OPINION: Last gasp goal against Derby might prove the difference for Forest

Daniel Pinillos' last minute equaliser in the East Midlands derby could prove to be the difference between Championship survival and relegation to League One.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 21st March 2017, 9:23 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:50 am
Daniel Pinillos goal celebrations
Daniel Pinillos goal celebrations

Mark Warburton picked up a very decent point in his first game in charge of Nottingham Forest and will be a relieved man due to the manner of how the draw transpired.

The former Brentford man will not have been fazed by the enormity of the occasion last Saturday; let’s face it, if you can handle the cauldron of hate that is Celtic v Rangers, you can handle anything.

I watched the game over 3,000 miles away on the east coast of America, as I sat in bar at 9am the Guinness was still flowing through my bloodstream from a St Patrick’s day extravaganza the previous night.

Needless to say, that a full Irish breakfast and it’s obligatory morning stout set me up nicely for one of the best games in Europe.

I didn’t know whether it was the effects of the previous night’s alcohol consumption but Forest looked awesome in that first 45.

A derby of this magnitude has always been synonymous with the Clough family, although not a relation, young Zach will live long in the memory of the City Ground faithful after his early strike and accompanying finger on the lips celebration.

Some Derby fans were incensed by the contempt displayed by the former Bolton man but I remember Alex Pearce behaving equally as cocky at the IPRO earlier this season.

I wasn’t at all offended by Pearce that day, it’s Forest v Derby after all’s said and if you remove such antics from the equation, it wouldn’t be the same.

There were some interesting tactical ploys by Warburton, like the systematic switching of Clough and Brereton throughout the game.

I was also keen to see how Britt Assombalonga would perform under yet another new gaffer.

Admittedly, he showed a little more than he has done of late but was inevitably substituted in the second period.

Something that has been floating around on social media of late, is the scrutiny of Mark Warburton by Rangers supporters.

The reoccurring facet seemed to be that he has no plan B and has some obsessive, compulsive, disorder when it comes to making substitutions.

Many saying that he always makes his personnel changes bang on the hour mark of any given contest.

Well; near enough for sure as he replaced Clough with McCormack in the 63rd minute.

And it was not well received by the Forest fans either, had we gone on to lose the match, this would have been heavily scrutinised.

But as I always say, results hide a multitude of sins.

The game itself had everything, and will go down as one to remember and forget in ways.

Despite the second half onslaught and quick fire goals by the rams, the point gained will be massive come 4.45pm on the final day of the season.

The fact that we sit just a solitary point above the drop zone tells you everything you need to know about the task ahead for Warburton and the importance of every single point.

I had a bit of Déjà vu at full time as I remembered the two same rivals thrashing out the exact same result back in 1998; hard to forget when Pierre Van Hooijdonk was forced to celebrate alone following his controversial strike action.

You can’t really legislate for Derby games because they are more often than not governed by blood and thunder as opposed to tactics.

Something that Arsene Wenger constantly complains about given the numerous opponents he faces in the capital.

When all’s said, and done, I’ve seen enough of Mark Warburton to know that he can do a good job for Forest if he’s given time come the start of next season.

We as supporters must also play our part too because we often expect miracles from a club who’s only miracle men are approaching pensionage.

I still don’t think we’ll be relegated but it could end up being that last gasp equaliser that makes the difference at the very end.