Nottingham Forest 1 – 0 Birmingham City

Not to use the old cliche, this game was a ‘Game of 3 Thirds’ with the Home side dominating proceedings until the hour mark then the West Midlanders applying late pressure as substitutes changed both sides. The teams matched each other with similar formations with a lone striker and 3 central midfielders, and it didn’t take long for it to pay off for one team, caretaker boss Gary Brazil’s Forest side scoring after only 2 minutes through a rejuvenated Matt Derbyshire. Forest should have been leading by more after missing a host of chances throughout the first half, most notably a Ben Osborn header from all but 5 yards out. However, their failure to put these chances away almost came back to haunt them late on as the withdrawal of the influential David Vaughan by Forest, and the introduction of Federico Macheda for the Blues led to a change in emphasis in Birmingham’s favour. However in the end it was to no avail and Forest held out for a spirit raising victory. It looks to be too late for Forest to make the top 6, whereas Birmingham still have a still have a very real chance of relegation, Lee Clark’s side only 1 point (but 3 sides) clear of the dreaded bottom three.

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Nottingham Forest

Karl Darlow Great performance by Forests number one, making a few difficult saves to preserve his team slender lead 8.5
Greg Halford Halford provided an exciting display, made so as he often refused to do the simple things and clear his lines! although he still had a solid game 6.5
Jamaal Lascelles Composed on the ball and had the sort of performance that has had the countries big clubs circling Jamaal, won every header despite being up against the giant figure of Nikola Zigic 7.5
Danny Collins Half of a clean sheet earning CB partnership, Collins also dealt with Zigic well and was dominant in the air 7.5
Danny Fox Had one of his best games in a red shirt, often induing space down the left and providing a several dangerous balls into the box 8.0
David Vaughan Class was obvious throughout, Vaughan returned from injury with a flourish making Forests whole midfield tick and turning ambiguous halfway-line passing into threatening forward play, with his midfield runs 9.0
Lee Peltier Looks good in midfield, doubts were risen when he was signed about his defensive ability but these have been put to rest with consistent reliable performances 7.0
Ben Osborn The youngster is improving every game and picked up the Match sponsors MOTM award for his performance. Great on and off the ball with his movement and control 8.0
Jamie Mackie Ran a lot but provided little else in all honestly 4.5
Jamie Paterson Not at his most effective best but still looked a threat at times. Spector did deal with him aptley and despite a few nice touches and dribbles did not add a huge amount 6.0
Matt Derbyshire Derbyshire started his fourth game of the season and scored his fourth goal, shows you stats can show anything! he former Blues forward, maybe motivated by the possibility of a new deal, put in a good display and got on the scoresheet for the only goal of the game. 7.5

Substitutions

Jonathan Greening Seemed to come on just as the direction the game was heading switched, did nothing oarticuarly wrong but was simply not the same level as Vaughan, whom he replaced 5.0
Darius Henderson Tried to win a few headers (unsuccessfully) but did put a curling effort narrowly wide late on 5.5
Simon Cox Didn’t really play long enough to have an impact 4.0

Birmingham City

Darren Randolph Made a couple of class saves especially saving a Mackie one on one. Couldn’t be blamed for not saving the goal 7.5
Jonathan Spector Had a good game at right back dealing with Paterson most of the match despite often being left 2 vs 1 due to Burke not tracking back 7.5
Tom Thorpe For the majority of the match did not help his team out at all, being caught too high up the pitch for the goal and long balls to vaguely aimed at his team mates 3.5
Paul Robinson Similar to Thorpe the usual left back didn’t play very well and invited pressure on the Blues for most of the first half 4.0
Mitch Hancox Did have some luck down the left at times, with Ferguson 5.5
Paul Caddis Playing in a deep lying midfield role Caddis didn’t do enough for me, left players like Osborn and Vaughan in too much space to allow them to create openings 3.5
Emyr Huws The youngster followed his screamer vs Middlesborough with a fairly poor display, like the whole central midfield for Birmingham he seemed to lack passion and allowed Forests 3 CMs to overrun them 4.5
Callum Reilly The young Irishman did provide some spirited midfield runs forward but again, did not do enough off the ball 5.0
Shane Ferguson The on loan man didn’t threaten Greg Halford at RB for any of the 45 minutes he was on the pitch, maybe played to stout up his back line, Lee Clarke subbed Ferguson at halftime. 3.0
Chris Burke A player with history in this fixture, often being the vain of Forest, Burke did not have a great game. Crossing left a lot to be desire and he did not follow Forests LBs runs forward 4.5
Nikola Zigic Failed to do the basics a 6 foot 8 inch forward would be expected to do, win headers and hold up the ball. poor body language does not help him either 3.5

Substitutions

Jordan Ibe The Liverpool man was impressive in the second half, visibly making an with his pacey direct runs causing some problems for the hosts 6.5
Federico Macheda Really changed the game for his side, a switch to a 4-4-2 formation when he was introduced led to his team looking threatening, himself specifically 7.0
Peter Lovenkrands Replaced the hapless Zigic and with extremely imaginary shoes to fill still did not looking particularly dangerous 4.5

 

Man of the Match

David Vaughan: Just how well Vaughan played could be seen by what happened when he was substituted on 60 minutes. His guile and class in midfield gave Forest the ability to play the ball forward and she he was replaced by Jonathan Greening they became more direct and Birmingham start pushing up 9.0

 

 


About Author

Nottingham Forest supporter home and away, Andy Reid's left foot appreciator. 17 at college and hoping to go on to take Sports Journalism at uni.