After the weekend’s poor performance at Ipswich, Forest and their supporters were looking for a much-improved performance against Mansfield. The Reds dominated for long periods of the first half, but squandered countless chances to bury lowly Mansfield, and one could sense the growing frustration, on and off the field. Chief culprit this evening was Marlon Harewood, who in my opinion flatters to deceive. CBW eased the tension in the 44th minute. After David Linigan had up-ended Alan Rogers, the Bartman stepped up to curl a lovely 25 yarder over the wall and into the bottom corner for his fifth consecutive scoring game – how long can this continue?
Forest looked more composed in the second half and threatened to tear their opponents apart with some great one-touch footfall, but continued to waste chances galore. Harewood, Rogers, Freedman and Petrachi all had opportunities to increase the score before CBW turned from scorer to provider with a powerful run and cross that found the head of Quashie, who nodded home his first goad for the Reds after 68 minutes. Substitute Bernard Allou, on for Alan Rogers, completed the scoring after 81 minutes, stepping inside the Mansfield defence and hitting a stunning 20 yard drive that flew past Richardson for the Frenchman’s first goal in English football. His goal celebration was arguably the best move of the fame, a cartwheel into a back somersault, before landing arms outstretched in front of the Trent End. This lad will soon become a firm favourite.
All in all, a comfortable win, which should see Forest progress safely into the next round.