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The City Ground
Mr J Winter
Shearer (45mins pen)
Hamman (78 mins)
© Nottingham Forest 1999
Am I being really stupid to think that we pay good money to go and see a football match these days or do we pay to watch referees strut and preen themselves on the pitch saying to all of us "Look at me, I am the most important person here tonight, if I cannot make you notice me I will make a stupid decision so you will talk about me tonight!" Mr Jeffrey Winter the referee tonight managed to change a very competitive game into a farce because he must have felt he wasn't being noticed.
My notes say that for 44 mins Forest played Newcastle off the pitch, Alan Rogers had 4 good chances, van Hooijdonk a free kick, Freedman the best chance of the night and shots from Johnson and Stensaas made it a very exciting first half, Newcastle didn't get a lookin. With one minute of the half to go one of the most ludicrous incidents I have ever seen on a football pitch occurred. Shearer went up for a ball with Gough with arms and elbows above his head, Gough went down , the referee blew his whistle and the Newcastle players ran back to the middle for the free kick "No" said Mr Winter "I saw something that 22,874( that's the crowd + 22 players)didn't see. " Come back I have given you a penalty "Blow me!!" says Alan Shearer "Thank You very much!" Within the minute Forest had equalised from a delightful cross from Steve Stone to Freedman who lobbed the ball over Shay Given. It was a good first half and one that gave us heart as we went in for our Bovril
Newcastle came out for the second half attacking the Bridgford end and looking as if they were going for an all out attack. Within minutes though Louis-Jean got a second yellow card and was sent off. As is often the case, the 10 men of Forest fought back giving Newcastle a hard time From what I can only describe as another ludicrous situation, Newcastle had a free kick on the D which hit the post and rebounded for Crossley to save. On 74 mins though, Hamman from just outside the area, hammered a shot past Crossley to put Newcastle 2-1 up. By now the ten men of Forest started to look rather ragged, but Newcastle like many teams who have been down to The City Ground this year looked very ordinary. Harewood came on for the last 10 mins, but I don't think that he touched the ball at all! To sum the game up, Forest lost, but they didn't deserve to.