Miller penalty throws Town a lifeline

STITCHED inside the collars of every Forest player's shirt are the words: “How did we win it? We were very good. It's as simple as that.”

Derek Davis

Nottingham Forest 1 Ipswich Town 1

STITCHED inside the collars of every Forest player's shirt are the words: “How did we win it? We were very good. It's as simple as that.”

The pearls of wisdom were uttered by the late, great Brian Clough when asked how his side had won double European Cup honours.

Well, Colin Calderwood's side didn't reach the standards of that 1979-80 side, but even this struggling but the bottom-of-the-table side were more than a match for a not particularly impressive Ipswich side.

Garath McCleary gave Forest a first half lead while Tommy Miller levelled seven minutes after the break from the penalty spot and keep his proud record of never missing from the spot.

Most Read

It was a point gained after going behind and looking in trouble, and makes it one loss in seven games, but Town are still staring at the wrong end of the table.

That Clough was a managerial genius can't be argued, and much of his success - especially at the City Ground - was built on the ethos that football is a simple game.

He built sides that, on the whole, were not singularly the most talented, but were very good at doing a job in their chosen position.

For Blues boss Jim Magilton the rebuilding process is in its third year and still looks a long way off being a side filled with players who can combine the artisan and artistry needed to mount a credible promotion challenge.

After sleeping on it Magilton decided to stick with Richard Wright in goal, despite hinting that he was considering dropping the former England keeper due to a number of costly errors and go with Shane Supple.

He also decided to show faith in the back four that conceded a couple against Swansea on Saturday leaving Alex Bruce to warm the bench once more.

Bruce had played against Forest just two weeks earlier when he skippered a Republic of Ireland B side to victory over them at Dalymount Park

Iván Campo and David Norris were euphemistically rested and made way for Veliche Shumulikoski, Owen Garvan and Tommy Miller in midfield, while Jon Walters pushed up from the right flank to support Pablo Counago upfront. Jon Stead was dropped to the bench.

Norris, who has been playing very well of late, was missed and will be disappointed at being rested after missing so many games earlier through injury.

Town deployed a pentagon shaped midfield with Miller and Shumulikoski deep midfield, Garvan playing the point with Walters on the right, with Quinn wide left.

It morphed into an hourglass shape when Town attacked with Walters pushing up to join Counago up front.

It didn't stop Nottingham cutting though them early on and Forest fans thought they had gone ahead after just four minutes but Nathan Tyson was waved offside by referee's assistant Amy Raynor when he hammered in an Andy Cole shot.

Tyson had another chalked off by Ms Raynor's flag half hour later when he nodded in a Luke Chambers' cross.

Forest took the lead for real when the Town defence were almost caught out again when Anderson burst clear but Wright did enough to deflect his shot and Naylor cleared for a corner.

The Blues failed to deal with the corner effectively and McCleary, lurking outside the 18-yard box, drilled it low inside a post past Wright.

It was the first goal for Forest at City Ground in three games and only their second scored in six matches.

The reason why Forest are bottom of the Championship appears to be their shaky defence, but that was helped by new boy Lee Camp who raced off his line a couple of times to clear.

Camp was almost caught out on his debut by an incredible 35-yard shot from his left flank which cannoned back from the underside of the crossbar.

The Forest defenders too showed great commitment, hurling themselves into blocks and tackles.

Shumi hit a powerful drive that was blocked by Morgan and Counago's follow up charged down by skipper Luke Wilson

A Shumi ball over the top for Walters looked dangerous, but Morgan did very well to put the ball behind to safety.

The equaliser came when Paul Anderson brought down Quinn in the box and even though Camp guessed the right way the spot-kick was perfect.

Neither side could break down the other and a point was not enough for either boss, but Magilton will be under the more pressure as again his side under-performed.