G A M E   3 9
C A R R O W   R O A D
M A R C H   2 1

N O R R I D G E   3
N O T T I N G H A M   F O R E S T   1

Let's put a different spin on it, shall we? Forest were not "crushed", "overwhelmed" or "outclassed", as press hyperbole would have you believe. Forest were simply beaten by circumstance and a better side on the day.

It was circumstance that rid Forest of yet another striker, which completely buggered up their game plan; circumstance which meant that Forest's brilliant resurgence had burdened them with an unsustainable pressure; circumstance which saw them trying to function on diminished resources against a confident Premier League squad on their own ground.

And yes, Norridge were the better side, but not that much better. Mister Dug's tactics - conceding two thirds of the pitch to Norridge and hitting them with fast breaks - seemed to be working until the very end of the first half. There were alarms, of course, but Forest actually had more chances to score. If Forest had been wearing their magic boots, and if Wes Hooligan hadn't been allowed so much space to slip in the irritating Howson in that last minute, the match would have taken a very different turn.

The problem was Forest's inability to stamp on Norridge's cocky midfield, and it showed again for their second goal. Olsson ran away from Mancienne (who had a troubled game at right back because he is not a right back) and crossed for Jerome to fluke a back-heel into the net. Yes, fluke. We refuse to believe that a player who had cocked up an easier chance in the first half was capable of such pin point accuracy, and conclude that his effort was no more than a hopeful diversion. And Norridge's third came when once more Olsson broke through on the left and Burke, desperately tracking back, fouled him for a penalty. Olsson, of course, made a subtle deceleration to ensure Burke clattered into him, but it was still a penalty.

It was at this point that the headline writers must have left, phoning through their exaggerated copy about a "crushing" defeat for Forest. They probably didn't even see the spirit of Forest's fight back, the bloody minded defiance which kept them going in the face of almost certain defeat. They reminded Norridge, and their own tremendous fans, that you don't take a wounded bear for granted, as Paterson let fly, Ruddy couldn't cope, and Burke poked the ball in. More shots came, more Ruddy panic, and only the ref's premature whistle prevented a perfectly good Lascelles goal. The press reports failed to mention that it was not Forest who ran out of gas, but Norridge, nor will they tell you that it was not Norridge who held sway in the last desperate minutes, but Forest.

Still, for Forest it was too little too late, and the "too late" bit will probably be the story of their season. The spectacular resurgence under Mister Dug has taken its toll, and for Forest to reach the play offs now would be like a story from Henry Wingspan's Book of Miracles, which has yet to be written. None of which, of couse, means that we shouldn't be bloody proud of them.

(01) 09.08.14 FOREST 2 BLACKPOO0
(02) 16.08.14 BOLN 2 FOREST 2
(03) 19.08.14 BORMUFF 1FOREST 2
(04) 23.08.14 FOREST 4 READING LADIES0
(05) 30.08.14 WENDIES 0 FOREST1
(06) 14.09.14 FOREST 1 SHEEP1
(07) 17.09.14 FOREST 5 COTTAGERS3
(O8) 20.09.14 MEWO 0 FOREST0
(09) 27.09.14 FOREST 0 HOVE0
(10) 30.09.14 WIGGUM 0 FOREST 0
(11) 05.10.14 FOREST 2 DIPSWITCH2
(12) 18.10.14 CAERDYDD 2 FOREST1
(13) 21.10.14 WATFOR? 2 FOREST 2
(14) 25.10.14 FOREST 1 BLACKbum3
(15) 01.11.14 UDDERSFEEL 3FOREST 0
(16) 05.11.14 FOREST 1BENTFORD 3
(17) 08.11.14 FOREST 2NORRIDGE1
(18) 22.11.14 WONDERBRAS 0 FOREST3
(19) 29.11.14 BOREMINGHAM 2 FOREST1
(20) 06.12.14 FOREST 1CHARLESTON1
(21) 13.12.14 ROTHERINGHAM 0 FOREST0
(22) 20.12.14 FOREST 1LEED 1
(24) 28.12.14 FOREST 1BOREMINGHAM3
(25) 10.01.15 FOREST 0WENDIES2
(26) 17.01.15 SHEEP 1FOREST2
(27) 21.01.15 COTTAGERS 3FOREST2
(28) 31.01.15 FOREST 0MEWO1
(29) 07.02.15 HOVE 2 FOREST3
(30) 11.02.15 FOREST 3 WIGGUM0
(31) 14.02.15 BLACKPOO 4 FOREST 4
(32) 21.02.15 FOREST 4BOLN 1
(33) 25.02.15 FOREST 2BORMUFF 1
(34) 28.02.15 READING LADIES 0FOREST 3
(35) 03.03.15 CHARLESTON 2 FOREST1
(37) 14.03.15 LEED 0 FOREST 0
(38) 18.03.15 FOREST 2 ROTHERINGHAM 0
(39) 21.03.15 NORRIDGE 3 FOREST 1

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time; and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.