17th Oct
The Reebok Stadium


Mr S Hodge

Bolton Wanderers
Beasant   Jaaskelainen
Scimeca O'Kane
Edwards Fish
Doig Frandsen
Foy   Charlton
Prutton Hansen
Johnson Elliott
Bart-Williams Farrelly
Rogers Marshall
Blake Ricketts
Lester Rankin
Substitutes     Substitutes
Collis   Banks
Harewood Gardner
Jones Barnes
Vaughan Nolan
Louis-Jean Passi
Report by Becky Gamester

On our last visit to Bolton, we were greeted with wind and rain aplenty before being beaten in stoppage time. This game had similar conditions, therefore packed full of humourous falling-over incidents by both sides, but it was somehow goalless.However, it certainly wasn’t your average dour 0-0 draw.

Forest started the game with two changes as Prutton resumed his place on the right-side of midfield, pushing back Ricky to the defence and dropping Mathieu Louis-Jean to the bench. The Forest faithful were, as always when away from home, in full voice and looking forward to the match after a good, although nail-biting, performance at Oakwell on Saturday. Inevitably the drama did not quite match that, but both sides had their chances.

Bolton started the game well in charge, with Bo Ansen’s powerful header going just over from six yards. Robbie Blake, keeping his place after a superb performance in the previous match, should’ve really put us ahead after 12 minutes but he screwed his shot wide. Bolton’s two strikers, Ricketts and Rankin were outpacing the defence but failed to capitalise on good chances. It was former Everton man Gareth Farrelly who really tested Lurch first however, but our very own ‘keeper brilliantly tipped the ball over. Whilst the veteran continued to stop some great shots from the whites, you couldn't help from notice that he still has this tendency to wander out of the box when a defender clearly has it covered. A repeat of THAT howler at Barnsley would’ve overshadowed these stops, but luckily he didn’t and so, naturally, the tabloids have all praised him to bits this morning. How this contrasts with Sunday morning!

The second half was again full of half-chances. Bolton again started well, with Rogers being called back to defend on several occasions. However Forest had the first ‘real’ chance when the threatening Blake’s cut back to Rogers was slightly misplaced, forcing ‘Tank’ to go back and scuff the ball wide. However, Lurch was called into action on several occasions as Wanderers forced a string of stunning saves.

Platty decided to substitute both Jack and Blake with Marlon and Gary Jones respectively late on. It seems that Platt has finally found his ideal strike-partnership as these two seem to link well, support each other and cause defences problems with their sheer commitment and pace. Platt must sign Blake on a permanent contract – and quick. Speaking of the Forest boss, for the first time since the early minutes of the Blackburn game, the old ‘David Platt’s red and white army’ could be heard from the away fans. Hurrah! Hopefully this will continue at home also as Platt heads a fast-improving Forest side; we’re actually starting to pass the ball!

Bolton spent their final substitution with bringing on the fans favourite. Ricardo Gardner (who Harry Bassett tried to sign for us once, if my memory serves me correctly), also known as Wesley Snipes/Demolition Man/Sisqo or ‘pint of guinness’ as the Forest faithful affectionately labelled him, was an absolute joy to watch. On a couple of occasions, he looked dangerously quick when the ball was at his feet and played two decent attacking long balls. On 10-15 occasions, he either a) played the ball towards the crowd b) fell over c) shot towards the corner flag or d) actually snapped the corner flag. Entertaining stuff, although I’m quite pleased he never signed for Forest.

In the dying minutes it was Marlon who should’ve won the game for Forest. After already spurning a couple of good chances, the striker chased the ball well into the Bolton half, managed to nick it off the defender, leaving a clean run through on goal from the keeper’s right. However, his shot caused little bother for the ‘keeper to save.

But, a draw at Bolton is a good result. Remember that in any other season they would probably be top as both Fulham and Watford have had absolutely outstanding starts to the season. We are passing the ball around nicely now – and creating chances against good sides. Watford at home is a tough game to say the least. Needless to say, it would be useful if we started playing well at home by beginning with this game, although in reality a draw would be a great result. But if we play like we do away on Saturday, who knows?
© Nottingham Forest 2000



Copyright © 2000 Nottingham Forest F.C.