Reds' Are Top Of The Tree
21 October 2006
Match of the day in League 1 lived up to it's billing and served up a real thriller, played in a cup tie atmosphere. Four and a half thousand travelling City fans tried in vain to help their team to victory. They arrived by every mode of transport available, from tractor to combine harvester, but they were to leave empty handed.
The game started at a frantic pace with both sides going for it. After only 9 mins Kris Commons went on one of his runs and took on the City defence. He was fouled 25 yards out from goal. Nicky Southall stepped up to take the resulting free kick and hit the sweetest shot that ended up in the top corner of the net. The Robins went on the attack in search of an equaliser, but the Reds' held firm. Agogo almost hit them on the break, when forcing a good save out of Basso from his shot. Paul Smith was called into action when Phil Jevons shot from inside the box, but the keeper saved well.
End to end football kept the fans on the edge of their seats, but neither side could add to the score. Neil Harris could have added, when he headed a Kris Commons cross straight at the keeper. When the half time whistle came both teams would have been glad of the break. This was a much improved Forest, hardly recognisable from the side that so badly let the fans down two weeks previous. They played with a passion and guille that was so lacking against Scunthorpe.
The second half started as the first half ended. City almost levelled when a Jevons free kick saw Smith tip the ball over the bar. Forest came close when a Grant Holt shot resulted in a goal mouth scramble. The game was turning into a tense affair and both managers made substitutions in a bid to find a way through each others defence. Forest began to look like a side that was prepared to hang on to a one goal lead. This made the fans anxious and only added to the intensity of the game. The final ten minutes saw the Reds' defend stoically. It was real backs to the wall stuff, but they held on to take the points in a hard fought win.
Bristol City may feel hard done by when they reflect on this game, but in truth they looked weak in the final third. For all their posession they offered little threat up front and Forest coped well. This result, sees the Reds' open up a healthy 5 point gap at the top of the league and will send a message to the rest in the chasing pack, that this season the Reds' mean business. Both sides showed today that when the season is over both of them should be in or around the leaders.
Forest: Smith, Cullip, Morgan, Breckin, Perch, Southall, Clingan, Curtis, Commons (Bennett 75), Agogo (Grant Holt 67), Harris (Thompson 82).
Subs Not Used: Pedersen, Lester.
Goals: Southall 9.
Bristol City: Basso, Orr (Keogh 59), McCombe, Carey, Woodman, Murray, Skuse, Johnson, Brown (Wright 59), Jevons (Fontaine 78), Myrie-Williams.
Subs Not Used: Federici, Russell.
Ref: M Halsey (Lancashire).