Albion were second best at the City Ground for much of the game but came away with a valuable point, and could even have won it having struck the woodwork three times in the last ten minutes.
While the attacking performance left much to be desired, at least until Dwight Gayle came on, the Baggies were defensively much more impressive than they were against Bolton on Saturday, and it took a deflected long range strike to break through. No matter what the Sky commentators may have said, the slight deflection did make a difference and took it away from Sam Johnstone. Adarabioyo made one mistake and looked shaky for some time, but I think he’s got the makings of a decent defender and should be OK if given game time.
Having said that, Forest had the chances to have put the game beyond Albion well before the Phillips’s fine equalising strike, as the midfield was overrun once again. Brunt and Livermore just don’t have the energy to play in a two and, while Morrison was trying to help out, it was just not enough. The pace and energy that Forest showed in the middle of the park is, perhaps, indicative of what Albion can expect to face in the Championship and we are crying out for some more mobility in that midfield two. Much as I love Chris Brunt, the first two games of this season have left me doubting whether he has the legs to play a season in the Championship.
Phillips was once again Albion’s most potent attacking player, but the other big positive from the evening was the impact that Dwight Gayle had. Other than hitting the post when he probably should have scored, he showed everything I hoped he would – energy, pace, intelligent runs and an eye for goal.
Whether or not Rodriguez goes, I still feel we need another striker as HRK just does not cut it for me. We could perhaps get someone on loan after this week once the Premier League teams have done their business.
All in all, I will once again take the positives that we didn’t get beat, the defence was much improved and Gayle looks like a real coup at this level. And that kit looked fantastic!
Onwards and upward – roll on Saturday!
|2000/2001||19/08/2000||Bolton Wanderers (H)||L||0-2|
|2001/2002||18/08/2001||Grimsby Town (H)||L||0-1|
|2003/2004||16/08/2003||Burnley (H)||W||4-1||Šakiri, Hulse, Hughes (2)|
|2006/2007||08/08/2006||Cardiff City (A)||D||1-1||Gera|
|2007/2008||18/08/2007||Preston North End (H)||W||2-0||Phillips, Miller|
|2009/2010||15/08/2009||Nottingham Forest (A)||W||1-0||Cohen (o.g.)|
|2018/2019||07/08/2018||Nottingham Forest (A)||D||1-1||Phillips|
|2001/2002||25/08/2001||Sheffield Wednesday (A)||D||1-1||Dichio|
|2007/2008||25/08/2007||Sheffield United (A)||L||0-1|
|2009/2010||18/08/2009||Peterborough United (A)||W||3-2||Moore (2), Brunt|
|2018/2019||11/08/2018||Norwich City (A)|