Top 15 Photos: Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg – Nott’m Forest 0-0 Swansea

Chris Wright

13th, May 2011


By Chris Wright

Yes, it may have ended goalless, but last night’s first play-off semi-final first leg between Nott’m Forest and Swansea at the City Ground was actually a fairly decent ding-dong of a game.

Despite being reduced to ten men after just 2 minutes, the Swans had the first-half sewn up – leaving stilted Forest looking like the side with the numerical disadvantage for long periods and going close on a number of occasions.

However, it was a different story after the interval as, presumably following a Billy Davies slanging at half-time, Forest seemed to buck up and actively dominate their Welsh opponents – though, admittedly, without ever really looking like they were going to score from open play.

So, ‘the usual’ then.

Robert Earnshaw did have the ball in the net at one stage, but the Cardiff boyo was a good few yards offside as per and, though Forest really should have landed a penalty during the latter stages of the second-half, the stage now seems set for Swansea to roll us – the perennial play-off bottlers – over at their place on Monday.


The two teams shake hands before kick-off. Note the award-winning carpet of a pitch

Swansea players crowd around referee Mike Dean after having Neil Taylor sent off in the second minute for almost bringing Lewis McGugan’s dreams of fatherhood to an abrupt conclusion

High feet or low bonce? Swansea’s Ashley Williams and Kris Boyd compete for the ball

Paul Anderson shields the ball from the lively Fabio Borini

Dorus de Vries comes to collect a loose ball

Luke Chambers clears his lines as Angel Rangel closes in

The diminutive Nathan Dyer does his best to hold Chris Gunther at bay

Ashley Williams beats Paul Anderson to the ball

Dorus de Vries makes a comfortable save

Lewis McGugan and Leon Britton battle for an aerial ball

Scott Sinclair and Chris Cohen tussle for the ball

Robert Earnshaw turns to celebrate after nodding home, only to see the goal chalked off for offside

Chris Cohen appeals for a penalty after the ball clearly struck Alan Tate’s flapping arm

Dorus de Vries does just enough to ensure Luke Chambers fails to get his header on target

Decked out in a variety of costumes and with obligatory inflatable dragon and sheep in tow, the Swansea fans chant in the stands

Photos courtesy of the PA.

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  1. Nick says:

    We were very poor in the first half considering they were down to 10 men, and I couldn’t have complained if they had been one up. The second half was much more composed as Lewis McGugan appeared to have been told to drop a lot deeper to take the ball off the centre backs, and exploit the lack of pressing in that area that a 10 man team can’t really afford.
    Still, the plan didn’t really seem to be anything more than attempt to get into the final third and ping a cross in, which unfortunately meant a lot of (overhit) crosses from angles which rarely produce a lot of goals. I’d have like to see the wingers runnign at the full backs a bit more and attack betetr crossing angles, something which Nathan Dyer seemed more than happy to do for the Swans.
    Thought that the sending off was probably correct, one of those where you feel it warrants more than a yellow card, but I wouldn’t have been surprised to see one given. He didn’t really connect, and I wasn’t a fan of McGugan’s sly Busquets style look from behind his hand when lying on the floor, but you don’t have to connect with a studs high challenge into the knees for it to be a red.
    The penalty probably should have been given, as his arm was up and away from his body, but you’ll see dozens of them not given across a season. I don’t esepcially fancy us to be able to go to Swansea and get a result, but if we do, I’d be pretty optimistic for the final.

  2. Chris says:

    Ah Nick, if I could only allow myself to share your optimism! Alas, whenever the play-offs come up one haunting word always seems to repeatedly shimmer through my conscience…

    “Yeovil, Yeovil, Yeoviiil”

  3. Nick says:

    Chris – I rarely get to watch Forest on TV, but the play-offs are obviously a must. They’re usually games to which I can’t force my friends to come and join me, and so my long suffering girlfriend acompanies me on those rare occasions, including Blackpool last year. Last night she asked

    “Why do you support them if they’re so rubbish. Shouldn’t they beat a team with less players?”

    I could only shrug my shoulders.

  4. Chris also says:

    Although you have to admit in the second half it was all down to de Vries. He was getting pummeled and it really was down to him that Forest didn’t nab it. Excellent display.

  5. Chris says:

    @Nick: I feel your pain my man, I feel your pain.

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