January 15, 2017 by Made In Brum
By Harrison Taylor
On the week that Blues saw cult hero Craig Gardner return to the club and Forest saw former Blues boss Gary Rowett reject talks with the club under owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi, the two sides faced each other. Blues changed very little from the 1-1 draw against Newcastle, bringing back Tomas Kuszczak for Adam Legzdins and Michael Morrison for Paul Robinson. Zola still looking for his first win.
It took a while for the first real chance for either team to come. Che Adams picked up the ball on the left hand side, cut inside past Micheal Mancienne and fired wide of the post. Adams looking very lively straight from the off.
Five minutes later Blues came close again. Lukas Jutkiewicz, who had been on a good goalscoring run since signing permanently, put a low ball across the box. Maikel Keiftenbeld latched onto it eventually, his shot seemed to make contact with a Forest hand, the players appeals were waved away by the referee. There was only to be a couple of half chances before the half time whistle.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half, Craig Gardner was subbed on for Maikel Keiftenbeld – his first appearance in a Blues shirt since he scored at Tottenham in our last Premier League game. The next chance for Blues came on 53 minutes. David Davis, who yesterday signed a new three-year-deal with the club, showed fantastic determination and strength to shrug off his man. He then put a cross into Lukas Jutkiewicz who’s header was saved.
Blues dominated the second half, they had the majority of the possession and kept pressure on the Forest goal with free kicks and corners. A ball in from Gardner from a corner had to be cleared by the Forest defence because there was a number of blue shirts ready to pounce on it. Gardner seemed to be on set piece duty as he took a free kick from around 30 yards out. His effort flew over the bar.
With Blues running out of time to find a winner, Grounds went close to latching onto a Jutkiewicz lay off. The Forest defence was able to clear the ball at the last second. A minute later it seemed that Gardner had turned back time with a touch on the edge of the box to set up a shot, unfortunately this shot had been blocked and the ball rolled into goalkeeper Henderson.
Blues then had the ball in the net on 82 minutes, the flag was raised however for offside.
Blues had their second penalty appeal of the match waved away in stoppage time. The ball seemed to have brushed a Forest arm, a few blues players protested heavily to the ref which spilled over after the final whistle.
A disappointing result for the home side, we had very little to offer against a strong Forest defence. It seems to be a recurring theme of this side being unable to break down teams that sit back. Zola gave praise to the oppositions defence and added how the substitutes David Cotterill and Gardner added quality and energy to the side, obviously not enough in the final third.
Ratings: Kuszczak 6, Spector 6, Morrison 6, Shotton 6, Grounds 6, Gleeson 6, Keiftenbeld 6, Davis 7, Fabbrini 6, Adams 7, Jutkiewicz 6. Subs: Gardner 6, Cotterill N/A.
Referee: Peter Bankes 6.