06/11/1999 Norwich
1 - 0

The Reds welcomed back Andy Johnson to the starting line-up, that also included Ian Woan and Gianluca Petrachi in midfield with Bart-Williams partnering Freedman in attack. The game started well for Forest and excellent work between Woan, Brennan and Petrachi saw Woan produce a tremendous shot that flew just over the bar from 25 yards. Sixty seconds later and Petrachi spotted Marshall off his line and attempted to chip the keeper from fully 40 yards, but Marshall managed to back peddle and grab the ball before wagging his finger at the Italian as if to say ' cheeky b*****d'. Norwich responded with Eadie getting away from Louis-Jean and crossing into the box, a cool defensive header by Chettle de-fusing the situation, albeit only briefly. Another cross from the same player was again dealt with well by Chettle, who had made a solid start. Forest roared back into the attack, a good run and shot by Prutton going just wide, before Norwich hit back with another chance of their own. A throw in by McKay found Eadie who fired the ball into the box. It was met on the volley by Roberts who couldn't keep the ball down and the effort cleared the bar.
In a very open game, being played at a high tempo, Forest hit back again. Brennan, showing good pace, skipped away down the left and played a teasing ball into the box towards Freedman. He completely miss hit his shot and the ball somehow found Petrachi but the keeper was quickly off his line to collect the ball. It was really end to end stuff, and Norwich went close again through De Blassey. Excellent play saw him turn Louis-Jean inside out before unleashing a tremendous shot that yet again brought out the best in Crossley, who flung himself to his left and turned the ball around the post - a fabulous save. Norm collected the corner and quickly released Brennan who played the ball down the line to Woan. He produced a delightful ball into Freedman who hooked a first time effort towards goal but straight at the keeper. Norwich were looking at their best when attacking down the left, and it was from here that they produced another scoring chance. A cross from DeBlassey was missed by Hjelde and Roberts was there again to meet it on the volley with the same result - over the bar. The only nasty moment of the game arrived after 23 minutes. A back pass by Johnson was cleared by Crossley but Forbes followed through and caught Norm with a late challenge that left the keeper needing lengthy treatment. From the re-start, Forest threatened again, a good shot by Louis-Jean being turned around for a corner. From the kick, Petrachi curled in a wicked cross-come-shot that Bartman just got his foot to but he prodded it just wide. Norwich took the lead after 27 minutes. Eadie and DeBlassey combined well out on the wing and a cross found Sutch who cracked a terrific right foot shot past Crossley and into the bottom right hand corner. From the re-start Norwich regained possession and Eadie ran 40 yards, through 3 attempted tackles before shooting straight at Crossley. The goal seemed to have rattled Forest and they had lost a lot of their earlier composure. A poor back pass by Chettle let in Roberts but to his credit Chet recovered well to win the ball back.
There was more good work by Forest involving Brennan, Woan, Bart and Prutton but the final cross was too close to the keeper who collected it under no pressure. Forest were looking menacing going forward but as half time approached they were almost undone again. Eadie won the ball deep in his own half and sent it once again over the top of the Reds defence to Roberts, who was only fractionally off side. Forest began the second half by roaring into the attack. Brennan again used his pace to get away before he was hauled down by McKay a yard outside the box. The free kick was taken by Bart but it lacked power and went straight to the keeper. Forest kept the pressure on and a shot from Louis-Jean almost caught out the keeper. After 50 minutes the Reds lost the services of Petrachi with what looked like yet another recurrence of his injury, Andy Grey coming on as his replacement. Brennan again got to the bye line and his cross seemed to be falling perfectly into the path of Woan to hit on the run, but Freedman took a touch and forced Woan to break his stride. He still got in a shot but it lacked the power it may have had. Forest were now completely dominating the game and a cross by Grey was turned behind for a corner. Woan's kick was met by Freedman but his header struck the crossbar and was cleared downfield. Norwich were playing like an away side, looking to hit on the counter as Forest kept them penned into their own half, and they almost succeeded after 75 minutes. Once again it was the long ball over the top looking for Roberts. This time Crossley raced out of his area to head the ball away but it only went as far as Marshall. With Crossley stranded and the goal at his mercy he managed to slice his effort wide. Could the Reds make them pay for this error? As Forest pushed forward they were again guilty of leaving holes at the back and a terrific through ball that dissected Chettle and Hjelde found that man Roberts again, one on one with Crossley, but Norm produced another magnificent save to keep the Reds hopes alive, when the striker should really have sealed it for Norwich.
Forest were throwing everything at Norwich and a great low cross by Grey went all the way across the box without finding a Forest player. Prutton also had a god effort well saved by Marshall. With 5 minutes to go we were treated to the sight of Chettle being ordered to play centre forward by Platt in a last effort to salvage something from the game and in the final minute came the chance we had been looking for. A spectacular overhead shot by Johnson was saved by the keeper who then went to hoof the ball downfield to relieve the pressure and run down the clock. He fluffed his kick and presented the ball to Freedman, unmarked and only 10 yards out. Dougie had all the time in the world to control the ball and walk it into an empty net but for reasons that no-one will ever understand elected to hit the ball first time and put it wide. For a man who has a reputation for being a cool finisher it was an awful miss, and the second time in quick succession that he has failed to convert an easy chance - remember Bolton! It was literally the last kick of the game, the whistle blew and Forest had gone down again.
This was easily the most committed Forest performance of the season, passionate and forceful, but further underlines the need for a quality striker to join the Club - and soon.
Forest Man-of-the-Match: Jim Brennan


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

No.Player Scored Cards
 PETRACHI  Substituted    
 GRAY  Substitute    


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