1st April
Gresty Road


Mr A Leake

Goal One
Prutton 25 mins
Goal Two
Rogers 53 mins
Goal Three
Rogers 79 mins

Beasant     Kearton
Scimeca     D.Wright
Hjelde     Smith
Calderwood     Macauley
Vaughan   Unsworth
Prutton Lunt
Bart-Williams     Sorvel
Johnson   Little
Rogers     Rivers
John Tait
Harewood     Cramb
Substitutes     Substitutes
Crossley     Lightfoot
Woan   Collins
Louis-Jean   Newby
Brennan Street
Lester   Liddle

© Nottingham Forest 2000
Alan Rogers Celebrates
Alan Rogers Scores
Marlon Harewood Ricky Scimeca

It was not possible to overestimate the importance of a win today. And the fact that we were even contemplating not beating a side like Crewe would at one time have been unbelievable. But Forest's disappointing season is only emphasised by the dangerous position that they hover in just outside the relegation zone. But we all know that, so how is it that we managed to turn things round and win away from home 3-0.

Forest were lucky not to concede a penalty after only 6 minutes when Vaughan brought down a Crewe player in the box. But that aside, Forest quickly took control. Scimeca had the first chance of the match on 10 minutes but shot well wide. Platt had decided on playing four central defenders across the back and on the whole this seemed to work although Vaughan at times did look out of position at left back. On 20 minutes Rogers had a left foot shot cleared off the line as Forest began to pile on the pressure. Soon after Crewe had their first real chance when Scimeca denied Rivers a chance to score.

The first goal came on 25 minutes as Rogers put a low cross in from the left hand side. Prutton ran in to pick it up and tapped the ball neatly into the net from 6 yds for his first senior goal. Soon after another cross from Rogers found Harewood, who shot just over the bar. Although Crewe were playing with three strikers Forest's dominant midfield gave them little opportunity to take advantage until near to half time. Rivers came close to equalising when he beat Vaughan and then Beasant came under pressure. A through ball split the back four and Beasant just managed to win the ball - the first real work he'd had to do in the first half. He saved again seconds before the whistle as he smothered the ball at the feet of Cramb.

Throughout the first half Forest had most of the play, but on the whole lacked the final touch. Harewood in particular was working hard but never managed to make it pay off when it mattered. At the start of the second half Crewe came on the attack again and it was only Cramb's selfishness in trying to score rather than pass that let Forest off. And that was just about it from Crewe for the second half. Forest's second goal came on 52 minutes. Harewood put in a cross to Stern John who held the ball whilst Rogers could run into position. John passed it wide to Rogers who blasted the ball into the opposite corner to score his 10th goal of the season.

Stern John took a knock on the leg and was substituted a few minutes later with Lester taking his position up front with Harewood. But the match settled into mediocrity and Crewe were subjected to slow handclaps from their supporters. But they were drowned out by the singing of the travelling Forest fans and for once we really did not care how bad the match got. Harewood was brought down just outside the penalty area but the resulting free kick was headed easily away. And then Rogers put the game out of Crewe's reach (not that it was ever really within it) with 12 minutes to go. Another great left foot drive gave the keeper no chance. Crewe were denied a second penalty when Brennan, who had only been on the pitch a few minutes brought a player down. Even the ref was on Forest's side today, and that does make a change. And that was about it. Not a startling match. Beasant had virtually nothing to do, the midfield worked well and the defence were effective. Calderwood was greatly improved from his last performance, but without a doubt the Man of the Match was Alan Rogers. A lot of teams would pay a great deal of money for a midfielder and some-time defender with 11 goals to their name. I, for one, hope that none of them decide to make Forest too good an offer for him at the end of the season.

As the whistle went Platt and the whole bench joined his players in going straight across to applaud the away supporters. And they deserved it - the ever loyal travelling fans had packed the whole of Crewe's away area with some 1,800 supporters and had sung and cheered for most of the match. Nobody really cared that we had not seen a good performance - we had three goals and, more importantly, three points. And nobody could ask for more than that.

But let's not get carried away. Crewe were truly awful. We now have to do the same against Charlton, Birmingham and Sheffield United - well, at least two of them would be good! Not an easy task. But this win will have worked wonders in restoring the confidence of the players and will, for at least this week, keep the threat of relegation at bay. And I'm sure that I will not be the only fan who will actually be looking forward to going to a match next Saturday for the first time in a while.

David Platt paid tribute to the work-rate of his players after they boosted their Division One survival hopes. The boss told us: "The pleasing thing - and the thing that I as a manager can really savour - is the manner in which we claimed the three points. "We went to Gresty Road with a definite game plan and it worked perfectly for almost the entire 90 minutes. "The players deserve all the credit for that as they worked hard in every area of the pitch. When Crewe were in possession, we got men behind the ball as quickly as possible and just didn't give them the chance to hurt us." Forest can now look forward to next Saturday's City Ground date with table-topping Charlton with renewed confidence.
Platt added: "The game against Crewe was vitally important for us, simply because we've got so many other difficult looking fixtures coming up. "I'm sure today's win will have done the players the power of good and I'm sure they will be looking forward to the visit of Charlton I know I am."


Copyright © 2001 Nottingham Forest F.C.