I could really get used to this winning feeling! Back to back wins against Barnsley and now Nottingham Forest means that we sit 10th, just two points off the play-offs.
It was the same line-up as last week for the home side. No one really put a foot wrong against Barnsley, so it’s not surprising that Bruce doesn’t want to change things.
Both sides started really slowly. Forest were had the lions share of possession early on, meaning that Albert Adomah’s opener came very much against the run of play.
Jonathan Kodjia played a lovely ball though the Ghanian. (although the positioning of the Forest defence was questionable). Adomah then took the ball round Jordan Smith to score. 1-0.
This gave us a bit of confidence to attack. Adomah and Kodjia were doing bits along with Keinan Davis, whose hold up play is exceptional for a nineteen year-old.
That’s not to say Forest put up much resistance. For all of their possession, they seemed reluctant to shoot and lacked penetration in the final third.
Adomah nearly doubled his tally with a sidefoot shot, but it lacked power and was easy enough for Smith in the Forest goal. So nearly 2-0 and cruising.
But in the second half, Forest looked a completely different kettle of fish. In Daryl Murphy, they an outlet, and the former Newcastle striker got the better of Terry and Whelan before slotting past Johnstone for the equalizer.
Then Johnstone got slightly lucky that Kieran Dowell’s shot didn’t go through his legs.
The next and final goal arguably came against the run off play again. Connor Hourihane, the Irish wizard, curled a beautiful free kick round the wall. There was too much power for Smith to get down in time, and Villa were in the lead again.
There were some shaky moments toward the end, such as Johnstone saving Dowell’s free-kick which was heading for the top corner, and Daryl Murphy’s header which went close.
But despite that, Villa held on to record back to back wins for the first time this season, although other, more clinical teams might have punished us. Nevertheless, the boys in Claret and Blue need to be looking at the games against Burton and Bolton as winnable as they push on into October.
James Chester – Chester will never get the plaudits like Adomah or Kodjia, but I think he is one of the most important players in our team if not THE most important. It was another excellent display today from the Welshman, intercepting every ball as well as keeping Forests forward line quiet for the most part.