01/05/2004 Wigan Athletic
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It was party time at the City Ground this afternoon as 29,172 watched Forest say goodbye to the home fans for another season with a 1-0 victory over play-off hopefuls Wigan.

But the 2,459 who had travelled down from Wigan left knowing that their play-off dreams lay in tatters after the defeat and for the first time this year they found themselves outside the play-off places, with only a small hope of getting back in.

For much of the first half Wigan had dictated the game and continually frustrated Forest with the offside trap.

However, despite some good play and dangerous moves, Wigan seemed to lack the bite needed to open the scoring.

The game really got started in the second half when Wigan realised that nothing less than a win would keep them in the play-offs and consequently the game opened up more and that gave Forest the advantage.

And David Johnson made that advantage pay in the 57th minute as he scrambled the ball home. It wasnít the prettiest goal heíll ever score, but it was crucial one, his fourth in three games. If only he hadnít been out for so long this season things could have been very different.

Wigan were left with no alternative but to up the pace of the game and they put Forest under pressure for much of the remainder of the game.

And they nearly equalised when Nathan Ellingtonís 25-yard screamer crashed into the post, zipped along the goal line and span out to safety.

Wigan kept up the pressure to the end, but they couldnít break down a Forest side that wanted to finish the last home game of the season in style.

And the home crowd cheered as if they had just won promotion when the referee blew the final whistle.

Top marks have to go to the crowd as well, final games have been spoilt in recent years by a number of morons invading the pitch at the end, this year everyone was on their best behaviour and only a couple of idiots tried their luck.

As a result the team were able to return to the pitch and take a leisurely lap of honour as they said goodbye to another season.

Joe Kinnear waited until his players were halfway round before making his entrance and received a much-deserved ovation as he took a bow to each of the four stands.

It was a great end to frustrating season for the home fans, so hereís wishing Joe and the boys the best of luck next week against West Brom.
Forest Man-of-the-Match:


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

No. Player Scored Cards
22  GERRARD  Substituted    
35  IMPEY       
34  ROGERS       
14  JESS  Substituted    
18  EVANS       
JOHNSON  Substituted 1  
11  KING       
12  ROCHE  Substitute (On for 22 )    
21  SONNER  Substitute (On for 14 )    
20  WESTCARR  Substitute (On for 9 )    


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