A brace from Britt Assombalonga, scoring his first Nottingham Forest goals, saw Stuart Pearce’s side rescue a point from Bolton Wanderers as they drew 2-2. Tom Barber offers a fan’s eye view from the Macron Stadium…


My first Forest match of the season and it was especially exciting to see Psycho in charge for the first time since I last saw him as the boss for a 2-1 victory over Arsenal back in 1996, with a brace from Alf-Inge Haaland that day.

I arrived with a sense of confidence coming from the two clean-sheet wins Forest had started the season with. My new away kit – the look of which I love other than the fact it feels a bit skin tight, even in large (belly issues) – had Veldwijk on and I was hoping to see him in the line-up. Other than the fact he wasn’t starting I was happy with two up front and the look of the midfield.

The match seemed to just be starting when Bolton got a free-kick out on their left. It was clear to see that with Fox at centre-back currently, we look pretty short at the back other than Hobbs. The ball came in and Mason nodded into the bottom corner, all too easy and worrying for the large Forest following.

The Reds then got into their stride and passed the ball around, playing with a greater possession of the ball than the home team. I was impressed with how well Britt Assombalonga was holding the ball up, and putting the pressure back on Bolton.

On 27 minutes Burke got a cross over to Antonio who knocked it down for Assombalomga to smash home and open his account. There wasn’t long for the away fans to celebrate though as a Bolton ball bounced its way along the Forest back-line, with no Forest defender seemingly capable to just kick the thing out. Fox the main culprit from what I could see and Wheater was able to tap home.

Forest had most of the ball and going in at half-time losing didn’t feel fair so I was glad when Assombalomga was pulled down in the Bolton area and he was able to ignore the Bolton keeper’s cheeky antics trying to put him off, to blast straight past him and make the half-time score 2-2.

I have to say I feel for Dan Harding, he seems a lovely bloke but in my opinion he’s just not got enough natural ability to be playing for Nottingham Forest. However, I put my hands up and say that he’s started the season quite well and in the second-half he did have a decent go running down the left-wing and getting the ball in to Assombalonga’s feet.

Fox also improved in the second-half and with Reid and Cohen coming into the game more Forest dominated most of the half. You always felt like Bolton were capable of scoring from a set piece again but going forward Hunt was doing well, Antonio looked awkward but dangerous and Fryatt was good holding the ball. Unfortunately though, other than a header from Assombalomga and a Cohen effort, Forest weren’t creating clear-cut chances.

Towards the end Big Lars finally made his Forest debut to a roar from the Forest fans, including myself jumping up and down hoping he’d head in immediately from a corner. McLaughlin and Lichaj also came on but Forest couldn’t get the third goal.

Overall I’m happy and excited with the new talent at Forest. Assombalomga looks like a heck of a striker, very strong and with a good touch. I can’t wait to see him start alongside Big Lars, although Fryatt does a good job also. Once Wilson or Mancienne are able to slot in alongside Hobbs at the back, and either Fox goes to left-back or Cohen moves back there to accommodate Lansbury, if he stays, or Vaughan or Osborn or Pato, or this new German fella… lots of options at Forest and I can’t wait for Tuesday at Bournemouth.

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

Related Topics