Written by Neil Dawson
Nottingham was always a city where, according to urban myth, women outnumbered men by a larger than probable statistic proportion. When I was a lad it was almost the universities recruitment campaign to state this and the single blokes pouring into the town eventually destroyed the myth and the statistic… was it ever true. One thing is for certain today though, Nottingham men outnumbered Bournemouth men by 11 to 10 but it didn’t make the slightest bit of difference as Scott Parker’s team continued their impressive start to the season to bag all three points.
Anyone thinking this side couldn’t look more threadbare would have been shocked to find Ibsen Rossi (a name that should only adorn a Danish/Italian ice-cream conglomerate) starting ahead of a poorly Adam Smith – a move that saw Chris Mepham shift into the right-back position. This was the only change from the Baggies draw meaning the side still had an average age just a smidge older than most Olympic gymnasts – Parker must deliver his team talks through Tik-tok.
If you thought Sweet Caroline had plumbed the depths of Heart Radio’s back catalogue the game kicking off to the Mull of Kintyre dirge took this to new levels of tunelessness. The interminable bagpipes provided the most irritating Scottish moaning at this stadium since Ryan Fraser didn’t get a pass from Harry Arter on our last visit. Exchanges were even possession-wise but Philip Billing provided the first meaningful action with Samba tipping his drive wide.
Bournemouth were playing in groups of three, moving up the pitch in stylish triangles while Forest were relying more on the pace upfront of ex-Cherry Lyle Taylor with longer balls. It was the former style that manufactured the lead with an excellent one-two between Solanke and BROOKS seeing the latter advance into the box and smash home high across the keeper.
Brooks almost replicated his goal shortly after but the ball flew narrowly wide and it allowed Forest a little burst before half time with one real heart-stopping moment when Yate’s thundering 20 yard drive came back off the inside of Traver’s post and across the goal. This gave the hosts hope going into the break.
HT Forest 0 Bournemouth 1
Forest came out to start the half as they had finished it and Bournemouth were rocked and unable to find their rhythm. Anybody who drew ‘header from a set piece’ on Bournemouth Bingo were cashing in for the 86th time in three years when MCKENNA smashed home a too easy header from Zinckernagel (scores 134 on a triple word score in Scrabble). Impressively this didn’t stop the visitors from knuckling back down to their rhythmic pass and move and Forest despite a brief flurry were unable to capitalise on their new found momentum.
The game was level for just ten minutes before Bournemouth returned to the ascendancy with another sumptuous move seeing BILLING exchanging passes with Anthony before viciously rifling under Bamba. It looked like cruise control was starting but Brooks had other ideas. He had already been booked and was then lucky to stay on after a second clattering challenge. When he pulled back the shirt of Osei-Tutu (Desmond to his friends) the red was inevitable. It was a crazy, crazy decision with Tutu performing his balletic turn some 70 yards from Travers and about as much threat as a baby lamb in a padded vest. Scott Parker came dressed as that trendy geography teacher that smokes with the sixth form at the Christmas disco and Brooks would have felt like a naughty school-kid as he skulked past him. Their eyes didn’t meet.
This left a half-hour to hang on. Parker switched things around after an initial onslaught with Solanke moving wide to provide some defensive energy and Marcondes briefly operating as a deep-lying false nine. It threw Forest who had a lot of sideways movement but no penetration (sound familiar against ten men?). Travers made one great save from Zinckernage and old nemesis Grabban hit the cross-bar from an off-side position else it was dead quiet until the last minute when Mepham’s formidable stretch and clear saved a far-post equaliser. Indeed it could have been worse for Forest with Anthony having a goal chalked off, I think because Zemura was off-side as he crossed it.
FT Forest 1 Bournemouth 2
Man of the Match against Nottm Forest?
I’m assuming you were at the game, so based on that, you may want to re-watch the Brooks “foul” that led to their goal. It was never a foul and should have been a booking for diving which might have saved Brooks’ skin when he made the foul that led to the second yellow later on.
However, Parker should have subbed him after the Forest goal as he was basically on his final warning. – Join the conversation, click here.