Season Review 2009-2010: How the season unfolded

Season Review 2009-2010

Season Review

I should really have written this some weeks ago, but for one reason or
another, I have only just finished it. The new season bearing down upon
us has probably focused my mind back onto last season’s endeavours, and
so here is the long-overdue Season Review:

AUGUST

Reading (A) 0-0
Bradford City (League Cup) (H) 3-0
West Bromwich Albion (H) 0-1
Watford (H) 2-4
Queens Park Rangers (A) 1-1
Middlesborough (League Cup) (H) 2-1 aet
Derby County (H) 3-2

16th position, 5 points, -2 GD

The season began, once again, with a 0-0 draw against Reading. Success
in the League Cup followed, only for Forest to suffer two consecutive
home defeats. The complete lack of fit defenders contributed somewhat
to this poor start to the season. The month improved though, with a
draw against QPR, another win in the Cup and a thrilling 3-2 win over
Derby.
 
SEPTEMBER

Sheffield Wednesday (A) 1-1
Ipswich Town (A) 1-1
Blackpool (H) 0-1
Blackburn Rovers (League Cup) (H) 0-1
Plymouth Argyle (A) 1-0
Scunthorpe United (H) 2-0

14th position, 13 points, 0 GD

September could easily have been the most disappointing month, with two
consecutive draws followed by two consecutive home defeats. However,
another pair of wins, including Forest’s first success on the road,
mended any damage done in the previous weeks and saw Forest comfortably
in mid-table.

OCTOBER

Peterborough United (A) 2-1
Newcastle United (H) 1-0
Barnsley (H) 1-0
Crystal Palace (A) 1-1

9th position, 23 points, +3 GD

A great month, with the Reds taking ten points from four games, and
beating promotion favourites Newcastle in front of the Sky cameras
along the way. Another win over Barnsley, with Guy Moussi scoring his
first for the club deep into injury time and a draw away at Palace saw
Forest into the top half as the month drew to a close.

NOVEMBER

Cardiff City (A) 1-1
Bristol City (H) 1-1
Middlesborough (A) 1-1
Doncaster Rovers (H) 4-1

4th position, 29 points, +6 GD

Forest’s form stuttered slightly, with three consecutive draws
preceding a thumping win over Doncaster. Robbie Earnshaw was finally
getting in amongst the goalscorers, finding the net for only the second
time in the draw away at Middlesborough. He then added another in the
4-1 win over Doncaster, a game which saw Nicky Shorey make his debut
for Forest after joining on loan from Aston Villa.

DECEMBER

Leicester City (H) 5-1
Sheffield United (A) 0-0
Swansea City (A) 1-0
Preston North End (H) 3-0
Watford (A) 0-0
Coventry City (H) 2-0

3rd position,  43 points, +16 GD

December was probably the best month of the whole season. Forest hit
form in no uncertain terms and thrashed Leicester in a 3rd v 4th clash
at the City Ground. (Forest were 4th before kick-off.) They then went
on to secure valuable away draws against Sheffield United and Watford.
These occurred either side of two good wins; the first an away win over
play-off rivals Swansea, and the second a convincing win over
underperforming Preston. In an ironic twist, Paul McKenna scored his
first goal for Forest against his former club.

JANUARY

Birmingham City (F.A. Cup) (H) 0-0
West Bromwich Albion (A) 3-1
Birmingham City (F.A. Cup) (A) 0-1
Reading (H) 2-1
Queens Park Rangers (H) 5-0
Derby County (A) 0-1

2nd position, 52 points, +23 GD

January was a month of highs and lows. Forest started well, securing a
replay against Premiership Birmingham in the F.A. Cup. At the time,
this was a clash between the two form teams in the country. They then
went on to put in arguably the best performance of the whole season to
beat West Brom at The Hawthorns, before falling one goal short of
topping the table after their 5-0 victory over QPR. In the meantime,
they had lost their F.A. Cup replay, and scraped to a 2-1 win over
Reading during which Nicky Shorey had been sent off, and so brought his
loan spell to a premature end.

There were reported offers made for Victor Moses, who opted to join
Premier League Wigan instead and Darren Pratley (of rivals Swansea, who
wouldn’t accept Forest’s bid), and an attempt to extend Shorey’s loan
which failed when he chose Fulham instead. In the end, no signings were
made, much to Billy Davies’ frustration.

The month ended with a narrow defeat to local rivals Derby which also
ended Forest’s unbeaten run away from home which had started back in
March 2009. Like the home tie back in August, this match was marred by
some undignified scrapping near the end as frustrations boiled over.

FEBRUARY

Sheffield Wednesday (H) 2-1
Coventry City (A) 0-1
Doncaster Rovers (A) 0-1
Sheffield United (H) 1-0
Middlesborough (H) 1-0
Leicester City (A) 0-3

3rd position, 61 points, +21 GD

The away form, once so impressive, suffered a worrying dip, with Forest
losing all three away matches in February without scoring a goal. At
home, they continued to rack up the wins, beating both Sheffield sides,
as well as Middlesborough, each by the odd goal.

MARCH

Swansea City (H) 1-0
Preston North End (A) 2-3
Barnsley (A) 1-2
Peterborough United (H) 1-0
Crystal Palace (H) 2-0
Newcastle United (A) 0-2

3rd position, 70 points, +21 GD

March was almost a carbon copy of February. Three away defeats, three
home wins. The performances away from home were gradually improving,
though after going in at half-time 3-0 down, the only way was up.

APRIL

Bristol City (A) 1-1
Cardiff City (H) 0-0
Ipswich Town (H) 3-0
Blackpool (A) 1-3
Plymouth Argyle (H) 3-0

3rd position, 78 points, +25 GD

The away form seemed to improve, as Forest took their first point on
the road since January, only to drop points at home for the first time
since November. Had they beaten Cardiff, they would have set a new club
record of thirteen consecutive home wins, beating the existing sequence
of twelve set by Brian Clough’s famous side of the late Seventies (a
record set over the course of two seasons, spanning the summer break).
Normal service was resumed, Ipswich and an already relegated Plymouth
the latest visitors to Fortress City Ground to return home with nothing
to show for their efforts. Blackpool gave another hint of things to
come with a strong 3-1 win at Bloomfield Road, though it could be
argued that Forest had taken their foot off the gas after securing a
play-off place the weekend before.

MAY

Scunthorpe (A) 2-2

3rd position, 79 points, +25 GD

Play-offs:
Blackpool (A) 1-2
Blackpool (H) 3-4 (agg. 4-6)

The season ended with a stutter, a Ned Kelly-managed team throwing away
a two-goal lead to Scunthorpe, and then losing both legs of the
play-off semi-final to Blackpool. As a result, Ian Holloway’s side
managed to beat Forest four times in the league this season.

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