Nottingham Forest 3-2 Derby County. What a Game!
Nottingham Forest earned their first league win of the season yesterday and achieved it in some style. Despite making hard work of it in the second half, the 3-2 victory and the return of the Brian Clough trophy to it's rightful owners, tells but only a small part of what was a very dramatic day.
A crowd of just over 28,000 packed themselves into the City Ground on what was a glorious sunny afternoon. They witnessed a magnificent first half performance from the boys in the Garibaldi, that saw them take a 3-0 lead into the break. The game got off to the best possible start from a Forest perspective, when Radoslaw Majewski hit a thunderbolt of a shot from the edge of the box, that rattled the bar, before bouncing over the line. That was after only a minute of the game had passed. Forest began to take the Rams apart and did it with free flowing passing football. Paul McKenna, in the heart of midfield was orchestrating the play and was being more than assisted by the efforts of Joe Garner at his side.
The Sheep had only one real sight of goal in the first half, as our normally fragile defence held firm. There only effort on goal, fell to striker Rob Hulse. His shot though, was straight at Camp and the Forest keeper had an easy save to make. On 37 mins, the Reds' extended their lead through a Dexter Blackstock header. A decent free kick from Cohen, saw the striker head down and into the net to give Forest a deserved 2 goal lead.
The Sheep had a goal disallowed, when Cohen was harshly judged to have committed a foul on the edge of the box. Hulse headed the ball home, but it was disallowed for some pushing on Morgan. Camp then made another great save, taking the ball from the feet of the on rushing Hulse.
Just before the break, Forest made it 3-0. Tyson took a great throughball from McKenna and rounded the Derby keeper, to slide the ball into the net from the edge of the box. Forest went into the break to rapturous applause from the fans and a standing ovation. The break saw the ineffective Kris Commons substituted for Croft, which brought yet more applause and cheers from the home support.
Five mins after the restart, the Sheep pulled one back. A Miles Addison overhead kick, was deflected into the net by Wes Morgan. Inexplicably, the Reds' let the visitors back into the game. The up until now quiet and ineffective Lilly Savage began to do for the Sheep, what Paul McKenna had done for us in the first half. He stamped his authority on the game and began to get the visitors playing. We gave him too much time on the ball and allowed him to spray his passes all over the pitch. The Sheep were getting the upper hand and pulled a second goal back, when Livermore got on the end of an effort from Lee Croft. 3-2 was an unexpected scoreline after 60 mins, as the home crowd became nervous.
Billy Davies pulled then off a managerial masterstroke, when he urged the fans to get behind the team. The fans reacted positively and the City Ground became a cauldron of noise. The effect on the team was encouraging, as they began get a foothold on the game. The crowd gave the team the lift it needed and they never looked back from there.
As the final whistle blew, there were some disturbing scenes on the pitch. The obvious joy of both supporters and players, were marred by the unsporting behaviour of the visitors. They didn't take too kindly to the Forest players celebrations and a melee involving most of the players and coaching staff ensued. It was all handbags really, but it does look like an FA investigation will now take place. The post match scenes gave a clear indication of how much this victory meant and how committed to the cause, this current crop of players are. This was an important result for Forest and one that could kickstart our season.