NOTTINGHAM FOREST BLOG: Reds ride their luck against Fulham but hats off to Dougie Freedman!
Forest picked up their third consecutive home win on Saturday, and thanks to the opposition it was always on the cards.
The Cottagers haven’t won at the City Ground for 15 years; in fact some of their greatest sides have struggled to win by the banks of the Trent.
The current Fulham side are managerless but certainly not shy in front of goal, despite no wins in their last four games, they were still the league’s top scorers.
Crucially missing Mouassa Dembele, the west Londoners proved to be a huge threat in the first half. You would expect that when you have the Championship’s record signing in your starting X1 though!
Their interim boss Peter Grant was baffled that his side failed to win this game, although half time and full time are two different stories.
As I said, Fulham were superb in the first 45 but lacked that killer instinct, one that has served them well this season. Ross McCormack wasted a golden chance from just yards out, just minutes before Henri Lansbury had almost put through his own net.
McCormack was intent on reproducing exact replicas of last season’s hat-trick, from the last time these two sides met.
Mills had his number and allowed him little space at all though, a credit to the man who is winning over the fans with every performance. The Londoners continued to spray the ball around with ease and purpose; Parker, O’Hara and Pringle were running the show to be fair.
McCormack forced an awesome save from De Vries via a deflection, whilst his giant partner Matt Smith complemented him very well from the air.
As fate or luck would have it; Forest took the lead with their second shot on goal, just seconds before the break. From Lansbury’s deep corner, Eric Lichaj’s superb over head kick was headed home by Mills.
Daylight robbery to be fair, Fulham had ran the show and come out for the second half trailing. Ironically, Forest couldn’t play any worse and it was no surprise to see them extend their lead.
My man of the match Nelson Oliveira, fired an absolute rocket from distance. The Fulham keeper could only parry it to Chris O’Grady, who blazed home the rebound from a couple of yards out. Such was the confidence of the home supporters that it prompted a number of them to get up and leave. Believing that it was all over they chanted “easy, easy, easy” on their way - obviously not regulars!
Forest’s dominance was officially stamped once again by Matt Mills, who headed home Vaughan’s corner to make it 3-0. For the record David Vaughan was again the stand out midfielder and epitomised our resurgence with every dawning minute. Mills almost scored an unprecedented, headed hat-trick! The cross bar denied him the accolade from another pin point Lansbury corner.
Hats off to the manager (who I washed my hands of) for continuing to play the same system and selecting the right players. Yes, I regret slating him after so many months of defending him. But I’ve made my bed and must now lie in it!
Remarkably we’re six points off the play offs and with at least two injured players returning in January, who knows what could happen?
I touched on the fact that more “famous” Fulham sides have been defeated here in Nottingham. How’s this for a scalp? A Fulham side containing Bobby Moore, Rodney Marsh and George Best were easily beaten here in 1977. The score......... 3-0 thanks to Larry Lloyd, Martin O’Neil and Tony Woodcock.
Some things never change!