The City Ground


Mr G.Frankland
Goal 1
Rogers 10 mins
Goal 2
Quashie 51 mins

Crystal Palace
Beasant     Mauton
Hjelde     Austin
Vaughan     Woozley
Prutton   Morrison
Bart-Williams   Fullarton
Harewood   Carlisle
Lester     Rodger
Substitutes     Substitutes
Crossley     Gregg

© Nottingham Forest 2000

Hjelde Quashie
Rogers goal

I love it when a plan comes together. It is such a refreshing change to be able to report on a win which Forest achieved in cruise control that there is not really a great deal to say - and doesn't THAT make a nice change?
For the first time this season Platty was able to name an unchanged side, and the performance (and, more importantly, the result) was pretty much the same. The defence looked pretty solid, with both Hjelde and Vaughan winning everything which mattered and the two full backs being strong at the back and adventurous going forward. In midfield the new policy of playing a more narrow line-up and getting Prutton, Quashie and Johnno to hunt in packs in front of Bart in an anchor role denied Palace any space to make anything happen, and up front Jack and Marlon put themselves about with vigour. After an opening ten minutes when nothing much happened, we took the lead with a goal which was a complete carbon copy of the first at Walsall last week. Free kick on the right, Tank swung it in to the far post, Tony Vaughan challenged the keeper for it, the ball eluded everyone and drifted in at the far post.
Just as last week I thought Vaughan had headed it, but the players' reaction told me that it was another Tank goal. For the rest of the half we played much the better football (we actually played quite well in patches, but at other times scarcely seemed to be breaking sweat). Jack had a penalty claim turned down - I didn't think it was a pen, but he had definitely been fouled several times on his way into the box. Tank drove narrowly wide of the far post after a storming run into the box, Bart lobbed narrowly over and Quashie had a curler unconvincingly saved by Mautone (who remained decidedly dodgy throughout). Palace, for their part, managed one half hit shot on goal which my granny could have saved in the first half and one single shot well saved after a Tank error in the second.
After half time we continued in much the same vein. Palace were shocking, especially at the back where poor old Andy Linighan was playing us on his own. For my money they are the worst side to visit the City Ground so far this season - I might even feel sorry for them were it not for the fact that the memory of our abject collapse at Selhurst Park in November is still enough to bring me out in a cold sweat. Ten minutes after half time we put the game to bed. Another free kick on the right, Tank whipped it over, the dodgy keeper came and missed it, and Nigel Quashie stooped unmarked to head in at the far post. We could now relax a bit and play some decent football - and at times we did. Jack (twice), Marlon (twice) and Dougie (once) all could have scored, being denied by blocks or saves in the case of Jack and Dougie and profligate finishing in the case of Marlon. If I had a criticism today, in fact, it would be that we didn't put Palace to the sword - with better finishing we could easily have had 4 or 5. But, just as I said last week,
I will settle for less than perfect performances if we continue to get 3 points each week! No man of the match this week - all of them played pretty well. Prutton and Quashie were notably improved on the wings, as well, creating much more down the flanks and winning a considerable amount in the air.
Again impressed with Vaughan and Lester, too. So. A mundane, routine, comfortable win without really hitting top gear (and there have been far to few of those this year). We have played a lot better and lost. But we'll all settle for that at the moment, eh? Oh, and the teams below us who were playing today (WBA, Crewe, Walsall and Swindon) all lost. Things are looking much safer all of a sudden. Strange what 6 points will do, eh?



Copyright © 2001 Nottingham Forest F.C.