28/02/2004 Bradford City
2 - 1

Itís been a long time coming, but it finally arrived today thanks to our secret weapon, super-sub Gareth Taylor.

It was Taylorís injury-time header that secured Forestís first win in 18 league games and moved them out of the bottom three, dropping Derby back in it.

Ironically, this 2-1 victory was the first league win since Forest beat Bradford 2-1 at Valley Parade back in October.

The game started well for the Reds and they got their reward when they took the lead on eight minutes.

Marlon King started a neat move as he slipped the ball through to new-boy Nicky Barmby. As Andy Reid stormed into the penalty area, Barmby threaded a lovely ball through for him to side foot into the net.

The Bantams were struggling to get to grips with a confident looking Forest side, but the Reds handed them a lifeline in the 20th minute when Michael Dawson gave away an unnecessary free kick just outside the penalty area.

Dean Windass directed the kick toward the top right corner, and although Barry Roche got a hand to it, he couldnít keep the shot out.

The confidence visibly drained from Forest with Bradfordís equaliser, and for the rest of the half they looked lost.

Joe Kinnear must have said some harsh words during the break because Forest started the second half with a renewed vigour, taking the game to Bradford, who must have been wondering what had hit them.

Despite all their efforts though, Forest were struggling to make the breakthrough. And as the game wore on it got nastier as the referee seemed to lose his grip on the proceedings.

It all boiled over in the 80th minute when King and Jason Gavin rose to challenge for the same ball.

Something about Kingís challenge upset Gavin and he swung a couple of punches at King, who in a moment of madness then swung several punches back. The referee had no other option and he showed red cards to both players.

The double dismissal seemed to open the game out somewhat, but Forest still looked the only side likely to score and they went close on several occasions, with Nico Vaesen pulling off a couple of fine saves to keep the Bantams in it.

John Thompson came closest to breaking the deadlock when he struck a sweet volley from the edge of the area. It had Vaesen beaten all the way, but somehow Ronnie Wallwork blocked the shot, clearing it off the line.

Then super-sub, Gareth Taylor arrived in the 87th minute, and snatched a deserved injury-time winner as Reidís low cross looped up off a defenderís leg allowing him to head over the outstretched Vaesen and into the roof of the net.

The celebrations at the end of the game showed just how important this victory was to both the team and the fans, but it was nothing compared to the roar that greeted Derbyís 2-0 loss at Coventry. A result that moves Forest out of the bottom three and Derby back in to it.
Forest Man-of-the-Match:


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

No. Player Scored Cards
12  ROCHE       
34  ROGERS       
21  SONNER  Substituted    
35  IMPEY  Substituted    
REID    1  
36  BARMBY  Substituted    
11  KING       
14  JESS  Substitute (On for 21 )    
THOMPSON  Substitute (On for 35 )    
10  TAYLOR  Substitute (On for 36 ) 1  


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