(Groves pen 49min)
© Nottingham Forest 1999
It was good to meet two of our overseas fans today John Bebb and his boys from Grand Cayman and Karl Pridmore The Discerning (or should it be The Disturbing) Eye from Vancouver. We are always pleased to hear from anyone who is visiting Nottingham from overseas and always try to meet for a pre match beer if we can, unfortunately we cannot always do it, but do email me if you are coming over.
To the match. A classic case of " It was a game of two halves Brian!" With Mannini restored in defence we were able to see that a week of training together, and the Mansfield match had given the newcomers a chance to understand Normans dulcet Yorkshire instructions and for Norman to understand the Italian for "My ball" The game set off at a fast pace and it wasn't long before we were buzzing at the close skills we were seeing. Freedman , Petrachi, Matrecano and Harewood were all showing skills that we haven't seen for a long time. I know I will probably be spammed for saying it but Marlon was showing a lot of application today, holding the ball, creating space, and putting in that nice pass for Freedman or Petrachi. Matrecano had a great shot saved from a corner from an overhead kick. On 26 mins an nice touch from Harewood put Rogers through to put in a long hard cross for Freedman to put away. A Block started singing "You only sing when you're fishing" and we thought that more goals were on their way. To sum the half up, it was sharp and skilful. I would also like to mention that as with the Mansfield match the referee Mr Wilkes was noticeable by his absence, and we had none of the posturing we had last year and he would get a very high mark from me for the way he handled the match.
So to the Bovril and this year the meat pie (steakish and onion). The conversation was about the silky skills we had seen and whether it would be 4-1 at the end.
Grimsby came out a different side with Matrecano heading the ball over from a rare Grimsby attack. On 49 mins Quashie handled the ball in the box and Groves put the ball straight in the middle of the net. For the next 20 mins Forest totally lost their shape, and Grimsby were quicker on the ball. Quashie was substituted for Palmer to give the midfield a more defensive feel and Guinan came on for Marlon. It was looking as if we were going to settle for a draw when in the 87th min Palmer worked his way through the Grimsby defence to lash the ball into the left hand corner of the net! 2-1 and everyone went home happy. It was interesting to see David Platt go onto the pitch at the end of the game to shake his players hands, and the fact that Petrachi went to the Trent End to applaud the fans, what a difference.
The change IS happening, there is a smile at the club again.