Nottingham Forest 3:2 Leicester City
A lively and well balanced East Midlands derby was settled 3-2 in Forest’s favour by the latest Chris Weale calamity at the City Ground on Good Friday…
Sven Goran Eriksson brought in Mee, Vitor and Gallagher, for Van Aanholt, Bamba and Vassell and the reshuffled defence did not deal well with their first test – Forest’s 15th minute opening goal.
McGugan, out on the right, delivered a fine cross for Tudgay to head home, the Forest man having drifted in between Vitor and Naughton.
It was a poor start for City, but they battled their way back and were level five minutes later.
A sweeping City move saw Wellens palying Naughton in down the right and his cross found Gallagher beyond the far post. His cross/shot attempt was blocked by Moussi and the ball rolled out of the penalty area to be met with a perfect fierce, low shot that Camp reached but could not prevent going into the net.
Soon after this equaliser Mee was sent in on the left but his angled drive was place too close to Camp.
The game tightened up after this and chances were scarce up to the break.
Earnshaw’s progress was blocked as he closed in on goal, and that was the nearest either side came.
Sven was forced into a change just five minutes into the second half when Oakley limped off, replaced by Abe. Seven minutes later he brought Vassell on for Yakubu to try and revive a tired looking side.
The game burst back into life with seventeen minutes remaining with the hosts regaining their lead.
McGugan rode a challenge before firing in a fierce shot from 25 yards. Weale parried the effort but it fell nicely for Earnshaw who finished neatly before Weale could fully recover his position.
However, City struck back a minute later with their second equaliser of the afternoon.
Wellens sent Naughton down the right and his low shot was blocked by Camp, the ball sitting up for Vassell to sidefoot home from five yards out.
3,300 City fans were celebrating hard in the away end, but sadly there was another twist in the tale.
Mee sent a header narrowly wide, but it was Forest who found a late winner.
With six minutes of the 90 left, McKenna volleyed a weak effort goalwards and it slipped under Weale on it’s third bounce, to give the home side the points and dismiss any ligering hopes of a play-off place.
Sven was already looking ahead: “Unfortunately we deserve to be where we are. Come Tuesday, after our home game against Watford on Monday, we will start to seriously think about what we want to do. I will be here next season – as long as it is up to me.”
Forest: Camp, Morgan, Chambers, Gunter, Moloney, Cohen, McKenna, McGugan (McGoldrick 86), Moussi, Tudgay (Boyd 75), Earnshaw (Findley 80). Subs Not Used: Bennett, Majewski, McCleary, Darlow.
Leicester: Weale, Vitor, Naughton, Mee, Bruma, King, Oakley (Abe 50), Wellens, Kamara (Howard 76), Yakubu (Vassell 57), Gallagher. Subs Not Used: Ricardo, Dyer, Moreno, Berner.
Referee: M Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear). Attendance: 24,217.