Date:Saturday October 7 2006
The City Ground
Once again the Sky TV cameras turned up, in the hope that 'the twice former European Champions' could be brought down to size. Once again the players did not disappoint. The biggest crowd of the season so far, turned up to see another abject display from Forest that would see former player Brian Laws' side inflict the biggest defeat on Forest in seven years.
The first fifteen minutes led you to believe this would be an open and entertaining game. Both sides looked bright and with the attacking options open to both sides, goals were looking likely. United almost opened their account on 4 mins, when a Taylor cross was headed goalwards by Ian Baraclough. This forced Smith into action and brought off a good save. Forest could have taken the lead, after a smart pass from Holt in mid field found Lester. His curling shot went agonisingly wide of the post. On 26 mins the Reds' should have taken the lead when good work between Lester and Holt saw a shot from Lester beat keeper Murphy, but again it just shaved the post. That was just about the last time in the game the Reds' looked like scoring.
Taylor put The Iron in front on 27 mins. It looked as though Sharp had scored with his shot, but a last gasp tackle by Breckin looked to have saved the day. The ball fell though to an unmarked Taylor, who calmly slid the ball into the net. Scunthorpes' second came when the now lively Sharp took the ball off Morgan. His pass found a totally unmarked Keogh on the edge of the box. The player seemed to have so much time, he was able to smarten his hair in readiness for the Sky viewers as he hit the ball passed Smith. Forest were glad of the half time whistle, as it should have been 3-0, if the Iron had put their final chance of the half away.
This was by no means Forests' worst 45 mins of the season, they were saving that up for the second half. Manager Calderwood was once again going to have to come up with some magic words at the interval to stir up his troops. It's fair to say now that whatever he said, his charges took no notice. If Forest were poor in the first half, the next 45 would have to be seen to be believed. In short the Reds' capitulated. They offered no threat, even when Scunthorpe looked to ease off, they could not muster an attempt or step up the tempo.
On 57 mins Calderwood tried to shake things up, by introducing Harris for Grant Holt. It didn't work. Forest were quite simply not at the races. Scunthorpe began to take control again. Sharp and Keogh were coming more into the game and it was these two who made the third goal. Neat play between them picked out Baraclough who hit the ball into the net. Shortly after you knew it was not going to be Forests' day when a Harris cross was met by a chasing Lester, but his effort landed straight in the arms of Murphy. Misery for the Reds' was compounded when with almost the last kick of the game, that man Billy Sharp got his name on the score sheet to make it an emphatic 4-0 to the Iron.
Forest can have no complaints with the result. It was no more than they deserved. But surely the manager and fans deserve better. This was not in my opinion the worst performance of the season, that accolade belongs to Oldham. Forest somehow remain clear at the top, which goes along way to show how poor this division really is. The question now must be, that with performances like this, how long will it be for? Each of the players should take a hard look at themselves after today and ask if they are worthy of their place, as many fans will tell them in the next week they are not. One final word, this game was advertised as 'kids for a quid'. Children should not have been allowed to view this.
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Date:Saturday October 7 2006
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