Date:Saturday May 12 2007
The Reds fans who made the trip were shocked to learn that both Prutton and Grant Holt would be missing from the starting line up and in came Gary Holt and Scott Dobie to fill the void.
The game got off to a lively start with both sides struggling to breach the others backline. Yeovil with four up front were intent on taking a lead into the second leg, but the Reds defence held firm throughout and in the second half withstood a barrage of attacks from the Glovers.
It was Forest who drew first blood though after Perch was brought down in the box. Kris Commons slotted home the resultant penalty with consumate ease to put the Reds one up. Paul Smith was the busiest of the two keepers and on the night made several crucial saves. Marcus Stewart will hopefully come to regret not beating the Forest keeper with a couple of fine efforts.
In midfield Forest were giving as good as they got. McGugan and Commons were a proving a handful and Gary Holt should be praised for some decent distribution. Although Lester and Dobie combined could not claim a shot on goal, they both worked hard for the cause and made the Glovers defence sweat.
The second half saw Yeovil throw the kitchen sink at the Reds, but the defence to a man held out and performed well. Dobie came closest in the second half, when Lester sent him on his way with a good through ball. Dobie ran ahead of the chasing defenders and sent a shot narrowly wide. Morgan soon replaced Dobie in an effort to make the backline stronger, but he picked up a booking within minutes of coming on. He did his job though and indeed added some strength at the back. Spencer Weir-Daley replaced Commons and gave the Reds an outlet and he had pace, perhaps showing he can perform a roll for the Reds.
Bennett came on for McGugan as Yeovil laid siege on the Forest goal. But Forest held on manfully and with only minutes remaining were awarded a second penalty after Lester was brought down. James Perch stepped up and hit an unstoppable shot to put the Reds two up in the tie.
Maybe this was more than Forest deserved, but at the end of the day, Yeovil failed to put away their chances. The Reds may only have had two shots on goal, but they made them count. Forest will happily take a two goal lead into the second leg, at what should surely be a sellout City Ground next Friday. Although the job is only half done, Forest can perhaps say they have one foot on the coach to Wembley. A professional approach to next weeks game and taking nothing for granted should see them through. Here's hoping.
Date:Saturday May 12 2007
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