Jones 24 mins
Leeds may have emerged victorious but David Platt was full of praise for his Nottingham Forest side after their friendly date with the Champions League qualifiers at The City Ground on Saturday.
Leeds ran out 2-1 winners – thanks to first half goals by Lee Bowyer and Ian Harte. But Reds new boy Gary Jones found the target in between and Platt was greatly encouraged by the performance of his men. “I enjoyed watching the game,” he told us. “We won’t come up against that kind of quality on a weekly basis in the First Division but it was an excellent work-out for us. “We were punished for a couple of mistakes but on the whole I was pleased with the way we played. “When we left Bristol City on Wednesday night after losing 3-2, I knew I had several problems to sort out on the training ground. “But now I can look forward to next week because I think we can add to that performance on the training ground, rather than having to worry about ironing out problems.”
Leeds were unable to call upon a host of their big name players, including new signing Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell and Jonathan Woodgate. But David O’Leary was still able to send out a strong line-up and saw his side take a 23rd minute lead through Bowyer when he fired past Dave Beasant from the edge of the area after playing a neat one-two with Tony Hackworth.
Forest, however, hit back in style just two minutes later when Jones – making his first appearance at The City Ground following his free transfer switch from Tranmere – fired past Nigel Martyn. David Prutton was the architect of the goal. The teenager powered forward from midfield and after Andy Johnson had cleverly stepped over his pass, Jones provided the perfect finish.
Leeds – who face 1860 Munich in their opening Champions League game in just over a week’s time – restored their lead just before half-time. Jim Brennan was penalised for bringing down Nottingham-born Darren Huckerby and Ian Harte stepped up to curl home a stunning free kick. That proved to be the match-winner, although Forest went in pursuit of an equaliser in the second half with Marlon Harewood causing problems for Leeds’ central defensive pairing of Michael Duberry and Robert Molenaar.
© Nottingham Forest 2000