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Forest 2 - Wednesday 1

The City Ground, Nottingham

06/02/10 - 3pm

Attendance: 27,900

Forest 2-1 Wednesday

DEXTER Blackstock hit a brace as unlucky Wednesday went down to a 2-1 defeat against promotion-hunting Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday.

The former Southampton striker converted a controversial first-half penalty, given for a handball against Owls' defender Darren Purse, before firing in the winner late on after Luke Varney had levelled for Alan Irvine's men.

The defeat still leaves Wednesday in the thick of relegation trouble but Irvine and the travelling Wednesdayites will be able to take plenty from the performance against the Championship's in-form side.

Irvine made just one change to the side that beat Plymouth last time out with Frank Simek making a welcome return at right-back in place of the injured Lewis Buxton, who's out sidelined for four weeks.

Wednesday were always underdogs going into the game, and although Forest lost their first game in 20 at rivals Derby County last time out, that defeat only acted as a wake-up call for a Forest side gunning for a return to the Premier League this season.

Irvine already enjoyed a victory over Forest boss Billy Davies going into the game after bagging the Manager of the Month award for the month of January in the Championship.

But, as everyone is aware, the accolade isn't always a welcome one, with the dreaded 'curse' of the award often making an impact in the following match.

It was more of same at the City Ground, although that would be taking something away from a Forest side packed full of talent thanks to a big spending budget.

It was the Owls that made a bright start to the game and Luke Varney was the first to test Forest stopper Lee Camp, but with no real threat to the home goal.

Wednesday were looking organised all over the pitch, something which Irvine has highlighted as room for improvement since his appointment as manager, and chances were rare at both ends.

That was until midway through the first-half when Forest took the lead in controversial circumstances.

Blackstock struck an effort against Owls skipper Darren Purse, and the referee deemed it to be against his arm, pointing to the spot.

Blackstock duly stepped up and tucked the ball away for the opener after Wednesday players had surrounded the referee to question his decision.

It was a blow to a Wednesday side that, although not testing Camp much, had started in determined fashion and had somewhat silenced the home support after an even opening.

It was now all to do for the visitors, and the goal gave Forest a significant confidence boost, settling them into their stride.

Chances fell to both Robert Earnshaw and Nathan Tyson as Forest upped their game, but the Owls defence kept firm to keep the visitors in the game until the break.

Half-Time: Forest 1-0 Wednesday

The start to the second half was key if Wednesday wanted to get anything from the game, and they made a bright start, taking the game to their hosts.

Chances were few and far between, as throughout the contest, but the Owls came close to finding the back of the net through a Darren Potter free-kick.

The midfielder stepped up and sent an effort which deflected off the Forest wall and looped onto the crossbar and to safety to the relief of Camp, who had no chance of keeping the effort out.

It was the best effort of the second half to date and an effort which visibly lifted the Owls, and their 4,000-plus strong travelling support.

If anything, the hosts were looking anything-but comfortable on their lead, letting Wednesday back in to the contest and not really troubling Lee Grant at the other end.

A second would have no doubt killed the game, but despite Forest's numerous attacking options, the Owls defence were looking comfortable.

Irvine looked to changed the game with the introduction of Etienne Esajas and Leon Clarke from the bench, and it worked.

Esajas sent a low, powerful shot across the goal which the Forest defence failed to deal with and Luke Varney was well-positioned to drill home the leveller on 73 minutes.

It should have given the visitors something to show for their efforts.

But as Wednesday had the momentum, and if anything looked the more likely to grab the winner, it was Forest who carved out the best chance and gladly took it to regain the lead with just over ten minutes remaining.

Chris Cohen's deep free-kick saw Grant alert to a Blackstock effort, but the Owls' stopper had no reply to the former Southampton striker's second effort which found the back of the net.

It was enough to give Forest the win, and although Wednesday will no doubt be disappointed with the defeat, they can take plenty of positives from the performance.

Full-Time: Forest 2-1 Wednesday

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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 6 2010

Time: 6:28PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
didnt go today. but it sounds we should have got sometihng from the game. nice to see Varney get another goal. how did simek play???? was it the right result?
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06/02/2010 18:32:00

1st half we didnt do much but were comfortable, 2nd we dominated. definatley should of got something. never a pen the ref even indicated tried to block his face. played well but no creativity, which to me is massively worrying, i dont know the last time we scored from a good pass
Report Abuse
06/02/2010 20:59:00

Smiggy agree wi wot u sed,wa dissappointed wi sum players performances today,Tudgay,Potter,Gray n Worse sori Purse n for pen think ref wa indicating purse tried blocking wi his hands but i thought it hit his back will av to wait n c later.1st half we got nothing from the ref n his linesman.2nd half came out fighting n put them on back foot cant really remember us avin a decent shot on goal to be honest.Soares wasnt happy bout being subbed which was gud to c him wanting to stay on,Clarke did well wen came on then dissapeared out of game and Esajas well he did more running warming up.Missing a play maker like Waddle or Sheridan and a goal getter like Hirsty n Varadi.Think tudders shud be dropped to bench to giv him a kick up the arse lol.Oh well 2 home games n must wins Blackpool n Doni.
Report Abuse
06/02/2010 21:43:00

Think Esajas should get a start next match. Sometimes he can be a little lazy but can also change a game, he gives us width which we lack. Don't agree with Ollyowl170, think Tudgay works hard and but needs more goals.
vic mobley
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06/02/2010 22:19:00

i reckon we need at least 7 points out of 9 from our next three games - blackpool, donny, and ipswich. we need to make sure we win most of our homes games as our away form is not great. Also especially as a few result went against us today.
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06/02/2010 22:46:00

i agree, i think we could do with Hirst, Waddle and Sheridan. lol but then of course they are among some of the best players we've ever had
Hirsty's Shinpads
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07/02/2010 12:09:00

Vic that was my point its ok grafting but his job is to score goals and yesterday even Irvine was avin ago @ him from the sideline.He works n wins headers but to no affect in areas that count.
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07/02/2010 13:30:00

im shocked that he's not thinking of bring anyone else in!!! why doesnt he release esajas and gray & find wingers that will actually have a good impact on the game. gray is too defensive and esajas doesnt really do anything in my opinion.
Report Abuse
07/02/2010 17:36:00

That ref is bloody awful, put the 'Kettle' on, take him off more like!! He certainly got the Wednesday players boiling with that decision.
Report Abuse
07/02/2010 19:21:00

You're missing the point. We were never expected to get anything out of yesterday. At the start of the season expectations were different but right now survival will seem like success after the first half of a season that we've suffered. The players we have now are the players we'll have at the end of the season. No use complaining, no use expecting champagne football. Seven wins is what Al Irvine has identified and seven wins is what we need. The next 4 games are all winnable. This month will define our season, the next 4 games, not the last one. I'll take winning ugly and scoring from set-pieces if that's what's on offer. We had enough of playing people off the park and coming away with nothing under BL. Survive, give Mr Irvine the summer and see what he does then.
Report Abuse
07/02/2010 21:18:00

robc and defending set pieces and corners lol and yes sussexowl ref wa shocking that decission i think was tudders wen he tackled sum1 in front of linesman and linesman didnt flag yet ref blew for a freekick he spoilt the game.
Report Abuse
08/02/2010 08:00:00

Neither linesman made a decision during the whole of the game and the ref wanted to have HIS day in front of a big crowd.We should have had something out of the game for all our efforts.
Report Abuse
08/02/2010 14:07:00


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