Mr G Barber
© Nottingham Forest 1999
Nottingham Forest 1 v Everton 0
van Hooijdonk 56mins
You could be forgiven for looking twice at the Forest team sheet today to make sure it was the right team. But, Big Ron has not wasted time and had Palmer, Harkes and Stensaas in the starting line-up. But the first half had all the excitement of a Sunday kickaround. That may have been just as well, it gave the Forest squad a chance to get to know each other! Everton looked a very poor side and the crowd did not help them, there was no atmosphere to boost them at all. Forest's best chance came just minutes before the end of the second half when Rogers blazed the ball over the bar.
Forest came out for the second half looking more positive and whatever Ron Atkinson had said must have hit the right nerve. Hooijdonk ( having a very quiet game)should have scored when he sent an excellent chance over the net. Seconds later he made amends when he picked up yet another good cross from Rogers and whacked the ball into the net on 56mins. Darcheville had a chance minutes later but the ball was cleared for a corner. On 62 minutes Stone took a shot on goal when a pass to Rogers might have been a better option and missed the net. Everton should have equalised on 65 when sub Bakayoko should have scored. He had another good chance but Stone managed to clear the ball. The pressure at the end was unbearable as Everton suddenly found a bit of form. Beasant met yet another tremendous save into injury time. Somehow the referee managed to find nearly 6 minutes of extra time to play and the whistle just could not come quickly enough to preserve the vital 3 points. Although still on the bottom of the table Forest are now 6 points behind fourth place Blackburn.
At least it keeps us in touch and hope remains. With the new back four showing a stability that hasn't been seen for months, and the use of two wing backs attacking Forest looked far more impressive. Carlton Palmer looked class and Alan Rogers playing out of position was magnificent. As Ron Atkinson said it is now a 16 match season and we have started well!