Earnie Earns Bragging Rights For Forest Fans
Forest earned their first win at Prideless Park, did the double over our fiercest rivals and made it into the top 6 of the table in the process. It was a deserved win and one that showed we now have a team of players willing to battle for the cause and play for the honour of wearing the shirt.
This was a typical frantic derby game in which the tackles were hard and the atmosphere electrically charged. Forest were well backed by over 4,000 travelling fans and they did themselves proud in roaring the lads on and out singing the home support for the duration of the match. From the very first whistle, the Reds` showed they would be more than up for the challenge ahead, as Guy Moussi majestically danced through the Derby midfield and outmuscled the derby defence to put the visitors through on goal within the first minute of the game.
With the challenges coming in thick and fast from both sides, the names started going in the book and it was Leacock who was the first to see yellow after a late lunge at McGugan. The resulting free kick forced a good save from Bywater, who had to dive low to stop the ball from crashing into the back of the net. Forest were awarded another free kick soon after, but this time McGugan hit his shot high and wide.
Robbie Savage who had been so influential for the visitors in previous games between us, was reduced to little more than a bystander thanks to the football lesson dished out to him by Guy Moussi in the first half. His contribution to the game, was only to constantly snap at the heels of the Forest players and then mouth off to the ref when reprimanded for it. The Frenchman had him in his pocket and ran him ragged all over the pitch. Savage`s misery was added to in the 35th minute, when he went into the book for another late challenge.
Although the Reds` were having the lions share of the play and dictating the way the game went, it was the home side who had the clearest chance to take the lead in the first half. A mistake from Morgan allowed Addison to put in a good ball, that found Chris Porter unmarked in the Forest box. His lazy shot was cleared off the line by Chambers, much to the delight of the travelling fans behind the goal.
Forest had been the much better side in the first half, but the home side made a bit more of a game of it in the second. The game was still being played at a frantic pace and there was no quarter given by either side when it came to putting in a challenge. Another late tackle and another mouthing off to the ref, saw Savage`s misery complete. He was subbed after only 10 minutes of the second half, to the cheers of Forest fans ringing in his ears and the sight of them waving him goodbye as he trudged off the pitch. He wasn`t best pleased with the decision of his manager and showed his disgust by throwing a wobbler in the dug out.
Nathan Tyson was showing once again why he should maybe be considered for a new contract, by marauding down the flank and wreaking havoc on the Rams defence. He put in a good display today and clearly loves these games against the Rams. He was instrumental in giving us the lead, when he crossed into the box for Anderson to head down to Earnshaw. The former Derby striker, hit a great first time shot, that hugged the grass on it`s way passed Bywater and into the net, to send the Forest fans behind the goal into ecstasy.
A great afternoon for the fans, was made complete when Commons was replaced towards the end, to yet more jeers from the visiting support. The smell of victory was in the air and the Forest faithful were milking it for all it was worth and after 21 years in the waiting, you could hardly blame them. If Derby thought they were having a lousy day at the office, it was confirmed in the dyeing moments of the game, when Moxey received his second yellow card and was given his marching orders by the referee, for a nasty late tackle on Earnshaw.
Although it`s the 3 points that really matter, there`s nothing quite like winning them in your rivals back yard and we get to retain the Brian Clough trophy to boot. We`re now up to 6th with 2 games in hand and we have the East Midland bragging rights for another year. All of a sudden things are looking very good, but we could still do with a couple of additions as well.