Forest 2 v 1 Hartlepool
October 6, 2007
This game was a good advert for League 1 football today. Unlike many sides who come to the City Ground, Hartlepool, as they had promised came to attack and attack they did. No putting 10 men behind the ball for them. They came here, had a go and damn near succeeded in taking the points. As it was, it was Forest who took the spoils in an entertaining and nervy game.
Forest started the brighter. Knocking the ball around well and playing at tempo, things were looking good. Manager Colin Calderwood's decision to pick Kris Commons instead of Grant Holt was vindicated on 11 mins. A good cross sent over by Bennett was nodded on to KC to rifle the ball into the top of the net from 4 yards out.
Jan Budtz the Pools keeper was forced to make a good save from an Agogo shot from 20 yards out. Although Forest dominated the early periods of the game, they let the Monkey Hangers get back into it, as they took control and ended the half the stronger side. They got a deserved equaliser on 38 mins, when Richard Barker got his 5th of the season. He rose above the static Reds defence to head past Smith. Just before the break they should have taken the lead. Junior Agogo gave a poor ball away in the middle of the Reds half. Liddle missed a good chance when one on one with the keeper, as he put his shot wide of Smith. The half ended with honours even and just about a fair scoreline.
It was Pools who came out for the second half strongest and with the intention of adding to their score. They looked the brighter and more threatening of the two sides. At times it looked as though they could cut through the Reds defence like a knife through butter. A neat passing game from Pools, contrasted with Forest's sloppy play at times. Forest were giving the ball away too easily and it was heart attack stuff at times and the bum was definitely twitching.
For all their inventiveness and enterprising play though, Pools had few clear cut chances. Their best effort fell to former Red Ian Moore. He hit a shot from 20 yards out that was well saved by Smith, who dived smartly to his right to parry the ball out for a corner. Worryingly for the Reds, Tyson limped off and was replaced by Holt on 65. According to radio reports he should be fine for next week after damaging his heel.
It came as a massive relief on 83 mins when Agogo got the decider. You knew this game wasn't going to end 1-1, but you couldn't say who it would be that would get the winner. KC did fantastically well to beat his marker and unleash a shot that Budtz could only block. The rebounded effort fell to Agogo who hit a shot from the tightest of angles to send the City Ground into raptures.
Fair play to Hartlepool and their healthy and at times very vocal support. They made this an entertaining game that maybe they deserved more from. Come the end of the season they will be amongst the chasing pack and on this performance I think Forest will be as well. At the end of the days proceedings Forest sit in 5th place, 3 points behind the leaders, with a game in hand. Happy, happy days indeed.