After the spectacular comeback on Thursday, it was a less exciting performance as Nottingham Forest continued their unbeaten run with a 3-1 win against Yeovil Town. Dan Berridge offers a fan’s eye view from the City Ground…


As I made my way across Trent Bridge at around 2:30pm, I sensed a more sombre atmosphere than perhaps the one that greeted the final whistle on Thursday evening. Whether that was down to the aftermath of the night before, or perhaps the stark realisation that it’s Monday tomorrow, I’m not sure.

On paper this looked to be what you might call a ‘home banker’, with Forest undeafeated in 12, facing a Yeovil Town side rooted to the foot of the Championship table and with only 2 wins from their last 10 in all competitions. Reading further between the lines however, we were up against a side that certainly fare better away from home (Yeovil have won more points, and kept more clean sheets, away from home this season than they have at Huish Park).

This, however, is a club on the up. The acquisitions of Danny Fox, Kevin Gomis and the mercurial Rafik Djebbour as well as the extended deal for David Vaughan and the capture of Jack Hobbs have given everyone a boost. Forest began the game with a characteristic verve, that has not been all that uncommon on the banks of the Trent in recent weeks. A charming rendition of ‘Stand up if you love Fawaz’ certainly reflected the positive feelings around the club recently.

Forest started brightly, and looked confident; the passing was crisp and fluid. Andy Reid, and debutant Fox looked particularly bright on the left-hand side with some lovely link-up play. Henri Lansbury, Jamie Paterson and Fox all had shots blocked early on before a loose ball broke to Lansbury on the edge of the box and the former Arsenal man curled a low shot just wide of the post. The crowd sensed blood, and Forest began to really turn the screw.

It seemed that the visitors may be in for a long afternoon as Paterson twisted and turned inside the penalty area before firing in an effort at goal, that the Glover’s defense did well to block; as they did with the follow up from the in-form Simon Cox. Forest’s early dominance looked as though it would bring rewards sooner rather than later. Cox failed to make the most of a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper, as he failed to take the ball in his stride before Stech smothered the ball away from him.

Yeovil offered a warning shot after around 15 minutes as Forest tried to play their way out from the box before being caught in possession. The visitors had a man over on the edge of the box, who had as much breathing space as Fawaz gave himself on Friday evening. Fortunately for the Reds, Moore dragged his shot well wide.

On 16 minutes, however, there was a collective sigh of relief from all four sides of the ground as the in-form Paterson raced onto a chipped ball over the top, before rounding the keeper and firing across goal where an unwitting Yeovil defender put through his own net to hand the Reds a lead. At this point we were looking for a bit of experience but complacency began to set in and the away side came back into the match. Reid raced onto a ball from Lansbury before fizzing the ball across to the back post where Cox was inches away from sliding the ball into the net. Another warning sign came in the form of a headed effort at goal, which Darlow dealt with comfortably.

On 25 minutes it was a different story. Forest failed to deal with a ball in from the left, when Moore nipped in front of Darlow and headed into the net. The home side struggled to impose themselves on the visitors, and Yeovil understandably grew in confidence. Familiar groans began to reverberate in the back of the stands; frustration was mounting. There was a lengthy break in play as new-boy Fox went down after a heavy challenge. This presented the Reds with a chance to re-group and sure enough they took the lead shortly after.

A left-footed shot from Paterson was parried by the keeper but only as far as Jamie Mackie who squared the ball to Cox, who had the simplest task of restoring Forest’s lead. Forest went into halthe break with their tails up. As I supped on my half-time coffee, I rather naïvely declared my belief that we would go on to win the game comfortably. This declaration was met with approving nods. The reality was that Forest would labour to victory.

Mackie had an excellent chance to double the lead five minutes in to the second-half but took one touch too many and the chance was gone. The game became a fractious and tense affair, Forest lacked the ‘va va voom’ that was evident early on. Yeovil were still in the game, though never truly threatened. A couple of changes came after the hour mark, as Dan Harding replaced Fox, and a few minutes later Darius Henderson replaced Paterson. The biggest cheer, however, was reserved for Rafik Djebbour who entered the field on 75 minutes.

I got the feeling this might be the lift we needed, though in essence Djebbour failed to even touch the ball for the first few minutes. The game was petering out, but there were a few nervy moments as Yeovil’s Edwards sent the ball straight at Darlow, and the Forest back line dropped rather deep. Relief came in added time as Reid sent over a cross to Cox who fired back across goal for debutant Djebbour to seal the win.

As I made my way home, I was left to reflect on a hard fought three points, as well as a newly-acquired cold. We’re in a strong position and unbeaten in 13. Next up Blackpool. What could possibly go wrong there?

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