Saturday, 16 August 2008

Match day in exile

The only thing more nerve racking then being at the game is not being at the game it seems! Whenever not following the Tricky Trees at the City Ground or around the country on their travels a tense day awaits.

Living as I do outside of the Radio Nottingham range and too tight to spalsh out on Forest World my match day fix is fed by Jeff Stelling and the gang on Sky Sports News, various websites on the laptop and texts from a friend who has braved the trip to deepest darkest south Wales.

Here's how the day panned out for me -

14.20 - Official Forest site reports the line up as Smith, Chambers, Bennett, Wilson, Morgan, Moussi, Perch, McGugan, Cohen, Martin, Earnshaw with Roberts, Breckin, McCleary, Thornhill, Newbold. New boy Martin in for injured Davies - frustrating to see that we get someone in only for another to join the long treatment room list. Still looks light up top - the midfield will have to repeat last weeks success. Hopefully Earnshaw can add to his midweek brace against Morecambe.

14.30 - A check back shows the Swans are lining up as follows - De Vries, Williams, Painter, Monk, Bodde, Britton, Pratley, Gower, Collins, Butler, Scotland. Subs - Rangel, Gomez, Brandy, Pintado, Bauza. There's certainly some talent there and we shouldn't forget that Swansea were the runaway champions last year, 10 points above us.

14.32 - My mate texts me to say he has Chambers and McGugan in the sweep, he might fancy his chances on set pieces....

14.38 - Just read on the BBC website that Leicester will face Hartlepool away in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Thank god we haven't got that to contend with this year!

14.41 - Arsenal beat West Brom 1-0, maybe it's just me but I would love to go to the Emirates. Fingers crossed for the FA Cup perhaps.

14.59 - Right i'm all set and ready to go. Sky Sports News (SSN) is on, i've got the official site, BBC, Evening Post text commentary and Vital Forest all open, my mobiles poised for any texts come on uuuuuuuu reds!

15.11 - 1-0 down. Own goal from Smith. Sounds a bit unlucky, Britton hit the post and cannoned in off Smith according to SSN. This is going to be a big test now....

15.26 - Text commentaries are rubbish aren't they? Great if you want to know about attacking or defensive throw ins being taken but terrible for interesting information. Moussi's been booked and they've had 59% of the possession. Can we play the sort of football away that we did at home? Do we need more of a presence up front in these tough games? Come on Forest!

15.37 - EQUALISER!! SSN says Swansea were carving us apart but against the run of play we're back in the game! Sounds as though De Vries missed a cross from Martin and James Perch poked home! What was he doing in the box??! Who cares!! Poacher Perch! Uuuuuuuuu reds!

15.40 - The goal is described like this on text commentary - Cross by Lee Martin (Nottm Forest), goal by James Perch (Nottm Forest) right-footed (low centre of goal) from centre of penalty area (6 yards).Swansea 1-1 Nottm Forest. Assist (cross) by Lee Martin (Nottm Forest) from right wing. Precise and unimaginative but it's good news at least!

15.51 - SSN finally confirms it's half time at the Liberty Stadium. Queue chance for a quick comfort break and chance to relax for a short while.

15.53 - Text from my mate - "They should've been out of sight. Only got going in the last 15 mins." Hopefully we'll come out stronger second half after getting the goal.

15.58 - Reading, Sheff Utd, Southampton, Watford all winning, no away sides ahead in the Championship. I'd take this now to be honest.

16.03 - Another text "Earnshaw not had a kick. Needs help up top." Always was going to be a problem with the injury crisis and this line up. Let's hope he can pounce on something out of the blue...

16.12 - SSN reporter says Swansea playing much the better football but still all square. Could be a long half. A scrappy smash and grab would be fantastic......

16.14 - Hat trick for Billy Sharp at the Blunts. Unfortunately I reckon they will be strong this year. Norwich losing - shame eh Sammy!

16.32 - 2-1 Swansea. Smith saves a penalty from Bodde who scores the rebound. Has CC got anything up his sleeve to rescue a point? Surely worth a burst of McCleary.

16.40 - Still no sign of a sub on the text commentaries. We've reached the heady heights of 45% possession though apparently. Come on Forest, let's nick something...

16.42 - SSN says Earnshaw looking exposed and we're struggling, Swans well worth their lead. Doesn't sound good.....

16.46 - McCleary on, come on Forest, we need to finish with a flourish.

16.48 - 3-1 Swansea, must be game over now. Pintado. To be fair sounds like we've been totally outplayed.

16.56 - SSN confirms the result. A 3-1 defeat.

Well, it's torture trying to exact as much information as you can from text commentaries and SSN updates, especially when things aren't going your way.

Sounds from all accounts as though we were outplayed and deserved to lose. They'll be plenty more tough trips in store in this league (the next one's at Wolves) and we'll need to carry a bit more threat and nous to compete I fear but it's still early days yet and we need to pick ourselves up and get ready for the Hornets at home next Saturday...

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