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Nottingham Forest 3-0 Bolton Wanderers: Immediate Reaction

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Different year, similar scene.

Laurence Griffiths

These immediate reactions are supposed to be unfiltered and perhaps shouty pieces. I took a big, deep breath and wrote this:

Nottingham Forest away was always going to be a tough test. The Reds don't often go down easily at the City Ground and you can bet that Bolton Wanderers were aware of the fact. Dougie Freedman made some changes to the team, introducing Craig Davies and Rob Hall in place of David Ngog and Jermaine Beckford in what was surely a bid to introduce some much-needed firepower into the side. It didn't work in the first half.

It's difficult to really know what to expect from Bolton's defense but fans surely should have expected better than what they got. It took just two minutes for Forest to break the deadlock. Count them: one, two. It was a complete defensive breakdown from the Bolton back four as Jamie Mackie lost his marker (either Alex Baptiste or Zat Knight) and broke into the area completely unmarked. He took Bogdan on from a tight angle and found the back of the net.

For the next 30 or so minutes, Bolton looked completely useless and did nothing resembling constructive play going forward. Over the course of the first half, Wanderers did not test Forest's goalkeeper, Karl Darlow, on a single occasion. Chung-Yong Lee didn't add much to the game, David Wheater looked lost at sea, Medo Kamara & Jay Spearing were misjudging bounces, and Craig Davies wasn't shooting. On top of that, all three of Bolton's central midfielders were booked, which would come back to bite them.

The second half was even worse as an unmarked Andy Reid doubled Forest's advantage before they hit the post, nearly making it three. The match effectively ended with Darren Pratley's second yellow card on 53 minutes. Forest would then pile the pain on, adding a third goal through Henri Lansbury who was (shocking, I know) unmarked at the back post.

Over the course of the match, Bolton Wanderers did not force a single real save out of Forest's goalkeeper, Karl Darlow. The one save came in the 92nd minute when a long-range effort from Medo Kamara flew right to the goalkeeper.

We thought that Bolton were toothless in the attack against Burnley and Reading but those two matches were firestorms compared to this one. That's the reason you bring Craig Davies into a match. He's never going to beat anyone for pace and he's not very skillful or tricky but he will shoot and he didn't even do that today.

Two points from three games is not good. Wanderers are already two points off of last year's terrible pace at the start of the season. Dougie Freedman has quite a few things to figure out with this team because the match at Forest was nowhere near good enough. Not even close.