As the snow fell down on The Hawthorns, West Brom’s automatic promotion hopes fizzled out before our very eyes. Once again, Billy Davies had done his preparations and figured out how to get the better of Albion.
By keeping Graham Dorrans quiet in the middle of the park Forest were allowed to craft a creative and fast paced display that was capped by terrific goals from Radoslaw Majewski and Chris Cohen.
Robert Di Matteo gambled by playing new loan signing Gabriel Tamas in defence, and his shaky performance led to the first Forest goal. Dexter Blackstock found it too easy to muscle Tamas off the ball and fire the visitors into the lead. Welcome to the Championship, I heard someone say.
Confidence oozed from the Forest side and they were winning all of the individual battles, managing to find space as Albion were left chasing snowy shadows.
As Albion struggled to match the strength of the Nottingham defence, they resorted to hopeful long balls up to Luke Moore and speculative shots from outside the box, both with little effect.
For Forest, Paul Anderson was a constant threat running the wing past Zuiverloon time after time.
After the break Roman Bednar was introduced for Moore and we waited expectantly for Forest legs to tire. Instead they cooked up two wonder strikes in three minutes. Fisrtly, ponderous West Brom defending allowed Majewski to volley home from six yards and this was quickly followed by a flowing, one touch play to set up Cohen.
Amid the boos you could see some home fans leaving early – after 56 minutes. That’s how bad it was.
As tempers frayed and the referee allowed the game to boil over Albion started to find some space. An inch perfect pass from Dorrans, his first clear pass of the night, was neatly slotted home by an improving Bednar. There was some spirit in Albion at last, and even though Forest started to look a little edgy when before they had looked so confident, it was too little too late.
Not even the welcome addition of a sharp looking Miller could change that.
Scott Carson – 4
Plenty of evidence to suggest that Carson is as suspect as ever. Scuffed a few clearances and was left stranded on more than one occasion. Poor.
Joe Mattock – 4
Generally ineffective and too easily dragged into sloppy challenges.
Jonas Olsson – 5
Cumbersome defensive display that was underpinned by continuous whingeing at the referee.
Gianni Zuiverloon – 4
Left stranded on many occasions by the lively Anderson. Very little impact on the overlap.
Gabriel Tamas – 3
Awful. Truly awful. Let’s just say it can only get better from here.
Gonzalo Jara – 4
A real off-day for Jara with the majority of his passes missing the mark. Lucky to stay on the pitch after lashing out at Wilson.
Chris Brunt – 4
How many attempts at taking a corner does Brunt need? An unimaginative and error prone display when we expect much more.
Jerome Thomas – 5
Mediocre display from Thomas who was too easily manoeuvred off the ball by Forest.
Graham Dorrans – 5
Pitch perfect assist for the goal but failed to make his mark on the game. Billy Davies had done his homework.
Luke Moore – 4
Just like in the QPR game, Moore couldn’t make any impact on the game at all. Lightweight.
Simon Cox – 5
Had trouble coping under pressure up front but brought some energy to the side and tracked back whenever we lost possession. Berated Zuiverloon for taking his eye of Anderson’s dangerous runs.
Roman Bednar – 6
Great goal and plenty of useful muscular holding of the ball. Should have started in place of Moore.
Ishmael Miller – 6
The only positive from the game was the sight of Miller turning straight towards goal and lashing a left-footed shot towards Camp. Came on too late to be of any real influence.
Made little impact in an overcrowded midfield. One shot off target.