Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Nottingham Forest 1 Rotherham United 1
I was planning to go to Matlock v Ilkeston but managed to blag a couple of tickets for today's game; Sticky Junior is a big Forest fan and I admire him for that; you can't let your son down can you? "The Skipper" (Joe) is wearing a red England shirt with Lampard on it. We tease him saying that the Forest fans will chase him down the street. He's not amused and turns it inside out.
We're driving to County Hall, the boys have slipped a Girls Aloud medley cd on, that bloody group is haunting me!
Rotherham Utd are today's visitors, they are rock bottom, dead and buried and only have pride and contracts to play for. They have just sold Nottingham born Will Hoskins and ex- Stag, Lee Williamson, to Premiership Watford for big bucks; it has kept them in business.
Rotherham is in South Yorkshire and the borough has a population of 250,000. It's famous for Iron, Steel, Coal and more importantly The Chuckle Brothers - perhaps it was this pair of clowns who made the decision to sack their legendary manager Ronnie Moore - it's been all downhill since. Their current manager is Mark Robins, who many moons ago scored a vital goal for Man Utd at The City Ground to famously save Alex Ferguson's job.
We're sat in The Lower Brian Clough Stand, Trent End Side, the pitch looks immaculate. Four seats down there's a bloke with the most amazing Mohican haircut, people complain they can't see behind him.
The first-half is entertaining fayre for the neutral. The Millers are a neat and tidy outfit and don't look bottom four material to me (they were deducted 10 points at the start of the season for financial difficulties). They take the lead on ten minutes in spectacular style with an 18 yard strike from ex-Fox and Nottingham born Chris O'Grady; at £65,000 he is a bargain.
Paul Smith, the Forest keeper is having a torrid afternoon, he can catch and punch thin air for fun. According to soccerbase.com Calderwood laid-out £500,000 for this fool. I can only presume on the three outings that I have seen that reserve keeper Pedersen is equally as bad! The crowd are on his back, Forest fans are unforgiving, he won't roll it to the the full-backs and his kicking is poor.
The Reds finally get their act together and equalise through a Grant Holt penalty after Nathan Tyson is fouled. This is the fifth time I've seen Tyson play, I always seem to catch him on an off-day and I'm not convinced by him. He has pace and is a cool finisher but his touch is poor, he is knocked off the ball too easily and is not the bravest; he looks like he could do with a good meal and a few months in the gym. He is the victim of a strong tackle and fails to show-up for the second period.
Snow Patrol is the best the HMV Store can come up with at half-time.
The Millers grow in confidence, Martin Woods their No.23 looks a tidy player, he is pinging it around the park with his cultured left foot. Their left back Brogan is only 18 years old, he looks a fine prospect. O'Grady and Henderson both miss gift-wrapped chances.
Forest look a little one dimensional, Commons is getting little change out of the full-backs. Calderwood is constantly shuffling his pack. Commons swaps wings, he goes three at the back, sometimes Perch is central, then he is wide.
The impressive Alan Wright is sacrificed for the more direct Julian Bennett. It's all to no avail, Lester and Holt pose little threat to the visitors' defence. Commons weak shot is cleared off the line.
Time is up, it's a missed opportunity, rivals Bristol City have been beaten but Rotherham are more than worth the draw.
Nottingham Forest 1 Holt Rotherham Utd 1 O'Grady
Man of The Match: Martin Woods