Exiles stuck in a rut

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The Independent Football

Both sets of fans here would place themselves among the long-suffering, stuck following two clubs unable to make annual statements of bold intent sound anything more than empty promises. On yesterday's evidence, the pain of exile from the top table looks likely to continue for the foreseeable future and neither David Platt nor Colin Lee should stake much on job security.

Both sets of fans here would place themselves among the long-suffering, stuck following two clubs unable to make annual statements of bold intent sound anything more than empty promises. On yesterday's evidence, the pain of exile from the top table looks likely to continue for the foreseeable future and neither David Platt nor Colin Lee should stake much on job security.

Forest, with only one win in four home matches, took a grip in the second half, although their finishing let down their approach work and they rarely looked likely scoring. Wolves, while happy with a point, did not press Dave Beasant into a single save.

Like so many matches in the First Division, at least those not involving Jean Tigana's fluently effective Fulham, this one needed what seemed like an age for any suggestion of decent football to emerge, each side matching error for error.

Wolves, their attacking options stripped of both Temuri Ketsbaia and Robert Taylor, tailored their ambitions accordingly, although Forest took 22 minutes to find a way to test Michael Oakes in the Wolves goal. When it did happen, Jack Lester cleverly worked a space for himself after turning on the 18-yard line and Oakes had to arch his back to palm the ball over after Lester had sought to beat him with a chip.

Hesitancy in the Forest defence, in which the teenager Keith Foy made his home debut at left-back, afforded Wolves two opportunities to steal ahead early the second half, the first curled wide of Beasant's right-hand post by Tony Dinning, the other wasted by Adam Proudlock, who needed too many touches after a mistake by Christian Edwards.

Forest, for their part, went close through the former Wolves striker Dougie Freedman, whose shot wide of the left-hand upright had Oakes beaten after a move instigated by Chris Bart-Williams.

By the closing stages, Forest were the better side but though David Platt, himself sidelined by injury, introduced fresh attacking legs in Robbie Blake and Gary Jones, Blake saw his best effort blocked on the line.

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