The City Ground


Mr M.J.Brandwood

Goal 1
Lester 15secs
Goal 2
Roberts 27 mins

Beasant     Marshall A
Louis-Jean   Kenton
Scimeca     Fuglestad
Vaughan     Fleming
Rogers     Jackson
Bart-Williams   Sutch
Prutton   Russell
Johnson     de Blasiis
Quashie   Llewellyn
Freedman   Roberts
Lester Dalglish
Substitutes     Substitutes
Crossley     Green
Harewood   Mackay
Gray   Forbes
Brennan Milligan
Cooper   Marshall L

© Nottingham Forest 2000

Tony Vaughan Dougie Freedman
Tony Vaughan Dougie Freedman

I listened to the radio on the way to the match today and am pleased that I did. David Platt was being interviewed and explained to me (and others) why Forest were so poor in the second half against Swindon. Apparently, whilst he could not fault their physical commitment to the cause, their minds were tired! So, the lesson of the week is - if you don't want to run around like a headless chicken, then you need to use your body and your brain at the same time! Rocket science it isn't so I was looking forward to seeing how well they had got one with this new tactic.

Well, things just couldn't have started better. Forest win the ball from the kick-off, Louis-Jean puts the ball neatly over a Norwich player to Lester who keeps control well and puts it in the back of the net. His first goal for the club - in14 seconds! It must be Forest's quickest goal this season - well, probably several seasons! A great start. Forest took early control of the match with some nice attempts on goal from Freedman and Lester and good work from Rogers and Prutton. But gradually Norwich started to get back into the game. They are not a pretty side to watch but they were winning the ball too many times. Forest were playing 'head tennis' far too much and just kept giving the ball away. And on 27 minutes Norwich equalised. Louis-Jean, on his own at the back, was unable to turn quickly enough to clear the ball. He mis-kicked completely and ended up placing the ball perfectly for Roberts to score.

From then on both sides really looked as bad as each other, with only Lester getting a shot on goal. And I hate to go on about the refereeing but it was not good. Lester was brought down in the box but the ref played on. And on 40mins Scimeca had a goal disallowed, presumably for offside. Norwich practiced their diving and managed to convince the ref on a number of occasions. Perhaps the Forest players should be taking acting lessons - how to dive convincingly, writhe with pain on the floor, and look outraged every time a player from the other team comes within a yard of them. It seems to work for some teams. The second half started in similar fashion and continued so for the first 15 minutes.

But then, for a spell of about 10-15 minutes, Forest found some form again. Freedman lobbed a ball just over on 60 minutes. This was followed by some intense pressure from Forest, which included three corners in succession. The crowd finally found their voices and for a while it felt like being at a football match. Quashie was sent off for a second bookable offence - and for once I can't argue about that decision. Marlon came on to cause his usual 20 minutes of mayhem for the Norwich defence and also managed a yellow card for some needless retaliation. Forest actually seemed to play better with only the 10 men, with shots from Johnson and Rogers and a good free-header from Freedman. Beasant made a great save in the 88th minute to prevent Norwich from taking what would have been an undeserved lead. So, it finished 1-1 and that seemed a fair result with neither team deserving to win.

I'm off to Portsmouth on Saturday, yet another 'must win' match, but even more so with only managing the one point tonight.



Copyright © 2001 Nottingham Forest F.C.