In spite of the fact that the temperature has not gone above freezing
over the last three days the match, unlike many others, was able to go
ahead. Platt started the match with the same line-up that beat Crewe on
Boxing Day and Norwich could have easily put out the Crewe side in Yellow
shirts for the way they played!
The first half was almost without event although on 16 minutes nearly
half of the Forest team had shots on goal in a flurry of activity inside
the Norwich goalmouth, which had started from what looked like a failed
clearance from their keeper. Five minutes later John had a good chance
to score but put the ball wide. Brennan and Harewood both put in good
crosses but, once again, the finishing just wasn't there. So, on the whole
a poor half of football with only Olsen and Prutton really putting in
the required effort - apart, of course, from Bart-Williams who so rarely
puts a foot wrong that I forget to mention him. Harewood and John never
really looked like scoring and Harewood overall had a very quiet half,
not even causing the havoc up front for which he is known. Norwich were
totally unremarkable in every way and Forest, in spite of the poor performance,
looked the better side.
So, swiftly on to the second half. Brennan had an early solo run up the
pitch, beating off the Norwich defenders and putting the ball neatly through
to Stern John who was not able to get onto the ball. This signalled the
start of some pressure from Forest with Olsen causing problems for Norwich
down the side. But the finishing again wasn't there. Reid eventually came
on for John and this made a difference straight away. The contrast in
styles is obvious - he seems so much more alert and busy, looking for
opportunities all the time. But, he couldn't score and Platt then put
Gray on for Harewood much to the delight of most of the people around
me. By this stage nothing was going to make a difference and the match
struggled on towards the final whistle. Norwich seemed more than happy
to time waste and go home with a point although, in a quick flurry at
the end they looked briefly like they might attempt a goal.
Forest should definitely have taken the three points today, but once again
couldn't find the goalmouth. Bart-Williams is our man of the match although
more by default than anything else. Once again Forest have missed an opportunity
to cement their position in the play-off zone but instead remain in 7th
position, partly due to matches postponed and a bit of luck with other
There will be a pitch inspection at 3:00 tomorrow at St Andrews to decide
whether the New Year fixture will go ahead - dare I say that it might
be a good thing if it didn't.
Platt's problems increase with Olsen, Prutton and Edwards all being unavailable
for the Palace match.
After the game Platt was critical of the team's performance in the last
third of the field.
He commented: "I couldn't see where a goal was coming from in the
end. Our general performance was good and we had plenty of possession
but our final ball and movement up front left a lot to be desired.
"It was a great pity because we ended up taking a point from a match
that we could easily have won. In the end we were looking for a spark
somewhere or a bit of luck - but we got neither."
Nottingham Forest 2000