29th Nov
The City Ground


Mr M.Fletcher

Goal One
Olsen 10 mins
Goal Two
Reid 65 mins

Sheff Utd
Beasant   Tracey
Edwards Quinn
Bart-Williams Murphy
Vaughan Brown
Scimeca D'Jaffo
Prutton Devlin
Williams   Santos
Foy Sandford
Olsen Thomas
Reid Uhlenbeek
Lester Woodhouse
Substitutes     Substitutes
Roche   Suffo
John Ford
Harewood Kelly
Cooper Talia
Calderwood Ribeiro

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 totally disagreed.

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 tell.

With six wins out of seven will the manager be in line for "Manager of the Month"?

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.

Managers Comments:
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 Bradford City.

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


Copyright © 2000 Nottingham Forest F.C.