City Ground


Mr P.R.Richards

Goal 1
Rogers 32 mins
Goal 2
36 mins pen

Goal 3
Freedman 42 mins
Goal 4
Hay pen

Swindon Town
Beasant     Talia
Louis-Jean     Robinson
Scimeca   Leith
Vaughan     Davies
Rogers     Reeves
Prutton   Davis
Bart-Williams     Collins
Johnson Williams
Quashie     Cowe
Freedman     Gray
Lester   Hay
Substitutes     Substitutes
Crossley     Mildenhall
Harewood Howe
Gray     Willis
Dawson     McAreavey
Brennan Cuervo

© Nottingham Forest 2000

Dougie Freedman Ricky Scimeca
David Prutton


League Position 17th
It was a 'Kids for a Quid' match today, a great opportunity to swell the numbers and get the youngsters hooked on Forest at an early age. Well, swell the numbers it certainly did with a crowd well over 19,000 and it was good to see so many excited faces all around. Mind you, by half time I was beginning to weigh the advantages against having the back of my seat kicked by a pair of legs too short to reach the ground! But in the more boring moments of the match I enjoyed hearing fathers try to tackle that most difficult of questions - No, not 'Daddy where do babies come from?' but - "Daddy, what does offside mean?" And I thought that the description of a substitution as "when the one that is tired goes off and a new one comes on" as rather endearing.

Why, you might ask yourself, am I going on about kids when Forest have just won 3-1. Well, to be brutally frank, it was a poor match. I knew how bad it was when I nearly missed the first goal because I was reading the adverts on the electronic scoreboard.
But back to the beginning. Forest lost the toss. For us sitting in the Trent End this means that, if Forest are going to score shedloads of goals, we need them to be scored in the first half. I am sure that someone who likes statistics will tell me the numbers, but we haven't seen many Forest goals down our end for a couple of seasons now. And, as we had already decided that we should be scoring at least three against bottom of the table strugglers Swindon, this was going to be our week. Freedman started today in place of Harewood and Scimeca was back in defence again as Hjelde is still carrying the injury that made him pull out of the Wolves match during the warm-up.

Forest started in lively enough fashion, with Johnson and Prutton looking busy and Lester running around up front trying to find someone to give the ball to. Lester had a chance in the first minute, Freedman put a chip in from a Lester pass and Prutton had a chance saved by keeper Talia. But it wasn't long before Forest were bringing their play down to the level of Swindon and we were beginning to think that the goals were just not going to come. It was as if the second half of the Wolves match had just carried on back at the City Ground.
At one stage Swindon even started getting some chances in with Hay ballooning the ball over the net on 25 minutes. Then, just as my attention was really starting to wander, Rogers put in a beautiful cross. It was almost as if the ball changed it's mind at the last minute and curled itself into the net. A goal. In the first half. In the Trent End. The second goal came about from a bizarre bit of play.
After some disastrous defending by Swindon, Lester was through on goal. The keeper came running out of his box to stop him, Lester swerved away, the keeper swerved the other way and they danced round each other until the keeper was well outside his area. Finally, the ball got through to Freedman who, due to the absence of the keeper to make any save, was brought down in the box. By this stage Lester was bent over on the floor, not through injury, but sheer embarrassment at not being able to score. Cries of 'dodgy keeper' rang out as Bartman stepped up and put the penalty neatly away into the corner of the net. Goal 2. In the Trent End. In the first half! But, our excitement was not over. Suddenly, two goals up and with a dodgy keeper, there could be no stopping us. And, on 42 minutes, Freedman picked up a beautiful cross from Prutton and scored number 3.

Well, we went in for the Bovril at half time - no, wait a minute, I cannot tell a lie here, unlike Webmaster I hate Bovril, and I don't go anywhere at half time, I stay in my seat and watch 'Sherwood' the mascot play goalkeeper. But anyway, that last 15 minutes made us forget the rather poor performance we had seen up until then. Surely Swindon would be so demoralised that we would put in several more goals in the second half.
Well, I've always like the saying 'a game of two halves'. But today I really wish that there had been just the one. To say that the last 45 minutes was poor would be kind. It started badly enough with Swindon being awarded a penalty as Johnson brought down a player. It didn't seem penalty material to me, but I'm biased. Hay put the ball neatly away and it was 3-1. For those of you who like statistics it is the only goal we have conceded since Vaughan has been playing for Forest (bearing in mind that he was not on the pitch at Wolves). Let's hope that Platt manages to sign him this week before he is due to go back to Man City. He is looking very good at the back and we desperately need him.

There is little more to say about the second half. It was messy, scrappy, boring untidy football. Marlon came on for Lester and had a good chance to score within seconds but couldn't get past the keeper. Rogers had a couple more goes at 'crossing' the ball into the net, Freedman had a shot saved and Quashie had a couple of good shots. I'm beginning to sound like the sort of moaning Forest fan that I hate - we won 3-1 and still not happy. We got the three points and at this stage of the season that is what counts. It won't be that easy against Norwich on Wednesday but at least we are beginning to get the winning feeling.




Copyright © 2001 Nottingham Forest F.C.