Lucky Col
Dance as though nobody's watching, love like it's never going to hurt

Monday, August 07, 2006

Leeds & Bradford

Forest v Leeds, 29 July
I like pre-season friendlies. All the possibilities for a few pints with none of the worries about the result, what could be better ? Leeds turned up with more than a few of their expensive Premiership liggers and quite promptly took advantage of Forest's uncertainty in defensive formation, 1:0 down after less than 2 minutes did not bode well.

Indeed, for the first 20 minutes, we were awful.

Dirty Leeds lived up to their well earned name, including a kick out from Neil Sullivan on Nathan Tyson. Sullivan obviously felt a touch jealous as all the other Leeds defenders had had a kick at Tyson, so why shouldn't he. The referee hadn't seen this, but it was clearly in the back of his mind when he awarded Forest's equalizer with more than a touch on the goalkeeper in the build-up. Swings & roundabouts.

Second half and it was Forest's turn to start like a train, Grant Holt scoring within the first two minutes. Neil Harris missed a good chance when clean through, but Forest were creating more and playing better than their Championship opponents. A quickly taken Leeds free-kick levelled the scores and a Wes Morgan OG in the last minute made the score look frankly generous to the higher league side. Maybe this could be our season after all …..

Forest v Bradford, 5 August
It doesn't seem like two minutes since I was waiting half an hour to be served in a Bradford pub on the last day of last season, Zidane's head-butt seems just yesterday and how long is it since Rooney was last sent off ? This close season has flown by and here we are again on the opening day, all teams level, all teams' expectation levels raised and Leicester already bottom of the Championship.

Three minutes in and the season is potentially over. Nathan Tyson dangling his leg into what should have been a 50:50 challenge and he's limping off. Doesn't look good. Grant Holt lumbers off the bench as soon as he finds a shirt big enough to fit him.

There's only one thing about Grant Holt that I like, and that's that he makes me look fit. If he can make it professionally, I'm still in with a chance.

Just to spite me, Holt then proceeds to dance through two defenders down the right and put in a perfect cross for James Perch, his sliced effort rolling into the path of Julian Bennett for the first goal of the season. Forest were sometimes good going forward, Lester making a nuisance of himself as usual, but more times than not, unbearably slow in the build up. Bradford had more chances, but were limited to hopeful long shots. When they did find the target, Paul Smith showed his class making a couple of decent saves. He could become a pivotal signing this season. Neil Harris will never score in a Forest shirt, and when presented with a penalty late on, hit the goalkeeper from 12 yards.

3 points and a winning start is all you can ask for, but Tyson's injury could go a long way to establishing Forest's long term results this season. A point away at Blackpool on Tuesday night wouldn't necessarily be a bad result, but a defeat like Walsall away last season at the same point would be painfully familiar.


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