Oh Happy Day! Deep Joy! Forest at last remember how to win on the road.
Not entirely convincing I'll admit, but in a "must win" game the lads did us proud and at long last showed some real desire. Following injuries to a number of players the previous week it was a much changed Forest side today. Back from injury was Andy Johnson, and Forest also gave a debut to loan signing Tony Vaughan, with Freedman being relegated to the bench, Marlon being chosen to partner Lester in attack.
Forest started well, winning two corners and forcing the keeper to make two good saves in quick succession, a header from Vaughan and a real rocket shot from Marlon.
The game gradually settled down, becoming a bit of a midfield affair, and although Forest were playing the better football, it was Walsall who came closest to opening the scoring when they struck the post midway through the first half.
Forest then pinned The Saddlers into their own half for the remainder of the first period and deservedly took the lead with only a few minutes to go before the break. Louis-Jean was fouled just outside the box and Forest piled players into the area as Rogers prepared to take the kick. Tank fired it in at pace and it somehow eluded everyone and ended up in the bottom corner. The Walsall keeper then had a right go at Johnno, he obviously thought he had been impeded, but the goal was given.
The Reds started the second half well too, three decent chances going begging, before Walsall started to drag themselves back into the game, forcing three corners, bringing out a terrific save from Beasant and hitting the top of the bar with a long range effort that had Lurch beaten.
However, it's about time we had a little luck. Forest made a couple of changes, Gray for Quashie and Freedman for Marlon, and Forest took the emphasis away from Walsall and began to play well again.
We came close to increasing our lead when a great diving header from Rogers struck the underside of the bar and bounced to safety, but we were not going to let this slip today, and the points were wrapped up in great style in the final minute, courtesy of a great individual goal by Freedman.
Shades of Ricky Villa as Dougie nutmegged one defender, dummied two more and fired the ball past a static Marshall to send the faithful Reds fans behind the goal into raptures. This must rank as one of the best goals he has ever scored.
The only down side of this victory for me is that it will keep Mr Platt in a job for a while longer, but the Club will always remain bigger than any individual, so I will put my feelings to one side for now and bask in the warm glow of victory. Can we now go on and achieve what has eluded us so far this season, back to back victories?
Let's hope so.