31/07/2002 Newcastle United
3 - 1

A crowd of 19,000 turned up for tonight's pre-season friendly against Newcastle, encouraged by the idea of seeing a quality Premiership side at The City Ground and the return of JJ.
What they got was the return of JJ and 90 minutes of entertaining football against a quality Premiership side that saw Forest emerge as the deserved victors.
The game was end-to-end stuff throughout and both sides had early chances but the breakthrough for Forest came on 16 minutes when Shay Given made a good save but failed to hold the ball. David Johnson, not the tallest of strikers, leapt into the air and headed the ball in from three yards out.
Newcastle got their equalizer 10 minutes later when Darren Ward committed himself and Hugo Viana lobbed the ball over his head into the net.
A few minutes later Jim Brennan provided the shot for what could have been the goal of the season after Shay Given committed himself out wide. Given's clearance found Brennan on the halfway line and with every Forest supporter in the ground shouting 'shoot', he did just that. The shot was sweetly struck and every fan was holding their breath as it moved towards goal. The fans released their breath as one with a big 'ooh' as the ball bounced off the crossbar.
Both teams were producing good football, but Forest had the better of the chances leading up to half time, with Lester and Johnson both going close to regaining the lead for Forest.
The second half started well for Forest and they were back in the lead inside one minute. Johnson's shot was saved by Given but the rebound dropped to the feet of Lester who took aim and buried the ball in the back of the net.
Newcastle were still up for this game though and their pressure resulted in some fine saves from Darren Ward. Then Shearer buried the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside.
Forest's third goal came when Harewood's shot was saved by Given, the rebound fell kindly for Eugen Bopp who blasted the ball home.
It was a fine performance from Forest and they looked much more confident in front of goal. The defence also looked stronger and this is definitely thanks to the experience and ice cool head of Des Walker who had a great game.
Forest Man-of-the-Match: Des Walker


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

No.Player Scored Cards
LOUIS-JEAN  Substituted    
SCIMECA  Substituted    
JOHNSON  Substituted 1  
10 LESTER  Substituted 1  
11 HAREWOOD       
16 BOPP  Substitute 1  
19 WESTCARR  Substitute    
20 REID  Substitute    


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