30th Dec
The City Ground


Mr C.J.Foy

Norwich City
Beasant     A Marshall
Edwards   Sutch
Bart-Williams   L Marshall
Vaughan   Fleming
Prutton Jackson
Williams Roberts
Jones Mulryne
Brennan Russell
Harewood Mackay
John Abbey
Substitutes     Substitutes
Roche   Green
Reid Dalglish
Gray Coote
Calderwood   Kenton
Foy   McVeigh

In spite of the fact that the temperature has not gone above freezing over the last three days the match, unlike many others, was able to go ahead. Platt started the match with the same line-up that beat Crewe on Boxing Day and Norwich could have easily put out the Crewe side in Yellow shirts for the way they played!

The first half was almost without event although on 16 minutes nearly half of the Forest team had shots on goal in a flurry of activity inside the Norwich goalmouth, which had started from what looked like a failed clearance from their keeper. Five minutes later John had a good chance to score but put the ball wide. Brennan and Harewood both put in good crosses but, once again, the finishing just wasn't there. So, on the whole a poor half of football with only Olsen and Prutton really putting in the required effort - apart, of course, from Bart-Williams who so rarely puts a foot wrong that I forget to mention him. Harewood and John never really looked like scoring and Harewood overall had a very quiet half, not even causing the havoc up front for which he is known. Norwich were totally unremarkable in every way and Forest, in spite of the poor performance, looked the better side.

So, swiftly on to the second half. Brennan had an early solo run up the pitch, beating off the Norwich defenders and putting the ball neatly through to Stern John who was not able to get onto the ball. This signalled the start of some pressure from Forest with Olsen causing problems for Norwich down the side. But the finishing again wasn't there. Reid eventually came on for John and this made a difference straight away. The contrast in styles is obvious - he seems so much more alert and busy, looking for opportunities all the time. But, he couldn't score and Platt then put Gray on for Harewood much to the delight of most of the people around me. By this stage nothing was going to make a difference and the match struggled on towards the final whistle. Norwich seemed more than happy to time waste and go home with a point although, in a quick flurry at the end they looked briefly like they might attempt a goal.

Forest should definitely have taken the three points today, but once again couldn't find the goalmouth. Bart-Williams is our man of the match although more by default than anything else. Once again Forest have missed an opportunity to cement their position in the play-off zone but instead remain in 7th position, partly due to matches postponed and a bit of luck with other results.

There will be a pitch inspection at 3:00 tomorrow at St Andrews to decide whether the New Year fixture will go ahead - dare I say that it might be a good thing if it didn't.

Platt's problems increase with Olsen, Prutton and Edwards all being unavailable for the Palace match.

After the game Platt was critical of the team's performance in the last third of the field.

He commented: "I couldn't see where a goal was coming from in the end. Our general performance was good and we had plenty of possession but our final ball and movement up front left a lot to be desired.

"It was a great pity because we ended up taking a point from a match that we could easily have won. In the end we were looking for a spark somewhere or a bit of luck - but we got neither."

© Nottingham Forest 2000



Copyright © 2000 Nottingham Forest F.C.