clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Forest 1-1 Blackburn

Honours even at a sparsely populated City Ground. It was lovely to see Britt back in action though. And a goal. A Dexter Blackstock goal.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

At times, this game resembled two goldfish desperately trying to flop themselves back into the safety of the bowl from which they had both been carelessly discarded by an uncaring owner. Occasionally, each fish spasmed into something approximating effective movement but for the large part, there was only an orgy of inefficient flip-flap-flopping around for little reward.

Not quite mathematically safe yet but thanks to Bolton and Charlton doing a fine impersonation of basket cases and MK Dons seemingly unable to tie their own shoelaces without conceding a goal, Forest came into the match in need of a result. This seemed to have passed most by as the team, crowd and general ambience was initially that of an x axis on a bar chart. Even the tannoy had packed its case and ambled off to wherever tannoys go on holiday, leaving the sparse crowd to make their own fun and sing unaccompanied. As metaphors for seasons like this go, it's not a bad one.

Forest started brightly and after a few skirmishes at both ends, Dexter Blackstock somehow managed to outpace the Blackburn defence and smuggle a weak shot away. No matter - Jason Steele could only give the ball a little cuddle before helping it along its way beyond him and into the goal. As the ball trickled beyond Steele, it was a deeply underwhelming goal which for a moment, Dex seemed to be alone in celebrating since only he was party to the knowledge that the ball had crossed the line. Nonetheless, it was a most welcome sight.

It didn't take long for the equally underwhelming opposition to even things up as Matt Mills misjudged a through ball, allowing Danny Graham to dink one beyond Dorus de Vries.

Danny Graham. Sure - that very same Danny Graham who you thought was at either Hull or Sunderland or maybe even the vortex that is QPR for ropey old Championship footballers who found the Premier League a little more demanding than they thought. Danny Graham of two goals in 55 appearances for the aforementioned clubs.

*That* Danny Graham.

From then on, both teams huffed and puffed but seemed to be in shock from scoring a goal. Henri Lansbury fizzed one narrowly over the bar from range on two occasions but the natural order screamed out to be restored and Henri obliged by in-between times, putting a corner kick safely onto the roof of the net.

Forest seemed to lack the organisation and faith in each others' abilities to maintain a threat. Tellingly, at one stage, both Robert Tesche and Gary Gardner - both deployed as defensive midfielders - went for the same ball high up the pitch. Neither won it and Mills was forced to make a desperate lunge in order to prevent the Blackburn break bearing fruit, for which he picked up a yellow card. There remains a good deal of tinkering to be done in order to get a decent melody from this instrument of a side.

Ryan Mendes put in a profoundly infuriating display as he repeatedly sashayed past defenders only to pause and concern himself with the question of just what the purpose of those weird club-like things were attached to the end of his legs. His inability to execute even the simplest pass had Blackstock cursing him at one point.

Blackstock himself put in a very creditable performance. It's probably as good as we can expect from him and although he's struggled this season - like most - his recent performances bring in to sharp focus the acquisition of Federico Macheda who frankly, has offered nothing. To fail to be eve an upgrade on Blackstock or Chris O'Grady is pretty damning and it does raise questions about the logic behind splashing out more bad money on his wages. Blackstock himself is not the solution but Macheda is so far from the solution that he's a mere speck in the infinite universe. Cardiff must be laughing their little socks off at Forest picking up the Macheda shaped tab - another example of poor decision making on a Ryan Mendes scale on behalf of the club.

The biggest cheer of the evening was reserved for the introduction of Britt Assombalonga in the 84th minute. He didn't do much but he avoided injury and ran around. Small steps but very welcome ones for a bitesize crowd of 16,449: only 589 souls more than saw a Forest side comprising Matt Lockwood and Sammy Clingan eke out a 1-1 draw in League 1 against Bristol Rovers back in 2008. In such simple things is pleasure currently being squeezed out...this and relief that MK Dons had again failed to score.

This is what Forest fans are currently reduced to.

The 'just about escaping relegation owing to other clubs' absolute and total buffoonery' party will be played out with verve, vim and vigour at Fulham on Saturday.