Forest 5-2 Derby: Slaughter Of The Rams
Forest fans have had to endure more than their fair share of humiliations in recent years, from reaching the depths of League 1 and the three long horrible years it took to get out and also the catastrophic failure in the Playoffs over Yeovil to name but two. Because of the pain that memories such as those leave etched on the mind, you get a greater sense of satisfaction when a result like last night`s turns up. The 5-2 demolition job carried out on our fiercest rivals, will go along way in helping to put those agonising memories, firmly in the past. Sometimes football supporters need reminding why they support the team they do. Last night was one of those times.
A packed City Ground under the floodlights, with the mist gently coming in off the Trent, is one of the most romantic scenes you will find at any football arena on the planet. Add to this a crowd revved up to fever pitch and the stage is set for a dramatic and eventful evening.
Forest got off to the perfect start, when Luke Chambers headed a Majewski corner powerfully into the back of the net, with barely 2 minutes on the clock. The City Ground was rocking already with a cauldron of noise taking over the ground. The home side had settled well and were taking the game to the visitors. Despite the early domination and neat passing football, the Rams drew level, with virtually their first forward move of the game.
From just inside his own half, Alberto Bueno played a good through ball to Luke Moore. The speedy front man had Morgan beaten for pace and legged it down the pitch towards the Forest goal. He then let loose with a great shot, that at first hit the bar and seemed to be safe, but it somehow managed to bounce back into the net and over the line to draw the Rams level. Only quarter of an hour gone and the score was 1-1.
The Forest of old would be crumbling by now, but Billy Davies now has a team fighting for the cause and they showed great passion, resilience and not a little skill in taking the lead once again. Robert Earnshaw turned provider, when his cross was met by former Ram Marcus Tudgay, who dutifully headed in his second goal for the club, to give the Reds` a 2-1 lead. Derby were looking a mess and were having trouble containing Tyson, who was running rampant down the wing. Tyson was a menace and was sending in pinpoint crosses that had the Rams defence in tatters. Forest were on fire and looked like they could score every time they ventured forward.
Just as you thought things were too good to be true, Forest were dealt a blow when Bertrand left the pitch injured and was replaced by Cohen. Fair play to Cohen though, who applied himself well and slotted in straight away. Any fears of a Forest capitulation were short lived, because just as the half was drawing to a close, up popped Tudgay with his second of the game, when he fired home another fine cross from Tyson, to give the homeside a deserved 3-1 lead at the break.
This was going much better than Forest fans had dared dream and was in many ways reminiscent of the 3-0 halftime lead we took in the last City Ground encounter between the teams. This time though, there was to be no great second half comeback, because despite allowing the visitors to come back into the game….slightly, the homeside showed no mercy and continued to take their rivals apart.
Tyson should have put the homeside further ahead, when instead of picking out any number of Forest players lined up in the box, he opted to shoot, sending his effort narrowly wide. He soon made amends though, when moments later he once again beat Leacock and delivered a great ball to Earnshaw, who prodded the ball in from just 6 yards out. 4-2 and the roof was coming off the old girl with the noise form the crowd.
Kris Commons, who had taken some unmerciful stick from the home crowd all night, proved why he is both disliked and admired at the same time. He hit a free kick from some distance, that beat the Forest wall and ended up nicely in the back of the net to give the visitors a crumb of comfort in an otherwise sorry night for them. Commons then goaded the crowd and played up to his part of villain by pointing to the name on the back of his shirt, which only served to incite further abuse from the stands. Forest then sat back for a while and for a brief spell allowed the visitors back into the game, but it was short lived. Forest soon regained their composure and normal service was resumed, with Tyson marauding down the wing.
In the dieing moments of the game, Earnshaw fired in his second of the night to make the Rams humiliation complete. This was a truly magnificent performance from the Reds` and as emphatic as the scoreline suggests. The 4,000 visiting fans, were by now leaving in their droves, having hardly made a sound all night. As the final whistle blew, so did the roofs on the stands. Forest fans were happy and why not? We`d just stuffed the Sheep 5-2. Up to 8th, with 2 games in hand and we`re now 30 games unbeaten at home in the league. Oh, happy days!