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The City Ground
© Nottingham Forest 1998
Nottingham Forest 1 v 1 Southampton
Mrs Webmaster and I argued on the way home from the match who was going to write the report tonight. Larry Lloyd on Century 106 didn't seem to have been to the same match as Martin Fisher on Radio Nottingham, and definitely not the one I went to. As it is Pantomime season it was all you could do to stop shouting "He's behind you"; instead we had "Sack the Board, sack the Board". Unfortunately sound doesn't carry to Watford or Monte Carlo, but maybe the Internet coverage of Century 106 did!
Mike Reed replaced the injured Stephen Lodge as Referee, you sometimes wonder if he should keep to his real job as Frank Butcher in Eastenders. He and his linesmen( sorry assistant referees ) made themselves inconspicuous by wearing bright blue striped numbers today, so much for blending into the background. We had the usual change of team, and with it another tactical change. It doesn't seem that long ago that you knew what the team and the formation would be from week to week, now no-one, including the players, seem to have a clue how they are expected to play. The game started as ever with the hope that today was the day that Dave Bassett keeps telling us is coming, we were going to win. It was a typical first half played by two sides at the bottom of the table, frantic and with chances at both ends and two world class saves yet again from Dave Beasant. Flicks and neat touches from Freedman, Johnson and Gemmill, but not the killer punch.
Half Time and even the Bovril didn't taste that good today.
If we thought the first half was bad then the second was even worse. A free headed goal from that well known Moroccan Hassan Kachloul saw the Forest defence waiting for their Christmas presents on the 48th min. 5 mins later the lively Freedman tried to round Paul Jones the Southampton goalkeeper and was brought down for his troubles. Steve Chettle put the penalty away on his 477th appearance for the club. We then had a scene that typified the afternoon when the Southampton players got into a handbag fight with the Forest dugout, something to do with Crossley not giving the ball back quick enough to Colleter.......ridiculous. Freedman, Forest's most effective forward was surprisingly substituted for Harewood. The player coming on was refreshing, it was the one that went off that surprised the crowd. So that was that, a few scrambled chances at both ends, which when you are down, will not go in, but will when you are top of the league.
As Dave Bassett said at the AGM, football is about opinions, and this has been mine! Two years ago we were in a similar position and the cry went up "sack the board", and we did. Now we have a Plc Board and shareholders to whom they are responsible, If the majority shareholders are not bothered about our club, then perhaps they should sell their shares to someone who is.
As I said before, only an opinion.