Leeds United supporters seem to begrudge anyone who dares to celebrate a positive result against them but it’s fair to say Forest have had some real tussles with them down the years.

It’s be easy to cite a goal from the famous 7-3 victory for this week’s piece, or maybe one from our 4-2 win on Boxing Day of 2012.

I did say at the start of this season, however, that my compilation would include goals for all different reasons and with that in mind, I’m picking a Julian Bennett goal from a trip to Leeds in 2008.

It was February and Leeds were smarting from having 15 points deducted prior to the season beginning – not that they ever mentioned it!

Nottingham Forest v Reading
(Photo; David Rogers; Getty Images)

They had fought back pretty well though and were firmly in contention for a play-off place when the two sides met in West Yorkshire.

Forest were also in the mix for a play-off place, although one eye was drawn towards a top-two berth instead.

It still seems remarkable to think that we locked horns with Leeds in the third tier of English football.

Even the most ardent enemies of the two clubs would concede that neither club belongs in such a division.

That was the hand we had been dealt though and this was a game which both teams wanted to win ahead of the final months of the campaign.

In fairness Forest played well, really well. They were the most likely to take the lead but at 0-0 the result was in the balance.


Bennett’s goal and celebration were met with an almighty roar from the corner where the away fans were situated.


I always remember we’d taken a Mansfield Town supporter along with us, I think it was £10 tickets for students or something along those lines and he wasn’t going to miss out on such a bargain.

FA Cup 3rd Round: Nottingham Forest v Charlton Athletic
(Photo; Laurence Griffiths; Getty Images)

When Bennett powered home a Kris Commons cross with 20 minutes remaining, he genuinely didn’t anticipate what was about to follow.

We ended up three rows from where we had been sitting as around 3000 Forest supporters literally jumped all over each other.

At the time Mansfield weren’t averaging that many at home and it proved a bit of a culture shock for the tourist for the evening.

Forest should have won that game and it’s fair to say that over the years we’ve had some rotten luck with decisions at Elland Road.

On this occasion, Wes Morgan was adjudged to have fouled Tresor Kandol in the penalty area, allowing Jermaine Beckford to earn Leeds an underserved point.

Forest did go onto win promotion that season. For Leeds it was the play-offs and after losing to Doncaster Rovers they were left to rue a 15 point deduction – did I mention that?

Bennett only bagged eight goals for Forest but they were typically pretty special.

This one wasn’t a thunderbolt by any means but as it was scored at Leeds away and in front of the travelling supporters, it’s one that I particularly enjoyed.


The left-back was Forest through and through and it proved really unfortunate that a serious knee injury struck.

FA Cup 4th Round: Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
(Photo; Shaun Botterill; Getty Images)

He can perhaps take solace in the fact that he was part of the team which won promotion back to the Championship.

Bennett epitomised what playing for Forest should be all about. He displayed blood, sweat and tears towards the cause and gave his all every time he pulled on the red shirt.

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