29th August 1998
|Freedman (79 min)||Bridge|
© Nottingham Forest 1998
It must have been a combination of the hot sunshine, the cold lager and the bank holiday atmosphere, but I felt that a win was on for Forest today even before kick off. There was a packed away stand in good singing form (except Webmaster, who never sings!).
Hodge had an early chance of scoring when he missed the goal with nobody around him. On ten minutes Beasant made a brilliant double save to chants of 'England's Number One'. He certainly is looking good. The first half continued at a good pace with a number of chances for Steve Stone who was beginning to look his old self again. Gemmill was denied a penalty when he was brought down.
Southampton looked particularly poor and it was only a few minutes into the second half when the ball finally found Darcheville and he blasted the ball into the back of the net. His delight was obvious and it seemed to lift the team even more. And it was the fact that they were playing as a team that made it work.
The second goal came when Stone picked up the ball and his first shot was saved by Jones. But the keeper didn't hold the ball and Stone didn't waste any time in putting the ball past him the second time.
It was a shame to give away a clean sheet but on 90 minutes after a rare mistake this afternoon from Bonalair, LeTissier was brought down and a penalty was rightly given.
Within seconds the ref. blew the final whistle and we were spared the agony of injury time. Just to put the finishing touch on a good afternoon Forest are second from top behind Villa who are on 7 points. Charlton and Wimbledon in third and fourth makes interesting reading. It may not stay like that for long but it feels good while it lasts.