Report by Mrs Webmaster
David Platt put his faith in the Forest youth today and brought 18 year
old Andy Reid in to partner Lester up front, an admirable and perhaps
brave decision with both John and Harewood on the bench. First impression
was that he is very small - 5'7" - and with his shorts coming down to
his knees, he makes Alan Rogers seem tall.
So, with Reid plus a midfield that made Scimeca look ancient at 25, it
must have been one of the youngest sides Forest have put out for a long
time. Reid got involved in the action from early on with a cross to Foy,
which just went out. Then on 9 minutes he put the ball through for Olsen
who kept control and put the ball away for Forest to take an early lead.
I know I keep saying it, but what a great player Olsen is. He just never
knows when he is defeated and takes on his man better than players twice
his size. And Reid showed throughout the first half that he is, as Paul
Hart says, a natural goalscorer.
Although he didn't score in the first half he showed that he is not afraid
to have a go when he can see an opportunity. Some of his efforts were
weak and occasionally he shot when he should have passed. And Sheffield
United - well, they were poor, or as someone said, it was like watching
an army side (I'm not sure exactly what that means, so apologise if I'm
criticising the army!).
They didn't have one shot on goal the whole of the first half and never
looked a danger. It was, overall, a scrappy half but very encouraging
that the youngsters played so well together. Forest continued to dominate
in the second half. United had a total of three shots on goal although
two of those were the sort that Beasant can catch with his eyes shut.
Scimeca nearly increased the lead when he hammered the ball across the
front of the goal, only just clearing the post. Prutton had an excellent
second half - he is at last playing up to his potential and his passing
was skilful and accurate.
His best run of the night came on 65 minutes when he put the ball through
to Reid. His control was perfect, he kept his concentration and put the
ball past the keeper. A dream debut for the youngster who celebrated his
first goal in front of the Trent End. Lester was substituted immediately
after to give Stern John a chance to play. He had a full half hour to
prove himself but, apart from one shot, he still looks short of pace and
doesn't look like scoring. Platt gave another youngster Richard Cooper
a run out and brought on Calderwood for the last few minutes, though not
enough to see his match fitness. But with Vaughan picking up another booking
he will be out soon and Calderwood will be looking to get his place back.
A few nice touches in the second half from Williams at the back, added
to another sound performance from Foy, completed a successful night all
round for the young squad.
This win puts Forest at last into the play-off positions, just one point
above Burnley who we play on Saturday. With Watford slipping away from
Fulham it is no longer impossible to think of aiming for second place.
Comment by Mr Webmaster:
We have been married for too many years to count , but tonight we have
I saw a side tonight that was the clubs future. On the day that we announced
a loss of anything from £15m to £4.5m we saw our future playing tonight.
Not a pretty game, but we saw enough to say that we are going the right
way. We have now played 9 players from the Youth Academy this season (+
Edds from last season), and tonight we had 7 players playing , or on the
bench who have come through the ranks as home grown.
We had the first forward to score a home goal in a league match since
Stern scored v Port Vale on the last game of the season on April 29th.
Beas could have sat in an armchair tonight with a cigar and a glass of
port in his hand with his slippers on!
I saw the Youth Academy staff tonight, and they were proud. I'm biased
as I have been with these youngsters on many occasions. I think we have
the strongest squad in this division with the Academy players, time will
With six wins out of seven will the manager be in line for "Manager of
One other highlight was seeing "Benny"(as his fans from DC call him) Olsen
running around like a Terrier. When you see him clearing a ball away from
a corner with a header, you know he has the makings of a good player.
Many people have been surprised how the "little Yank"( and that is not
meant to be rude) gets amongst the opposition and gives as much as he
gets. His goal tonight was sheer determination. Will he stay at the end
of his 3 month loan? I hope so!
The thing I felt tonight, was that we have a team that is now playing
for each other and enjoying it
Next stop Burnley.
David Platt has urged Nottingham Forest's young guns to cement their place
in a promotion play-off spot after clinching their sixth win in seven
matches. The Forest boss was forced to field a young and inexperienced
side due to the mounting injury problems and Robbie Blake's return to
But American international Ben Olsen set them on the road to victory over
Sheffield United and debutant Andy Reid settled the issue in the 63rd
minute. "We've had to work hard to get ourselves into the top six and
now the challenge is to cement our place in the play-off positions," commented
a satisfied Platt.
"I was pleased with the result even though you couldn't say that we played
terrific football. But we had the energy in midfield to cause them problems.
"We've won six of the last seven games and in all honesty I felt we could
have won the other match when we played well in the second half against
Wimbledon. "The important thing now is not to let all this hard work go
to waste. We need to keep this run going and consolidate our position
among the play-off contenders." Platt was delighted for new boy Reid,
who calmly slotted home his first goal after being set up by fellow youngsters
Gareth Williams and David Prutton. "He had six or seven shots on goal
over the course of the game and caused them problems, so I was not surprised
that he got a goal," he added. "We know that he's a good finisher and
he stuck his chance away extremely well."
Nottingham Forest 2000