Question of the Week
How long before new manager arrives?
Forest Statto Pack
By: Richard Hubbert
Can the Mariners two game unbeaten run continue? If it goes by the record books, then no. Of the 17 games at the City ground between the two sides, Town have won only 4, losing 11. Hopefully this doesnâ€™t continue as Town help to build on their impressive 2-2 draw with second place Bolton.
In recent years, goals have been flying in from everywhere with a 4-3 win last season for Town and a 5-3 win for Forest in 1993 standing out. The last time the two sides met was right at the beginning of the season when Town lost 2-0 at Blundell Park with Jack Lester scoring on his return to Blundell Park.
However Jack will not be involved on Saturday, as he has just had an operation, but hopes to be back by the end of March. The other Forest goal that day came from Alan Rodgers, who skipped past the Town defence and slotted home. Town pushed but were lacklustre up front with Clare and Allen unable to find the net in a game that gave them many opportunities.
Played For Both
Ex-Mariners boss ALAN BUCKLEY (left) played 16 times for the Reds, scoring one goal before he moved to Walsall in 1973 where he scored nearly 200 goals for the West Midlands club. Buckley was manager of non-league Kettering until ex-Town chairman Peter Furneux brought him to Blundell Park in June 1988. After an unsuccessful 3 years at WBA he of course led the team to promotion and two Wembley visits. He maintained the clubs first division status for two seasons until his sensational sacking after just two games at the start of the current season.
It was Buckley who brought in Town loanees NIGEL JEMSON (left) and GARY CROSBY (right) who had lengthy spells at Forest under Brian Clough. Jemson, who joined on loan from Sheffield Wednesday, scored 2 in 6 games, while winger Crosby played just twice in the 1993/94 season.
Former England international and Manchester United striker GARRY BIRTLES (top) played just over 200 games for Forest, scoring 70 goals in between a £1.2 million move to Man Utd in 1980. After re-joining Forest Birtles then was persuaded by Alan Buckley to come to Blundell Park in 1989 and helped Town win promotion in 2 successive seasons, before retiring in 1992.
Another 2 ex-Town managers have also played for Forest. BRIAN LAWS (left) played under Brian Clough for many years, at right back in the years when Forest were in Europe. Laws joined Forest from Burnley, and at the end of an 8 year spell with the Midlands club became Town's player manager. Although Laws did not play initially, it was clear he still had talent and regularly turned out in midfield and filled in for Town legend John McDermott in the right back position. But following a time when Town were as high as second in the First Division tables, Laws reign came crashing down after the departure of Groves, Croft and Bonetti when he was sacked in November 1996.
Laws' successor was KENNY SWAIN who made nearly 100 appearances for Forest after winning honours with Aston Villa. Swain took over as manager until the end of the season but could not prevent Town being relegated into the second division. Although Swain gave youth its chance, and his side showed signs of survival, it was not to be and was made the scapegoat for Town's downfall in the summer and was sacked by the then club chairman Bill Carr.
Current Forest striker JACK LESTER (left) was given his first start under Brian Laws, but was never a regular until Kenny Swain was in charge. He went on to play 93 games for Town, scoring 17 goals until Forest snapped him up over a year ago for a measly £300,000. This was not considered to be a lot for a player of Lester's standard, but as he was out of contract and was free to leave for nothing at the end of the season, so he went. Lester was not a natural goalscorer, but his tireless running and work endured him to the Town fans, and in many people's eyes has never been replaced.
Another current Forest player, DAVE BEASANT (right) had a short spell on loan in the 1992/93 season, playing a total of six games for the Mariners in a spell which is still spoken of by Town fans today.
Similarly, JASON LEE (left) played under Kenny Swain in the 1996/97 season for a short spell scoring two goals in two starts, but his presence did not stop Town plummeting down into the second division. His erratic hairstyle did much to capture the imagination.
KINGSLEY BLACK (right) will be hoping he will be involved come Saturday, after having an injury setback.
The skilful winger moved to Forest in 1990 for £1 million and was a regular until 1995 when he was left to rot in the reserves. But his talents were spotted by ex-team mate Brian Laws who swooped to buy him for a nominal fee. Since then he has more than paid back that fee, scoring the all important equalising goal in the Auto Windscreens final.
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