There are some games that it is difficult to take any real positives out of and today was a case in point. The sending off of Kermorgant was harsh, but it was difficult to say that it was a turning point in the game because Forest were all over us before then. Their passing was sublime, not least that of Andy Reid, and if we managed to get possession of the ball, we had difficulty holding on to it or doing anything with it. Our play lacked creativity and the confidence of Forest contrasted with our lack of self-belief. The gap between a lower mid-table team and one contending for promotion showed.
I think it was a good idea to bring on Fuller for Stephens, who had been particularly disappointing, at half time. But any slim chance we had of getting back in the game was lost when Hamer spilled the ball and conceded the second goal. He has been costing us rather too much recently. Admittedly, the team continued to battle away and at least the scoreline was kept down to 0-2. But this was a poor performance.
Nottingham Forest won two corners in the first ten minutes. Majewski should have been booked for a challenge and this may have contributed to later problems. It was nearly half an hour before we got the ball in their box to win a corner through good work by Wiggins. Shortly afterwards he was called on for good defensive work.
Halford had been winding Kermorgant up and the Breton kicked out at him. Most of the Forest players decided to get involved and the referee and the East Stand lino had to get in between them. It seemed as if the referee was going to be yellow, but then he was on his radio and the West Stand linesman got involved, leading to the red card being shown. Chris Powell accepted afterwards that it was a red card and indicated that he was none too pleased with Kermorgant.
We managed to get to half-time holding on, but in part because Forest had squandered some chances.
Addicks 0, Forest 0
The hapless Stephens was taken off to be replaced by Fuller after the break. We gave Forest a soft corner within the first minute which led to a second which Hamer caught. Forest went ahead through Majewski eight minutes into the half, with Chris Solly being out manoeuvred and Reid showing great vision in the pass that set up the goal scorer. Wagstaff was taken off and replaced by Haynes. However, Hamer then spilled the ball from a tame shot and it was 0-2. Hamer did make a good save to prevent it going to 0-3. We won some corners and free kicks in the latter part of the game, but were not able to do anything with them. Halford got a late yellow card.
It was a dismal performance. If one wanted any confirmation, the stats show that we had just one shot on target and two off target compared with twelve and ten for Forest. We had three corners to their nine and possession was two to one in their favour.
Ivy the Terrible has given the Silver Bone to Rhoys Wiggins who was one of the very few players who had a good game with some excellent defensive work and some creativity going forward. Hamer did make at least one good save, but his errors are a real nightmare. Whether Button is any better is open to question and, in any case, he is not used to working with the defence. Solly was below his best, making some mistakes, in particular arguably at fault for the first goal. Cort provided some good defensive work on occasions. As far as I could see, Morrison was generally solid, but his challenge on Majewski for the opener was weak. Dervitte was so poor I almost forgot to mention him, lumbering around the pitch to no real effect. Wagstaff contributed very little. Pritchard was simply out of his depth and had a poor game. Stephens was a real disaster in the first half, making a number of errors. Jackson did get involved to good effect a few times, but his free kicks were below par. Whether or not he should have been sent off Kermorgant should never have lashed out in the first place. Fuller tried when he came on, but there was a big gap between him and the midfield. Haynes was more of a threat than Fuller, but the game was beyond redemption by that stage. New boy Obika had a cameo and it is not possible to judge very much from that. Initial reaction to his arrival from fans has been generally negative, but as far as Wright-Phillips is concerned, he may have simply wanted to play football and Powell allowed him to do that.
Needless to say, Juneau the Soccer Cat has sent the referee back to West Yorkshire with a very loud hiss of the match.