Oh Boyo, We Won !
30 September 2006
Tom Jones, Charlotte Church and Max Boyce, eat your hearts out. Roald Dahl, Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins, we gave you a football lesson. Bonnie Tyler, Catherine Zeta Jones, Dylan Thomas and Shirley Bassey will all admit to being beaten by a superior side and will all go home with their tales between their legs. Well not quite. The first half display by Forest could hardly be described as vintage. It was a below par performance by the Reds', that once again highlighted the teams inability to find one of their own men with a simple pass.
Time and again the ball was given away, with some poor play, that saw the Swans dominate possession and dictate the pace of the game. An unadventurous half ended with Swansea deservedly 1-0 up, thanks to a Rory Fallon header. The goal seemed to light the Forest fire, because Kris Commons almost drew the sides level, with a powerful 25 yard effort, that brought out an excellent save from the keeper Oaks.
Calderwood had his work cut out at the interval. He was going to need some answers from his charges as to why they were not performing like a side sitting on top of the division. They were second to every ball and second best in every department. A goal from the Reds' did not look likely.
The second half started much the same as the first. Forest looked lethargic and the Swans passed the ball around with little threat. On 54 mins, Commons won the ball in mid field and put a perfect ball into the path of Perch, who latched onto it on the edge of the box and calmly slotted the ball past the advancing Oaks. This immediately lifted the home crowd, who for the first time found their voices.
Within two minutes the Reds' were to take the lead. Commons beat his man and charged into the box. He hit the ball into the corner of the net for his first of the season. Forest were now firmly in control and were looking rampant. Lester came on for Grant Holt and almost made an immediate impact, after running into the box, only to be beaten by a last gasp challenge from the Swans defence.
If anyone in a red shirt needed a goal, it was new boy Junior Agogo. For all his running, huffing and puffing in recent weeks, he has failed to hit the net. He was to break his duck on 67 mins, when a good through ball from Southall found the striker. He took on the Swansea defence and got past his marker to leave him with only the keeper to beat. As cool as you like he lobbed the ball over Oaks and into the net. This was some turn around by the Reds'. who were now unrecognisable from the shambolic team in the first half.
Bennett came on for Commons on 73 mins and almost scored with his first touch. He met Southalls' corner and headed powerfully from 2 yards out, but it was met by the keeper. With barely six minutes left, Robert Hughes made his Forest debut, coming on for Agogo. He looked at ease with his surroundings and passed the ball well and was not too shy to have a go at goal from distance. The future looks bright for the youngster.
If ever there was a game of two halves, this was it. Forest were deserved winners come the end and will be heartened with the fact that only one other side in the top six got a win today. The Reds' now sit on top of the table, three points clear of second place Yeovil. Forest can now prepare for next weeks' televised game at home to Scunthorpe, where they will meet up with former player now manager, Brian Laws.
Forest: Smith, Morgan, Curtis, Breckin, Southall, Clingan, Gary Holt, Perch, Grant Holt (Lester 58), Commons (Bennett 72), Agogo (Hughes 84).
Subs Not Used: Pedersen, Thompson.
Booked: Curtis, Clingan, Grant Holt.
Goals: Perch 54, Commons 56, Agogo 67.
Swansea: Oakes, Tate, Iriekpen, Lawrence (MacDonald 71), Williams, Britton (Amankwaah 72), Pratley, Way, Robinson, Knight (Akinfenwa 83), Fallon.
Subs Not Used: Gueret, Tudur Jones.
Booked: Knight, Robinson, MacDonald.
Goals: Fallon 42.
Referee. Clive Penton, Sussex.