The post-match Wolves website bore a headline of ‘Boss Rues Fine Margins’.
It certainly didn’t feel marginal as Forest’s impressive midfield counted down 5 minutes of injury time with some intricate one touch passing around a desperate Dave Edwards.
On a miserable grey cold afternoon by the Trent, the weather rather reflected our survival prospects.
And all this despite a first half in which we seemed to contain Forest’s attacking threat while creating chances of our own, with Edwards screwing a golden chance wide from 12 yards and Sako thundering a free kick against the bar (after thundering a similarly dangerous one against Gorkss’ backside just before).
Forest didn’t create any clear chances but sadly didn’t need to, as Guedioura teed up Lansbury to fire home from 20 yards with the kind of conviction the old gold could only dream of.
And it was in comparisons of the two sides’ midfields that the eventual comfort with which Forest won could be explained. Sako was as powerful and threatening as ever, and Dave Edwards had a good game, enhancing his usual workrate with some nice touches.
Yet while Guedioura, Lansbury and Reed moved the ball across the pitch with speed, accuracy and confidence, Henry and O’Hara were lethargic and totally unable to make any meaningful impact on proceedings. And as Forest introduced Guy Moussi, who repeatedly won the ball and put his side on the front foot, we could only summon Doumbia, who seemed unable to break out of a gentle jog, never mind impose himself on the match.
So while Doherty’s looping header from a Sako delivery offered brief euphoria, it was followed by the immediate concession of possession deep in our own half and a failure to get near Lansbury as he curled another effort past Ikeme from range.
A second comeback never looked likely as we offered only ponderous passing and tired punts forward. The protestations following Ward’s red for a very deliberate obstruction of Greg Halford while last man were baffling, and another Forest midfielder – Lewis McGugan – sealed the inevitable shortly after.
Given Forest’s rich form of late it is perhaps harsh to be too critical of Wolves.
As noted, Edwards had a decent game and Doherty’s obvious effort was rewarded with a goal. Gorkss and Johnson also did well and kept Simon Cox very quiet.
But trudging away from the ground afterwards and reflecting on a game decided in the middle of the park, it was hard to ignore the number of Forest fans wearing red shirts adorned with the name and number of a certain ex-midfielder of ours.