Sunday 23 July 2017

Sam makes Forest pay for lack of cutting edge to get Leeds off mark

Notts forest 1
Leeds Utd 1

Sandy Macaskill

"IF that was a boxing match it was going to get stopped," Billy Davies said, conveniently forgetting that for all the prancing and shadow punching his Nottingham Forest side put in, they were -- once again -- unable to come up with a knock-out blow.

They dominated the first 15 minutes, but when the whistle went they had landed only two shots on target.

It was the same old Forest, then. Radoslaw Majewski was bundling around in central midfield like the Andrex puppy, Robert Earnshaw hit the post after picking up a cute flick on from Dexter Blackstock and Leeds were so overrun that they were forced to change their system to 4-4-2.

Yet the only thing to show for it was Blackstock's neat header in the ninth minute.

It would have been forgivable if Forest had been a little more careful with all that possession.

Leeds had looked utterly impotent, but Wes Morgan played an appalling pass across the pitch, gifting Leeds possession from which Bradley Johnson crossed and Lloyd Sam beat Lee Camp with his head to give the promoted Yorkshiremen their first point of the campaign.

Silly

"I came in at half-time disappointed, thanks to a silly mistake from one of our players," Davies said.

"We have to learn to play two different types of football in the Championship. We have to learn to kill teams off. It is naivety. We are young."

Simon Grayson, the Leeds manager, accepted that it had been touch and go to start with, but he praised his side for "digging in".

"We were the better team, creating the better chances," he said. "As the game wore on we got into it, and in the second half Kasper didn't have a save to make. There are a lot of encouraging signs from that."

Proceedings were spoilt by an unseemly exchange between Chris Gunter and Sanchez Watt, when Gunter appeared to stamp on the Leeds player and was cautioned because of it.

"I don't see how that was anything other than a red," Grayson said.

"Interesting," Davies said. "The referee had a difficult job. Gunter is clearly stamped on, and then he reacted very naively. He reacted very poorly, and he should not have got involved.

"You bide your time," he added, like a mafia don explaining that revenge is a dish best served cold.

Irish Independent

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