Saturday 13th
3 - 1
Selhurst Park


Mr K.W.Burge

Goal 1:
Rogers 21 mins

Goal 2:
Freedman 59mins

Goal 3:

Gayle 79 mins

Goal 4:

Shipperley 83 mins

Crossley     Sullivan
Louis-Jean     Kimble
Rogers     Cunningham
Mattsson     Perry
Chettle     Thatcher
Edwards     Earle
Palmer     Roberts
Johnson     Gayle
Shipperley     Ardley
Freedman     Kennedy
van Hooijdonk     Hartson
Substitutes     Substitutes
Darcheville     Ekoko
Beasant     Euell
Stensaas     Hughes M
Bonalair     Heald
Bart-Williams     Hughes C

© Nottingham Forest 1999

Daily Express Sport Live

The miracle required by Ron Atkinson is slightly smaller after a spirited Nottingham Forest inflicted Wimbledon's second home defeat in seven days with this 3-1 FA Carling Premiership victory. Goals from Alan Rogers, Dougie Freedman and Neil Shipperley and a string of saves by Mark Crossley earned the midlanders a rare away win and kept their faint hopes of Premiership survival flickering. Forest are a proud club, crowned champions in 1977/78 which was Wimbledon's first season in league football. Much has changed since then but Forest played with the verve to suggest they will battle to the end to avoid another blemish on their chequered recent history. The club have witnessed as many lows as highs since those heady Brian Clough days when they ruled English and European football but their travelling fans were able to rejoice as they beat the Dons. Wimbledon's own dream of crowning their meteoric rise with a European campaign is on the wane. After gunning for Europe on three fronts at the turn of the year they are now slipping in the Premiership, which remains their only hope of a UEFA Cup debut. Wimbledon, still without boss Joe Kinnear after his recent heart attack, had opened in positive fashion and 7.5million striker John Hartson must have thought he had netted his first goal for his new club in the third minute. His point-blank header was brilliantly turned over by his Welsh international team-mate Crossley in the Forest goal after Robbie Earle had nodded an Alan Kimble corner to Hartson. The Dons, boosted by the news this week that manager Kinnear had left hospital and returned to his London home, continued to attack. Earle missed his kick completely after good work on the right between Hartson and Marcus Gayle. Then, in the 21st minute, the home team were hit with a sucker punch as Forest broke out of defence. Andy Johnson collected the scraps of another Wimbledon attack and charged at the heart of the home defence before slipping a neat pass into the path of Rogers. The 2m ex-Tranmere wing-back looked up to cross but, as his team-mates hurtled into the goalmouth his cross somehow found a route into the bottom corner of Neil Sullivan's net. It was a freakish goal but it was just the tonic Forest needed after another troublesome week. A home defeat and the 5.5m sale of Steve Stone to Aston Villa had made Atkinson's relegation mountain even harder to scale but his players showed plenty of life once they went ahead. They could have taken a more comfortable lead into the interval. Ben Thatcher denied Freedman with a great saving-tackle and the ex-Crystal Palace striker, back on familiar territory at Selhurst Park, dragged a shot wide after he was teed-up by Pierre van Hooijdonk. The Dutchman, playing in a more withdrawn role behind the strikers, produced some quality corners. Shipperley climbed high to head one over and then crashed a fierce shot inches wide after another. Neal Ardley had the ball in the net after a typical Selhurst scramble shortly after half-time but it was ruled out for a foul by Earle on Crossley. Freedman eased Forest's nerves in the 59th minute. He collected a long pass from Matthieu Louis-Jean and lobbed the stranded Sullivan. Goalscorer Rogers could have helped himself to a hat-trick. He went close with a ferocious volley, then skied a golden chance after being released by van Hooijdonk and was foiled by Sullivan's outstretched boot in another one-on-one. The outstanding Crossley saved a vicious free-kick from Ardley and kept out good efforts from Gayle and Hartson. Wimbledon hauled themselves back into the game when Hartson nodded a right-wing cross into the path of Gayle and the Jamaican international smashed home his 10th of the season. But the fightback was shortlived. Shipperley bagged his first goal in Forest colours six minutes from time. He collected a van Hooijdonk flick and hammered the ball past Sullivan on his near-post.