Reds Run Riot Over Town
March 3, 2007. 3pm.
Forest cruised into second spot in League One at the City Ground this afternoon, with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Huddersfield Town. A brace from the in form Junior Agogo, as well as a first League goal for Lewis McGugan, made it a good day for Forest all round and sealed the points. Coupled with the fact that rivals Yeovil and Oldham failed to do the business, The Reds have every reason to celebrate tonight.
This has been a difficult week from a supporters point of view, with the realisation that any much needed additions to the squad were to be unlikely. Instead of looking like promotion also rans today, as they have in previous weeks, they looked like the serious promotion candidates they should be.
The game got off to a slow start for The Reds as Huddersfield tested Smith with a couple of hand warmers. With almost the first attack that Forest could muster, they found the net. With barely 6 mins on the clock James Perch floated a ball over the Terriers defence, that sent Agogo on the run. Faced with his third one on one with a keeper in as many matches, he cooly lobbed the ball over Glennon's head and into the goal.
On 12 mins, Forest were to be dealt a real blow as Sammy Clingan went off with what turns out to be a broken ankle. He will be sorely missed in the coming weeks, but may have already been amply replaced with youngster Lewis McGugan. Although Clingan's are big boots to fill in more ways than one, young Lewis did enough to suggest he may be the perfect replacement. On the pitch for barely 5 mins and McGugan found himself on the edge of the box to receive a clearance from a Commons corner. The new kid on the block hit an unstoppable effort that flew into the net and put The Reds 2-0 up.
Any fears the fans had of Huddersfield making a fist of this were to be short lived. This was a match that had been billed as a must win game for both sides. Any chances The Terriers had of reaching the Playoffs would be hard hit if they failed to take anything from this game. The same could have been said of The Reds automatic promotion hopes. As it was, there was only ever going to be one winner.
Grant Holt was to get in on the act, when after only 19 mins he picked out a Perch cross in the box, to tap the ball home. This was a one sided affair, but The Terriers had a chance shortly after when Andy Taylor called Smith into action with a curling shot, that the keeper put out for a corner. Unsurprisingly the pace dropped off a shade and a dash for the toilets seemed a good move before the half time rush. This is usually a bad decision to make at a game and today proved no exception, as Perch slotted in from 6 yards to put us 4-0 up at the break. Turns out it wasn't the goal of the season I was told it was. Still, no matter, we were winning and winning well.
You could have been forgiven for thinking that the second half would be a dour affair, but it was far from it. Forest played some enterprising stuff, with Wes Morgan looking like a mountain at the back. Kris Commons who had been quiet in the first half, took it upon himself to hit several speculative shots that on any other day would have found the net. One in particular hit from 30 yards forced a great save on to the bar from Glennon. Bennett found himself in the book with a dreadful decision after a tussle on the floor with Holdsworth. The Huddersfield player was seen to clearly pin the defender to the ground, but bizarrely the linesman who was stood right on top of it informed against Bennett. At least it didn't affect his game as he went on to put in a solid performance at the back.
Fans had to wait until the 60th min for the fifth goal, but it was worth the wait. Holt and Agogo combined well to beat the offside trap. Yet again Agogo found himself through on goal with only the keeper to beat. With his usual aplomb, Agogo as cool as you like, took the ball round Glennon and slotted the ball home. 5-0 and no more than The Reds deserved. Fans may have been rightly critical of their heroes before today, but the players were serving up a treat to silence the critics and doubters.
Mathew Young got a consolation goal for the visitors on 83 mins with a 12 yard volley, but it was scant reward for a poor show from the Yorkshire side.
Forest have another stern test at home on Tuesday against Doncaster Rovers and another good performance against them will really have the fans believing again. This was a much improved Forest from previous weeks and they should take heart from it. If they can build on this, then automatic promotion is a definite possibility.
Forest: Smith, Curtis (Chambers 56), Morgan, Breckin, Bennett, Perch (Hughes 73), Gary Holt, Clingan (McGugan 12), Commons, Agogo, Grant Holt.
Subs Not Used: Pedersen, Dobie.
Goals: Agogo 6, McGugan 17, Grant Holt 19, Perch 33, Agogo 60.
Huddersfield: Glennon, Holdsworth, Mirfin, Sinclair, Taylor (Skarz 69), Brandon (Hardy 68), Collins, Young, Schofield, Beckett, Hayes.
Subs Not Used: Eastwood, McAliskey, McCombe.
Goals: Young 82.
Ref: M Pike (Cumbria).