide the season. For some fans on matchline which I have often said is the domain of the lunatic fringe to be calling for Davies head is laughable. Do people not remember where we were prior to his arrival? Again I have seen the usual anti board moans. People just want someone to blame and they are a very easy target