Reds' Give Lions A Mauling
20 November 2006
This match was billed in some quarters as a potential banana skin for Colin Calderwood. The much publicised shenanagins re the Grant Holt saga threatened to spoil Forests' push for promotion. But there was no need to worry, as the Reds'push for promotion is still on track as they came from behind to show character and a fair amount of skill to win the day.
Millwall started the game with all guns blazing and forced Smith into action as early as the second minute, when he had to dive full stretch to stop a Dunne shot from going in. Two mins later they took the lead after Cullip was caught in no mans land and was robbed by May, who was clean through on goal with only the keeper to beat. He hit the ball home to put the visitors 1-0 up and deservedly so. Forest didn't wake up for twenty mins or so, seemingly happy to let the Londoners come at them.
Gradually as the half wore on, Forest began to awake from their slumber. Agogo forced a good save from Pidgeley, making him turn the ball round the post from his long range effort. Commons came agonisingly close with a 30 yard effort that went just wide. Millwall could have extended their lead just before half time when a Robinson header hit the bar.
Forest ended the half 1-0 down and may have considered themselves unlucky not to be level, but the Lions were just about worthy of their lead. The second half started with the Reds' looking bright. They were looking for the equaliser and were having the better of the possession and were even stringing passes together and dare i say, looked the better side. Forest had to be on their guard at the back though as Darren Byfield was only stopped from adding to the score by a well timed block from Wes Morgan.
As the half wore on, it seemed only a matter of time before the Reds' got an equaliser. Forest were playing some of the best football seen at the City Ground this season. Clingan was unlucky with a long range effort and Southall could have got on the scoresheet after a header went wide. Cullip went off after taking a knock and was replaced by Tyson. The much deserved goal came after 65 mins, when man of the match Junior Agogo beat the defender and managed to bring the ball under control for him to blast into the net. This sent the City Ground crowd ballistic as it was no more than they deserved. Two minutes later a goal mouth scramble ensued and Perch managed to knock the ball over the line, to the bemusement of the Millwall players and the downright vitriolic anger of the Millwall supporters. Suffice to say that after what seemed an eternity debating if the ball had crossed the line, the Ref signalled that it had indeed. The Millwall fans were incensed and several were ejected from the ground.
By now Forest were rampant and were more than good value for their lead. This was turning into Forests' best performance of the season so far. Chants of '1-0 and you fucked it up' echoed around the ground, the fans could smell a goal fest.They had to wait until 6 mins from time for another. It came from a Southall corner that saw Breckin rise above the Lions defence and head the ball home.
With only minutes left, Agogo was challenged and had to go off. It is not known yet if it is serious, but early indications are that it might be a hamstring. Reds' fans will now wait anxiously for news of his fitness.
Forest deservedly took all three points here today and for the first time this season looked like title contenders. If they can continue in this vein, then the 19 and a half thousand that turned up to witness this will surely grow. There was a sense of belief in the air today on Trentside, that has been sadly missing for a long time. Maybe the good times are around the corner.
Forest Smith, Curtis, Breckin, Morgan, Cullip (Tyson 53), Southall, Commons (Grant Holt 75), Clingan, Perch, Agogo, Harris (Gary Holt 59).
Subs Not Used: Pedersen, Lester.
Goals: Agogo 65, Perch 67, Breckin 82.
Millwall: Pidgeley, Robinson (Hubertz 78), Whitbread, Phillips, Senda, Hackett, Lee (Bakayogo 68), Dunne, Elliott, Byfield, May.
Subs Not Used: Day, Grant, Trotter.
Booked: Hackett, Robinson.
Goals: May 4.
Ref. C. Webster ( Tyne and Wear)