14/10/2003 Rotherham United
2 - 2

Forest dropped two valuable points this evening as they threw away a two goal lead to Rotherham.

Despite dominating the first half and going in for the break with a 2-0 lead, Forest lost the plot in the second half and a hard-working Rotherham side clawed their way back to level the scores and leave the City Ground with a well deserved point.

The game started slowly and chances were few and far between, then on the half-hour mark Forest took the lead when Matthieu Louis-Jean crossed from the right. Gareth Taylor challenged Rotherham Ďkeeper, Pollit, who fumbled and dropped the ball.

Marlon Harewood didnít need a second invitation as he ran on to the loose ball and stabbed it into the back of the net.

Harewood got the second goal six minutes later when Andy Reid launched a prefect through ball which split the defence. Swailes was first to the ball, but as he stretched all he manged to do was divert the ball away from Pollit and into the path of Harewood, who again found himself firing the ball into an empty net.

At 2-0 up and dominating the game Forest looked comfortable and victory was definitely on the cards, but then came half time.

What was said in the Rotherham dressing room, I can only guess, but it worked a miracle. The Millers came out for the second half a different side and they took the game to Forest.

They nearly scored in the opening minutes as Dawson misjudged the bounce and allowed Byfield to get to the ball. His shot was destined for the corner of the net when Darren Ward pulled off a great save.

Byfield did get Rotherham off the mark a minute or two later as Wes Morganís clearance hit him on the hand. He then brought the ball under control before before firing in from close range.

Forest were rattled by the goal and protested about the blatant handball, though it did no good.

The Millers equalised in the 56th minute as Byfield played pin-ball in the Forest box. His two shots were both saved, but the second one bounced out to Butler on the edge of the six-yard box, where he appeared to miss-kick it, but the shot bounced wickedly and beat Ward.

The equaliser seemed to sting Forest back to life and they came close to taking the lead again when Jess ran from midfield and poked the ball through to Harewood on the left of the penalty area. He crashed the ball towards the top corner but it flew just over.

Taylor then had a chance from a free kick which came to Taylor but his shot from close range was deflected over the crossbar.

And Harewood nearly got his hat-trick as he ran into the box, sandwiched between two defenders, he could easily have gone down for a penalty. Instead he ran on before Pollit dived at his feet and cleared the ball.

In the end a draw was probably a fair result, but you canít help wondering how many Forest could have won this by had they continued to play the second half as they had the first.
Forest Man-of-the-Match:


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

No. Player Scored Cards
24  ROBERTSON       
23  MORGAN       
22  McPHAIL       
17  STEWART       
10  TAYLOR       
14  JESS       
11  HAREWOOD    2  


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