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14/08 Forest 2nd Half
By: Si Wilson
Nottm Forest 2 Grimsby Town 1
14 Aug 1999, Nationwide League Division 1
Town came out with two changes for the second half - Macca replacing Butterfield and Lester came on for Allen. This was most un-Buckley. All the subs used and quite a gamble.
It was a bewitching tactic that took advantage of Forest's rigid defensive marking, dragging the Forest team apart like they did to us in the first half.
|"...it was a case of playing them at their own game..."||Â|
It was also a follow on from the end of the Stockport game when we played 4-3-1-2 as well - is Alan preparing his team for a different type of game plan? Could it be a way of coaxing more goals out of his team? And remember that Mr Burnett is due to resume action in the next few weeks as well...
From the off Town attacked and what's more they attacked the goal the Grimsbarians were camped behind.
One of the first attacks saw the ball reach Donovan whose flick pass landed at Lester's feet. Lester took control and ran onto the right hand corner of the Forest half. He was already attracting two Forest players, the midfield were looking to get into the vacated spaces left by these absences.
|"...Donovan, with a swagger in his stride..."||Â|
The same determination and fluidity lead to the penalty which came from this corner. The corner was played in and semi-cleared to the left of the box. Lester ran after the ball which rolled towards the left flank. Chettle slid in on Lester and the ref blew his whistle. Penalty!
|"...Groves thumped the ball down the middle of the goal..."||Â|
Initially I thought it was just a case of Forest being a little complacent and they'd wake up after this but it wasn't to be.
With Ashcroft and Lester playing off the shoulders of their markers, they were wheeling away down the flanks onto early balls and getting support from at least two players behind them. Town were really buzzing and the passing and movement really was sublime. (sounds great this doesn't it?!)
Town continued to attack using the midfield as a solid base. From a free kick Donovan sharp cross was head away with three Town players bearing in on it's destination.
|"...he was playing how you'd want him to play..."||Â|
After a corner when Macca and Donovan combined neatly with some short play, Forest had an occasional attack. Quashie broke down the right and turning came back onto his left to curl a cross in which Harewood headed wide.
Donovan was starting to look assured and confident and a chip-pass down the right to Lester was returned into Donovan's run. The cross was hit with pace and it took a brave header from Mannini to stop the advancing Pouton have a pot on goal.
|"...the party tricks were starting to come out..."||Â|
And for the first time donkeys "it's just like watching Juve" struck up. The Town fans were the only ones singing and the atmosphere was close to that of the first trip to Wembley.
Forest subbed Quashie with Palmer in the 67th minute and Forest went to a straight 4-4-2 formation.
This raised Forest's game as Palmer got won the ball on several occasions and his experience from the middle of the park lead to several chances. Palmer won the ball on one occasion and played the ball to Bart-Williams. He slipped the ball through to Harewood but a neat tackle saved Town as he threatened to break through.
The corner was flicked on by Harewood at the near post and spun towards the far post were it faded away.
|"...Coyne was sharp and smart..."||Â|
Town went to the other end of the pitch and Pouton, Lester, Donovan and Ashcroft all combined to provide another scintillating move across the back line and Macca, overlapping like he did for much of the half, played the ball through to Ashcroft he hit his shot firmly but too true at Crossley who just caught it in his midriff.
Petrachi shot over from 25 yards and Forest started to get some control of the game.
A cross from Harewood was headed by Freedman but a smart by Smith saw to that.
|"...we won a goal kick as he lost his patience..."||Â|
A smart freekick from Macca 40 yards from goal looked to be heading for a Groves flick just inside the Forest area. Groves missed the ball and Lester ran onto the ball, trapped it smartly, but a defender was quick to the danger with Lester 5 yards from goal.
Harewood was replaced by Guinan on 81 minutes.
Forest looked to concentrate their attacks down the Town left, but an attack down the right saw Rogers manage to nutmeg Pouton and chase into the box from the left. Coldicott was alert and came across Rogers and took both the ball and Rogers over the line. The Forest fans appealed for a penalty but there was little cause for one.
The corner was knocked in, knocked out, knocked back in, knocked out, knocked in and a header from Freedman seemed to travel in slow motion across goal and past Coyne's right hand post.
Petrachi smashed the ball into the box, it hit Guinan on the head and it looked like it would spawn in but it faded a foot wide in the end.
|"...Palmer ran onto the ball and wellied it into the net..."||Â|
Immediately Town had a chance to equalise as the resurgent Donovan received the ball 5 yards from the Forest D and ran past two defenders after Lester laid the ball off. As he advanced on goal Donovan couldn't decide which way to nip past the last defender but Crossley saw the hesitancy and dived at Kev's feet.
The last chance of the game fell to Ashcroft after a long kick from Coyne was superbly taken down but under pressure from three defenders Peggy screwed his shot wide.
In all there was so much you can take from this match. We matched a team of players who were technically very good. We used a different tactic, we went for the throat, we showed a lot of character and on reflection of chances they should have wrapped the game up in the first half. They didn't and we were unlucky to lose in the end.
|"...it still baffles us why this isn't the case at BP..."||Â|
They've proved they can do it - let's have more of the same. Roll on Fulham.
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