A frustrating 0-0 draw with struggling Barnsley leaves Nottingham Forest out of the play-off places and matters out of their hands. Michael Shaw offers a fan’s eye view from the City Ground.

After it seemed the whole of Barnsley was hungover last weekend in the wake of Margaret Thatcher’s demise, as they crumbled to a 6-0 reverse at home to Charlton, this week they found some resolve in the shape of the aptly named Luke Steele. Although they could’ve had few complaints if they had once again been on the end of a sound drubbing.

Lewis v Holyfield, Zimbabwe v England in Bulawayo, few draws have ever been as one-sided as this one.

The customary cries of “Scabs, scabs, scabs,” hadn’t even pierced the air from the travelling support when the Reds carved out their first chance. There were just 15 seconds on the watch when Henri Lansbury fed Simon Cox and he looked in a vain for a penalty that would’ve been harsh on the visitors.

Chances flowed freely, Cox’s shot was deflected to safety as his search for a goal went on, Lansbury headed an Andy Reid corner against the bar and Adi Guedioura forced a good stop from Steele.


Half-time brought some respite for Barnsley’s back line but the second period continued in a similar vein: Reid’s drive was palmed against the post; Billy Sharp’s half volley thumping the same upright; and Lansbury heading at Steele when at full stretch after Chris Cohen’s superb cross had picked him out. Sharp himself is without a goal in open play since that scrambled late strike against Crystal Palace in Alex McLeish’s first game in charge, a worrying trend amongst the Forest frontline.

Long before the final whistle it seemed it wouldn’t be the Reds day, even with Greg Halford and the superb Cohen pushed on as auxiliary frontmen the Tykes’ goal survived, Martin Cranie’s misdirected header was the only close call of a frantic final five minutes.

The harsh facts are four points from a possible 18 and no goals in three. Somewhere along the line it seems Forest’s luck has turned. Next weekend they go to that unfriendly corner of South London, with play-off matters out of their hands.

But when Billy Davies took over, we’d have taken that, right?

You can follow Michael on Twitter: @NowThenYoungMan

Image: Courtesy of nuttakit/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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