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Nottingham Forest 2 Watford 4 (18/08/2009) 19/08/2009

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five thunks from a hugely enjoyable evening at the City Ground:

1- My first game of the season after an eventful and often stressful summer… and this was just what the doctor ordered. A wonderfully open, chaotic second division game of football, with just enough individual excellence and collective calamity to ensure the full attention of all in the stadium throughout (save the many early Forest departees, natch). I’d been apprehensive, based on reports of unconvincing Watford performances and Forest’s impotent dominance of West Brom but we looked far better than advertised… Forest being far less than a sum of their parts only tells half the story. Poor teams don’t score four times away from home against anybody.

2- That said… the crucial factor in this game could scarcely have been more evident had Tommy Smith been followed around by a luminous pointing finger sporting the caption “the difference between the two sides”. If this is to be Smudger’s last outing for the Hornets then what a way to go… one magnificent strike of his own, a sublime piece of skill to set up Graham’s opener, a fine header the scraps of which Mike Williamson capitalised on and a composed tee-up for Tom Cleverley as we won the game on the break were merely the consequential details of a virtuoso performance. You can’t help but hope he’ll stay, despite evidence to the contrary, but good luck Tommy wherever you end up.

3- Tom Cleverley… nimble, clever, confident. Did drift out of the game, particularly in the first half, and seemed to struggle with his defensive positioning, particularly after switching wings to accommodate McAnuff’s injury, but this looks like a good’un to enjoy, however long his spell with us lasts.

4- Mike Williamson. Colin Foster. Again. That’s all. Would be nice to have another tall bloke in the side, mind… it shouldn’t be a mystery who we’re trying to hit from set pieces, even for Billy Davies.

5- On this evidence, Forest look like providing some comedy entertainment for however long it takes them to get their shit together. Competent but impotent and tetchy, not abetted by a notoriously impatient home support there’s quite a lot wrong with this side despite prodigious summer outlay. Two cases in point… first, you don’t equalise on half time at home to roars of acclaim, dominate most of the second half and still lose by two goals. Second, when you’re chasing a game, the ball’s bouncing in a crowded penalty area and nobody’s challenging Scott Loach for the ball, you’ve got a problem.


1. Wolery - 19/08/2009

Fun. I mean, at the time it was fun, but the day after – working in Nottingham with a bunch of Forest fans – it’s even funnier.

A nice omen before the match, being able to wish the team good luck at my hotel. Didn’t see Tommy and Jay board the bus, but then bumped into them both in the lift, to much relief (from me anyway).

Is it really beyond the bounds of possibility to keep Tommy? After that performance?

Adebola is still a Thug. Hendo would never have stayed on the pitch after that elbow – how did Adebola only manage a yellow? (Perhaps the ref had guilt – missed a blatant Williamson handball in the first half, according to my office colleagues…)

Matt’s summed up the match well, so I’d only add something about the Forest fans. I was reminded to be careful what I wish for. We may be amongst the quietest home fans in the league, but when we do sing we generally produce something more than hate-filled chants about L*ton (though admittedly they’re in the catalogue). All I heard from the home fans last night was constant Derby-bashing. Grow up.

David - 20/08/2009

I was sitting behind the goal in the Trent End – after we scored our third there were two Forest fans knocking lumps out of each other – classy.

Williamson’s handball – how did the ref miss it? I don’t think there was a great deal of intent but it was pretty blatant.

Before the game we were telling the Forest fan we were with that we would get thumped – I predicted 1-0 to Forest, my sister wanted 3-0. After the match the man from Victor Chandler came up and asked if we had any winning bets – at 100-1 for 2-4, if only…

And after seeing two games I don’t think Severin is the answer, whatever the question is. Depending on what happens with Tommy between now and WSC I’d like to see a reshuffle with Ross and Cleverly in the middle, you can have Cowie/TS/Jobi (if fit) on the wings and AN Other in the hole or up top with Danny Graham.

2. Kris - 19/08/2009

I didn’t expect that result. I expected us to lose or maybe battle to a goalless draw. But to win and score 4. Furthermore, reports our our style and approach makes me very happy indeed.

But the best thing about the result is it came just as feeble-minded individuals were starting to call for Malky’s head on various forums claiming he does not have what it takes to manage at this level. And whilst one swallow does not a summer make, it takes more than 3 matches to make decisions about a manager who – in the current circumstances – haven’t done much wrong at all – but certainly quite a lot of good.

On the player front it will be hard to see Tommy go. A true legend and good luck to him when that deals finally done. It will be a HUGE blow to our chances of survival, but with a few shrewd loans/permanent signings like the clever boy from ManUre – who knows – we may do good.

3. Harefield Hornet - 19/08/2009

Great Result – more of the same please but….. we all know this is unlikely in the short term if TS is sold to Reading as todays bulletins suggest. It appears from previous Club statements that the emphasis is to get him off the wage bill as much as raising a quick ยฃ1.5M, but no matter how philosphical I try to remain I know I am going sulk like hell if he goes to R**ding!

Please, Please, – anywhere but bloody R**ding!

4. simonw - 19/08/2009

He’s young
He’s quick
He sounds like he ain’t thick
Cleverlee, Cleverleeeeee

5. Rish eighteensixtyfive - 19/08/2009

Forest fan here: very fair report, I think.

Forest were very disjointed, and Watford closed down well and capitalised on the Reds’ deficiencies. You thoroughly deserved the win, although how the ref and lino didn’t see Williamson’s handball, I will never know. Doesn’t make much difference to me, we conceded four goals at home so therefore we definitely deserved to lose.

I have linked to this report in my match report on our Forest blog http://www.eighteensixtyfive.co.uk. Do pop in if you fancy a Red perspective.

6. Flippo Galli - 20/08/2009

A wonderful result – wasn’t a four goal performance – but it was gutsy, and in times gone past, we may very well have capitulated under the ‘pressure’ that Forest showed once they had their second. So it was reassuring to see some confident positining once we had our two goal lead – wasn’t an 11 man, park the team bus effort.

Which makes me think, was it Sheff Utd away in 2006 that we last scored 4 away from home?

7. Ian Lay - 20/08/2009

Greetings Forest Fan……

Always had a soft spot for Forest. Partly because your Internet Football Team were great friends with Watford IFC, which I was lucky enough to be involved with a few years ago.

I read your very frank, and honest report. Put yours and this one togther and it probably sums the match up nicely. Your quoting of Matt’s final thunk was a very nice touch.

With all the new signings it will probably take a while for Forest to gel. And as we were thinking after the Sheff Utd game, it can only get better.

BTW… on a very pedantic note….Matt and Ig don’t write match reports anymore. It’s just “thunks” now….all be it long, articulted thunks that when you put them togther make some kind of match report! ๐Ÿ˜‰



Rish eighteensixtyfive - 21/08/2009

Thanks Ian. I have never heard of a “thunk” – is that some kind of southern word? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Billy Davies infuriates me but I remain relatively confident that he will do the job. Doesn’t mean I have to like him though. I don’t like Malky Mackay – mainly because when he was playing for Norwich he clearly kicked Jon Olav Hjelde in the small of his back when he was down, and got away with it. Not Watford’s fault though!

As you say, things can only get better. Please god let them get better…

Ian Lay - 21/08/2009


Goodness knows what it means exactly. Never seen it used before, accept on BHappy. Ig has got an English degree I believe and Matt’s vocabularly is wide and varied.

Makes you wonder why they couldn’t come up with something better than Thunk! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Only joking guys honest.

Joking aside… I think you’ll climb clear of any problems. I think Plymouth and Barnsley are going to really struggle this season. Add Swansea to that list, now they’ve lost their excellent manager, and you’re safe already!

Good luck this weekend.



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