Forest Win City Ground Thriller
August 23, 2008. 3pm
Forest got their first win of the season this afternoon, in a fiercely contested game at the City Ground that resulted in a thrilling 3-2 victory over Watford.
You had to wonder where the goals were going to come from before the game with Little Earn playing up front on his own again, but today he was more than ably assisted by Lee Martin and Garath McCleary on the flanks to add support. With a back four that was missing Kelvin Wilson, we were also looking a bit stretched in defence. But Ian Breckin stepped up to the mark today and more than filled his boots, with a solid performance alongside Wes Morgan.
The pre match fears almost disappeared within the first minute when Moussi found himself clear, but his wayward shot went miles wide. The visitors were soon at us and could have taken the lead themselves, as they took control of the opening exchanges. Williamson set off the alarm bells with a decent shot that went narrowly wide and then Harley hit an overhead kick just over the bar from the edge of the box. Not even 10 minutes gone and it wasn't looking good.
Then some great play from the lads saw us take the lead with a wonder goal from Lee Martin. Moussi bulldozed his way through the middle and split the Hornets defence with a pass that sent Cohen on his way. He in turn put the ball out wide to Martin, who hit a bullet of a shot that curled it's way past Poom and into the net from fully 25 yards. It was now the Reds' turn to take control and we played some tidy football. The tackles were flying in from both sides and it wasn't a place for the feint hearted.
Watford got back into the game on 22 minutes, when former Mutton Molester Tommy Smith knocked in a Harley corner. It was end to end stuff, with no quarter being given by either side. There might have been a lack of quality at times, but it was more than made up for by the blood and thunder style of play from both teams.
Forest took the lead on 35 minutes, when a brilliant through ball from Moussi split the Watford defence again and sent Earnshaw free for a one on one with the keeper. Little Earn made no mistake as he sent his shot wide of Poom and into the net to put the Reds' 2-1 up at the break.
Tommy Smith got his second of the game and an equaliser for his side with a well taken goal just after the hour mark. Dowley sent over a cross that was hit by Smith on the volley, giving keeper Paul Smith no chance and ended up deservedly in the back of the net.
The Forest of old would have by now thrown in the towel at this stage and given up. But it seems this new look NFFC are made of sterner stuff. The fans got behind the lads and the arrival of Nathan Tyson raised the volume levels even louder. Tyson almost scored straight away, when his shot cum cross was deflected for a corner.
He was soon off the mark though, when Forest won a free kick just outside the box. Earnshaw hit a great shot that took a deflection. It looked to be heading for the net, when Poom pulled off a great save, but Tyson was on hand to tap in the rebound. 3-2 to the good guys and we even deserved it!
Fair play to Watford for not giving up. They laid siege on the Forest goal and were looking good for an equaliser. But the lads held on and that was mainly thanks to Breckin and Morgan that we did. For two players that I have heavily criticised in the past, they were like man mountains today and are deserving of high praise.
Just as you thought the Hornets would find that soul destroying goal, Forest once again took control of the game and in the last ten minutes played some great football and ended the game worthy winners. The sense of relief at the first win of the season was felt all around the ground at the final whistle and with the Sheep losing as well, it only adds to what has turned out to be a pretty good day. Well done to Calderwood and well done to the lads.