Sunday, 11 December 2016

Derby County vs Nottingham Forest: As it happened

I've decided to try something new for the big game today - an 'as live' account of the thoughts that go through my head during a game. I expect it'll be a mix of the irrational and nonsensical. I'm genuinely typing as I go, so I've no idea what awaits. Here goes...

11.30: Right, we're live on Sky. Again. Let's hope it ends up the same as the last three. The team news has already been pored over and, remarkably, it's an unchanged XI. The first time this season. Britt doesn't even make the bench and he continues to be a real worry. I'm slightly surprised he hasn't gone for Vellios over Bendtner for 'work rate' reasons but we've got to hope The Lord is going to get sharper with more game time. I fear today is the day that our luck runs out, I just hope I'm wrong. Frankly, I'm never confident about these games.

11.35: Psycho is on punditry. What. A. Man. If only he were playing...

11.45: Hang on, Henri is injured in the warm up. Just our luck. That's now 20 different players injured this season (I wrote about the issue here). This really needs sorting. Carayol in to replace him - so much for an unchanged team.

Kick off: Derby trying to nick Seven Nation Army off the Germans. Never mind, fits our Bobby Zamora song nicely.

2: Why do you always need the loo as soon as the game starts? Could be a long half.

3: Chance to break down the right but Cash can't quite find the cross. Bendtner pulling right and causing a little confusion. Interesting.

5: A Tom Ince shank (love those!) gives us the ball for a break. Carayol marauds but inexplicably shoots right up someone's backside when he should've passed. Frustrating.

7: Who are Avon Tyres and why is their logo bigger than the player names on the Sheep shirts? Tinpot or a sign of what's needed to make money in this grubby old game these days?

9: First flashpoint. Bradley Johnson and Ben Osborn involved in some early handbags. Ben did foul him but Johnson plonked his sizeable backside on Benny. Both booked.

10: Another break and we do look dangerous. Carayol, though, again fails to make the killer pass. Can't let too many of these opportunities go.

11: Turns out Bent and Perquis were also booked during the Osborn/Johnson melee. For an 'aggressive attitude'. Don't put your house on that being the end of the cards.

14: Lots of stray passes. Oh for David Vaughan...

15: Bent ends up sprawled on the floor from a cross. Heart in mouth moment but he was miles away from Mills. Phew.

16: Shambolic defending leaves Keogh a free header that he, luckily, does little with. He might cry...

20: Olsson is dangerous, as we've seen in this fixture before. He skips passed Cash but can't get his cross past Perquis.

21: Bendtner is still pulling wide which is allowing him to pick up the ball in space. Trouble is, we need him in the middle too...

25: Derby are getting A LOT of the ball in our half and we're sinking deeper and deeper. We can spring forward though and a Carayol shot forces a corner. It's wasted though. Another opportunity passed up.

26: Dangerous Derby break ends up with a late challenge from Bent on Lichaj. He's already been booked. Is this? Could this? Will it? No, just a free kick. Forest fans in good voice, keep it up lads.

31: Olsson down but it was a good challenge. Derby can't complain, they set the tone for not kicking the ball out in these games after all.

32: Balls. Double balls. Derby score. An own goal by Bendtner from a corner. Ruddy hell. Something of a freak goal. Now we'll see what we're made of. Wonder where they got the idea of 'Chelsea Dagger' for goal music?

35: Forest are losing, sing the Derby fans. Good at maths that lot. Fear they could have more to sing about soon, we've gone into our shell.

37: Perquis fluffs a header and nearly lets Bent in. Nerves continue to jangle.

39: Lam roams forward and feeds Kasami on the edge of the box for the lamest of efforts. It's our first shot on target but it barely deserves to count. I really don't have any confidence in Kasami.

40: Another corner for them and another worrying moment. We don't do 'calm' do we?

42: Osborn is getting no time on the ball at all. They know they need to cut him out of the game and they're doing it well.

44: Bendtner 'makes sure' of a challenge to win a free kick. Good opportunity...

45: Osborn takes and it's tamely headed to Carson. Tame is the word to describe our end product at the moment.

46: Ince comes to the left and finds a cross to Russell who can't quite finish the header. Worrying.

46: The game has livened up. A Mills flick-on causes chaos - for us as much as them - but somehow comes to Cash who strikes a sweet shot that is saved by Carson. Nothing tame about that - a good hit and our best effort.

HALF TIME: And breathe. We've been here before. They led at half time to an own goal from a corner a couple of years ago - could it happen again? Let's cling to that hope. On the other hand, it seems set up for a 3-0 with a red card to Osborn.

Right, I've had some toast, I've got a cup of tea, I've had a wee. I'm ready for the second half, are you?!

Coral offering 10/1 on Bendtner to score next. Hmm, in which end?

Second half begins after 'Welcome to the jungle' blares out. Hang on, wasn't that one we used to use too? Still, might offend some people here, but that song is utter garbage isn't it? Overrated. Plus, they don't have rams in jungles do they?

49: Carayol is playing further back now which seems odd. Why not put Vaughan there? Just as I type Carayol gives the ball away and Lam picks up a booking for a foul.

52: Free kick in and Bendtner - again! - heads to goal. He hits the post. Flaming heck. Any chance of aiming the right way Nick. Would Coral have paid out?!

54: Christ. Mr Man of the Match himself scores. Superb ball from Baird bisects the defence and, to be fair, it's a top quality finish. He can't resist celebrating towards the Forest fans of course - every bit as annoying as his dad. You fear that's us done and dusted here. Changes needed Philippe.

57: Cash blazes a ball half way back down the A52 and we're struggling to piece together an attacking move. Got to be more assured on the ball or this could become embarrassing.

59: Carayol displays the touch of a man who hasn't got a clue where he's playing. Don't worry Muzzy, no-one else knows either. He's replaced by Vellios. Did Mancienne signal for a back four?

61: More blocks than a high level on Tetris as we just, just, keep Derby at bay. It's a bit desperate right now. Need to settle.

63: Bugger, again. They're ripping us to shreds now. Kasami and Lam all at sea. Good save from Stojkovic to stop Russell but Hughes pounces to make it 3. Need to change things in the middle.

68: Sky flash up a graphic to say they've had 28 touches in our area, we've had 4 in theirs. Thanks Sky.

69: On comes Pereira. Will he make it to the end of the game without getting sent off?

71. Vydra on for Bent. Vydra. We all know what happens next right?

73: A slow, lingering, painful death. We can't seem to mount a sustained an dangerous attack and the formation is a bit of a mess. Cash is on a one-man mission to make something happen but can't.

77: Why does Kasami underhit so many passes? How does he get a place in the team? Not good enough.

80: Tepid shot from Kasami. Add that to 'tame' on the Kasami word list.

83: Vaughan lives! Here he is at last! Remarkably it's for Cash.

86: Pereira gets his head down and keeps running. Sadly, like the rest of our play, there is little direction and it fizzles out. He hasn't got booked yet though.

88: Vaughan has shown more composure in five minutes than the rest of the midfield. Really should have started this game.

90: I'd forgotten Bendtner was on. I think he had forgotten too.

92: *Irony klaxon* Tom Ince named man of the match.

94: That's all folks. A very forgettable affair. Sadly looked like a lower mid table side taking on a top six contender. Need some points at home to put this behind us. Feared our luck was going to run out today  and it did. You can't be so careless on the ball and keep winning games. Gutted. Let's never speak of this again.

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