01/04/2006 Chesterfield
1 - 3

Simon Hough
Hands up, I was wrong about our prospects for the rest of the season. I'm starting to get excited about the remaining weeks!

The manager of the month curse wasn't as issue against Chesterfield where Forest battled against the elements to earn another 3 points. The sun/wind/rain/hail stones appeared to rotate every 5 minutes at times. The gap's closing each week now and the teams above us must be looking over their shoulder.

Forest never really found their rhythm during the game but still managed to win 3-1 and could easily have scored more. The run has to continue next week against Colchester but another 3 points there and it really starts to get interesting. I still have this doubt that the points we gave Barnsley and Oldham will cost us in the final reckoning.

Regardless of where we finish this season, it's just nice to watch a Forest side capable of scoring goals and winning games. We've suffered more than most this season but the future prospects look much brighter than they were at the start of this year.

Pedersen still fails to convince me (especially his kicking) but the defence in front of him looked pretty solid. Our problems were in midfield where we failed to keep possession and make enough challenges when required. This resulted in Chesterfield joining the long list of clubs that have scored from outside the box against us this season.

Up front, we created quite a few chances with Tyson and Holt continuing their partnership but they had little support from the midfield. The forwards had to work hard to created their own opportunities. Things didn't improve until Lester and then Thompson were introduced late in the second half.

The first goal arrived courtesy of an error from Barry Roche. Clingan's mis-hit cross from the left appeared to be heading for the stand until the wind brought it back into play. Roche failed to claim the ball and Breckin's looping header found the empty net.

Shortly after, Grant Holt held up the ball, Commons played the through ball towards Tyson. The defender failed to control the ball and Tyson found himself running through on goal. The defenders were never going to catch him and the cool finish gave Roche no chance and double the lead.

Shortly after, the Forest midfield failed to close down Picken and he hammered a shot past Pedersen from 25 yards. No chance for the keeper but question marks over the lack of challenges from Perch and Clingan who should really have closed him down.

Forest could easily have added to their score when Commons and Tyson fired shots narrowly wide with Roche well beaten. Half time arrived 2-1 up.

Pretty similar pattern to the second half with Forest struggling to keep possession and Chesterfield unable to get past our defence. Pedersen made a couple of decent saves and Morgan saved us with a block on another occasion.

Commons and Tyson both had shots pushed out by Roche and Lester then combined with Tyson whose right foot shot went wide.

The clinching goal came from the usual near post corner routine which has served us so well this season. Commons with the delivery and Thompson's (instead of Breckin this time) flicked header flew into the roof of the net. We've improved beyond all recognition from set pieces and look dangerous every time Commons or Southall place the ball down.

The return of Southall still can't come soon enough and his return to training could be an additional boost in the run up to the Colchester game. His patience and delivery on the right hand side is sorely missed as Clingan looks like a centre midfielder and Perch is failing to impose himself on games. However, it'll be a tough decision to replace a winning team.

MOTM is an easy decision this week. Ian Breckin was immense and didn't put a foot wrong throughout the whole game. I've never been his biggest fan but considering the conditions, it was probably the best I've seen him play for Forest. His goal completed a great day and he really performed like the club captain.

Credit also to Lester and Thompson who improved the side during a nervy period in the second half. The latter's goal arrived at just the right time to kill the game and send us home wet but happy.

Now it gets interesting...
Forest Man-of-the-Match: Ian Breckin


[Click on Player Name to view Player Profile and Statistics]

No. Player Scored Cards
BRECKIN    1  
  THOMPSON  Substitute (On for 40 ) 1  
  GARDNER  Substitute (Not Used)    
  LESTER  Substitute (On for 39 )    
16  CLINGAN  Substituted    
  CULLIP  Substitute (Not Used)    
  GAMBLE  Substitute (Not Used)    
TYSON    1  
10  HOLT  Substituted    
29  BENNETT