Nottingham
Forest
  Saturday 19th
December
1998
Score
2 - 2
Venue:
City Ground

Attendance:
22,013

Referee:
Mr Stephen Lodge

Goal 1:
Chettle pen(22min)

Goal 2:
Freedman (30min)

Goal 3:
Blake (49min)

Goal 4:
Blake (90min)


 
Blackburn Rovers
   
Beasant     Filan
Hjelde     Kenna
Chettle     Davidson
Mattsson     Sherwood
Rogers     Henchoz
Stone     Wilcox
Johnson     Blake
Gemmill     Sutton
Bart-Williams     McKinley
Freedman     Dailly
Shipperley     Gillespie
Substitutes     Substitutes
Crossley     Davies
Armstrong     Peacock
Harewood     Duff
Bonalair     Johnson
Darcheville     Fettis

© Nottingham Forest 1998

I woke up this morning thinking that this would be the day that kick started our season. Even when we heard that van Hooijdonk had failed a fitness test on his calf strain and Shipperley was in we thought Lady Luck was going to shine on us today! Playing yet another changed side with Hjelde playing at right back Forest attacked from the start.

The first 5 mins was all Forest with Blackburn clearing off the line and Dougie Freedman flicking the ball to Forest players all over the pitch.

As the game went on the feeling was we were going to have our first win since beating Southampton in August.

In the 22nd min Johnson was shielding the ball to go out for a corner and the linesman suddenly flagged for a penalty.

 Had referee Stephen Lodge seen the penalty against us last week and wanted to make up for it? Who would take it?

We haven't had to ask that for over 10 years remember. Up stepped Steve Chettle who blasted it into the top right hand corner.

Yes Lady Luck is shining on us today. Eight mins later Shipperley, out on the left, put the ball across for Dougie Freedman to put away at the far post.

 It was looking good, Gemmill and Johnson were dominating the midfield, and new boy Mattsson was looking steady and his distribution out, looked class.Half time and it was time for the Bovril.

The second half started the same as the first with a delightful move from Rogers to Stone who put Freedman through on his own.......his chip went wide of the right hand post.

 Aston Villa all over again, if we had gone 3-0 up then Blackburn would have been buried. Lady Luck had decided that it was time to go Christmas shopping.

Four mins into the half Jason Wilcox sent over a long cross from the left and Nathan Blake poked it home.

Stone cut in from the right and put in a beautiful left(?) shot which goalkeeper Filan just managed to tip over.

Forest had a corner which was cleared, not to a Forest back four but to Dave Beasant who had come up onto the halfway line to mark Chris Sutton!

 Beasant handled the ball and Sutton put the ball to Jason Wilcox who with a completely empty goal managed to put it wide. Beasant got a yellow card and in this day of inconsistency of referees was lucky not to get a red.

Blackburn could sense that they could get a result from this game and Beasant brought off two world class saves to keep Forest looking at 3 points.

The fourth official showed that we had 5 mins of extra injury time to play.

 Blackburn had replaced Gillespie and Wilcox with Damien Duff and Damien Johnson (remember him?).

With the clock ticking away Duff put over another long ball which Sutton headed against the bar but Blake was there to follow it home. 90 mins and another draw.

The frustrating thing about watching Forest at the moment is that other than Liverpool and Sheffield Weds, we have not been that much worse than the opposition, and often better.

Perhaps Mrs Luck can relax now and enjoy the Christmas period, starting at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.