Nottingham Forest v Queens Park Rangers
Nationwide League Division 1
Saturday August 28 1999
PENALTY MISS PROVES TO BE COSTLY
The arrival of Ian Wright at the City Ground had been heralded as the start of better times ahead for the Reds, and for 45 minutes it looked as though those sentiments were well founded. A goal up ( it should have been more ) and Q.P.R. down to 10 men, surely the Reds would turn the screw in the second half and go on to a handsome victory? Well, no.
As a matter of fact Forest were lucky to come away from this match with a point as Rangers dominated a 25 minute period in the second half and created several good chances, thankfully taking only the one. At times it was difficult to tell which side had the man advantage as the ' Hoops' continually found acres of space down both wings to get behind Forest's defence.
For the first half hour this game didn't really ignite, but you could sense the expectation of the crowd every time the ball went to Wright. He has a reputation for goal scoring debut's and he wasn't about to let today be any different. Wright opened his goal scoring account after 31 minutes following a terrific move by Forest. Scimeca picked up the ball in his own half and set off on a run towards the Rangers penalty area. A neat one-two with Freedman opened up the defence and Scimeca slipped the ball through to Wright. As Miklosko came rushing out, Wrighty showed all his experience to deftly chip the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net, sending the crowd into raptures. ' Ian Wright, Wright, Wright ' echoed around the Ground and Forest had a new hero.
Forest had many opportunities to increase their lead - a superb twisting run by Petracchi ended with a vicious shot that was heading for the roof of the net until Miklosko managed to tip it over the bar. Another run by the Italian. a pass to Freedman on the edge of the box, but a poor finish as Dougie shot tamely at the keeper.
On the stroke of half time came the best opportunity for Forest to increase their lead. Jermaine Darlington handled a header from Wright BEHIND the goal line and Forest were given a penalty instead of a goal and Darlington was dismissed. Wright stepped up to take the kick himself. Looking very confident, and taking only a short run up, he sent the keeper the wrong way but saw his shot rebound off the foot of the post.
For the first 15 minutes of the second half Forest got themselves into some terrific positions but time and again the final ball lacking and the chances went begging. One could sense that Rangers were growing in confidence as the half wore on After 70 minutes the goal we had all been dreading duly arrived. The defence was no-where to be seen as Ready, who was only one of 3 unmarked Rangers players headed the ball past Crossley.
Forest again today gave the ball away far too cheaply, especially when in good positions around the opponents box - at times they were also guilty of 'Wright' watching, attempting to feed the ball to their more illustrious striker when in good positions themselves to have a go.
Overall a disappointing result - the win was there for the taking. The Reds had better learn how to kill off opponents when the opportunity presents itself - and soon.
FINAL SCORE: FOREST 1 QUEENS PARK RANGERS 1
Star: Steve Chettle
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