Forest Are Back On Track
February 24, 2007. 1pm.
This was not a game for the feint hearted today, nor was it a game for the purist. But for the first time in two months, Forest achieved their goal and picked up maximum points away from home.
Calderwood made the changes to the starting line up that most fans wanted to see. In came Clingan for Gary Holt and Commons replaced the suspended Grant Holt. With Lester partnering Agogo up front, Commons filled the roll behind the strikers vacated by Lester. Whilst the game initially got off to a bright start with some neat passing, it soon dwindled into a scrappy affair. In the entire 45 minutes Forest had one shot on goal that went high and wide and a disallowed effort from Perch to show for their endeavours. Chesterfield, who were no better should have been two up at the break. A squandered effort from Hall who easily beat Breckin, but shot hopelessly wide of an outstretched Smith should have put the Spireites one up. Hall later turned provider as his good cross into the box failed to meet anyone inside an empty area. That was about it in a lacklustre first half.
The only thing the fans had to be thankful for was the weather. It had threatened to be as bad as last year, but mercifully it held off and those on the dishevelled terracing could at least remain dry. It's a shame when the weather gets more of a write up than the match, but that was really as exciting as the first half got. Life as a Forest fan is never easy and you always have to look on the bright side. The one thing that was to brighten up a dull and dreary afternoon, was the second half welcome the Reds fans would give to former player Barry Roche. They did not disappoint, as the chants of 'DODGY KEEPER' echoed around the ground. It's in such trivial things that football supporters derive so much pleasure.
Anyway back to the match and it was Chesterfield who were to awake us from our slumber as a Larkin shot went narrowly wide. Allison had put him through clear on goal, but he was unlucky not to score with his effort. Niven was also to go close with a shot from close range, but Smith was able to save. Shortly after a Lester pass found Perch out wide and as he came inside he let loose with a curling shot that went just wide.On 56 minutes came the best moment of the entire game. Lester won the ball well in midfield after turning to beat his man, he sent the most delightful ball through to Agogo, whose pace sent him clear of the Chesterfield defence. With only the keeper to beat and with a lot of work still to do, he cooly and calmly hit the ball past the advancing Roche. That's what you pay your money for. Forest were now on fire. one nil up and looking good. Things were to get even better. Once again Agogo found himself free of his marker. As he ran towards goal and into the area, he was about to go round Roche, when the keeper caught his trailing leg to concede a penalty and pick up a yellow card. Agogo scored the penalty and it was easy street from here on in. or so you'd think.
Two nil is always said to be a dangerous scoreline, as if the opposition get one back it gives them the necessary lift to go and get another. Well it took only five minutes for Chesterfield to get one back and set the Forest nerves a twitching. Aaron Downes beat the Forest defence when he met a Paul Hall cross and headed past Smith.
It was now backs to the wall for the Reds who could not get out of their half. Bennett threw himself in front of a Larkin volley, but fortunately for all their possession and effort Chesterfield could not find a way through. Forest saw out the match and should have put the game beyond reach when Lester missed the easiest of chances when shooting wide of the goal.
This was not vintage Forest, but it was that much needed win. Hopefully this will resurrect the promotion hopes and kickstart a decent run. Forest now sit in joint second, with Yeovil ahead on goal difference. Although seven points behind Scunthorpe, things look a lot better after a win.
Chesterfield: Roche, Bailey, Picken (Shaw 87), Downes, Grimaldi, Niven, Allott, Hall, Holmes (Jackson 73), Allison, Larkin.
Subs Not Used: Jordan, Critchell, Hazell.
Booked: Bailey, Roche, Niven.
Goals: Downes 67.
Nottm Forest: Smith, Bennett, Breckin, Morgan, Curtis, Prutton, Clingan (Chambers 75), Perch, Commons (Gary Holt 82), Lester, Agogo (Dobie 89).
Subs Not Used: Pedersen, McGugan.
Booked: Lester, Morgan.
Goals: Agogo 56, 62 pen.
Ref: M Thorpe (Suffolk).