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Season 2006-2007 : Nottingham Forest vs Yeovil Town : Saturday 13th January 2007
Coca Cola League One : Nottingham Forest vs Yeovil Town

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Venue: City Ground, Nottingham
Saturday 13th January 2007, 3.00pm kick-off.

Conditions: Dry, swirling winds
Pitch: Excellent

Scorers: Grant Holt (48 mins, 1-0)

Attendance: 17,885 (including approx 1,225 Yeovil supporters)

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex)
Assistants: Phil Gibbs (West Midlands), Steve Rushton (Staffordshire)
Fourth official: Mark Hutchinson (Nottinghamshire)

Yeovil: Anthony Barry (42 mins, foul)
Forest: None

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-3-1-2)
1. Steve Mildenhall
16. Andy Lindegaard 5. Scott Guyett 6. Terrell Forbes 2. Anthony Tonkin
8. Anthony Barry 14. Jean-Paul Kalala 9. Arron Davies
29. Marcus Stewart
30. Leon Best 25. Lee Morris

Subs: 13. Darren Behcet (GK) 5. Scott Guyett 10. Wayne Gray (84 mins for Marcus Stewart) 26. Stephen Maher (87 mins for Anthony Barry) 27. Ishmael Welsh (72 mins for Lee Morris)

Nottingham Forest :
1. Paul Smith
18. John Thompson 5. Wes Morgan 6. Ian Breckin 29. Julian Bennett
21. John Curtis 4. Gary Holt 17. James Perch 9. Nathan Tyson
11. Grant Holt 23. Junior Agogo

Subs: 34. Paddy Gamble (GK) 10. Scott Dobie (85 mins for Nathan Tyson) 14. Jack Lester (70 mins for Junior Agogo) 27. Robert Hughes 37. Lewis McGugan (79 mins for John Thompson)

Match Report

If you had tried to put money down the bookies on Russell Slade's starting line-up against Nottingham Forest you wouldn't have got very good odds. Having already apologised to Scott Guyett via the press in the pre-match coverage, it seemed inevitable that club captain Terry Skiverton was going to be recalled to the side following his injury during the Crewe Alexandra match. Meanwhile the inclusion of Anthony Barry and Anthony Tonkin was a simple decision - the loss of Chris Cohen and Nathan Jones through suspension meant that Slade had to select the only senior players left in his squad who could occupy such a position. As a result, Darren Behcet kept his place on the bench as substitute keeper, whilst the squad was left so thin there was even space for Irish teenager Stephen Maher who was making his debut in the first team squad.

The formation though was one thing that didn't change from last Friday's 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town, with Skiverton, Barry and Tonkin being like-for-like swaps for the men they replaced. The Glovers made a bright positive start, kicking towards the impressive 1,225 travelling support that had occupied the Bridgford Lower Stand at the City Ground. The earliest chance came when Anthony Tonkin gained room on the left flank and delivered a cross into the path of Anthony Barry who chested the ball down and drove his shot on target, but straight into the arms of Forest's Paul Smith. Leon Best, Lee Morris and Marcus Stewart were causing the Forest back line a lot of trouble in getting to grips with the Glovers' formation and it took the home side 15 minutes of defending before they started to gain any sort of composure, even if they did largely keep the clearcut chances for Yeovil down to a minimum.

Once Forest got to grips with the way Yeovil were playing, the game got a bit scrappy with neither side getting a real route towards their opponent's goal. Part of this was caused by a strong side-to-side wind coming up the River Trent and getting caught inside the stadium, frequently causing the ball to swirl in the air - something that was to be significant in the way the game was to unfold.

The measure of Yeovil's comfortableness against Forest was shown when it took the home side 29 minutes to gain their first corner and their first shot of any note. James Perch took the set piece and the ball reached Julian Bennett on the edge of the box after it had bobbled about in the box but his shot produced a comfortable save from Steve Mildenhall.

At the other end, Leon Best had a shot deflected out for a corner by Wes Morgan, but from that corner Forest showed their first sign of true class as they counterattacked in style. Anthony Barry lost the ball as he was left wrong-footed and the ball ran under his feet, setting away Nathan Tyson down the left flank, but despite the free space, Tyson tried to beat Mildenhall on his near post and the Yeovil keeper saved comfortably.

The game was just starting to open out from this passage of end to end play with both teams gaining some space as the half ended. Forest won a free kick on the edge of the box after a lazy trip by Leon Best upended Nathan Tyson in a dangerous position, and James Perch's free kick was curled over the wall but comfortably over the bar. At the other end, Lee Morris got space on the left side of the penalty box thanks to a layoff from Leon Best, but his sharp shot was saved by Paul Smith's legs for a corner, even if perhaps the attempt was going wide of the target anyway. From that corner, the ball was played short and Lee Morris's cross almost curled directly in at the far post as the wind took it back towards the goal.

Anthony Barry was booked for a foul on Nathan Tyson with referee Andy D'Urso being a little over-theatrical in the way he wanted to be the centre of attention for the booking. D'Urso thankfully was not as bad as he has been on previous meetings involving Yeovil, but he irritated throughout with some puzzling decisions, most of which seemed to be home-crowd friendly, even if they were not necessarily crucial.

Into two minutes of injury time, Nathan Tyson sent a free kick under the Yeovil wall from distance, but Mildenhall again collected, and overall it had been a promising half for the Glovers, even if they had created very little in the way of chances. Forest, bar set-pieces, had threatened even less and there had not been a lot for the home crowd to get noisy about.

Half-time: Nottingham Forest 0 - 0 Yeovil Town

That opening 45 minutes of calm made the opening spell of Yeovil's second half all the more frustrating. The defence seemed to open up proceedings in a slightly too complacent fashion and there followed a series of hospital balls being played invitingly across the face of their own penalty box. Eventually, Andy Lindegaard brought down Nathan Tyson about 35 yards out on about the third poor pass in a row. Up stepped Julian Bennett, who pumped a deep ball into the box. Steve Mildenhall came out to collect and misjudged the flight of the ball. He should have punched, but instead flapped somewhat, straight into the path of Grant HOLT who took the ball on the half-volley and into the top corner of the net to put Forest 1-0 up. Probably the first serious error that Mildy has made all season, but on this occasion it was costly.

Mildenhall regained his composure four minutes later when he saved well from a James Perch drive from the edge of the box, parrying the ball out for a corner as Forest enjoyed their best spell of the game. But on the hour mark, Yeovil had appeals for a penalty turned down when Lee Morris appeared to be illegally blocked off by a Forest defender, but the home-friendly Andy D'Urso wasn't interested in making a decision.

Midway through the second half, the completely anonymous Junior Agogo was withdrawn for Jack Lester as Forest looked to hold out for their goal advantage, which in truth they were doing with relative comfort, with the Glovers unable to find serious gaps in their defence. Russell Slade seemed to have a similar opinion, taking off Lee Morris and putting on speed merchant Ishmael Welsh in an attempt to unsettle the Forest back line. Welsh had an almost immediate impact, picking up a half clearance from a Forest defender on the edge of the box and firing first time, forcing keeper Paul Smith into parrying the ball away. The ball fell loose but disappointingly there was not a Yeovil player to be seen to capture the rebound and Forest were able to clear their lines. There hadn't been too many on target shots during the second period from either side, and the Glovers had certainly disappointed in this aspect of their game.

The myriad of substitutions by both sides suited Forest down to the ground as the seconds ticked out. Wayne Gray was introduced as a replacement for Marcus Stewart and there was even a chance for Stephen Maher to get a day to remember as he grabbed his first team debut for the Glovers, coming on as a very late replacement for Anthony Barry.

Ishmael Welsh again got on the end of another chance for the Glovers in the dying minutes as he received a looping cross on the back post, but as he struck the rising ball, he couldn't keep his shot down and it looped over the bar. Three minutes into injury time, even Steve Mildenhall came up for a bit of last minute heroics as he ducked in late on the back post from a corner, but overall in the absence of dead-ball specialists Nathan Jones, Chris Cohen and Martin Brittain, Yeovil's set-pieces were poor all afternoon and they never used the wind to the kind of effect that Forest did in winning the game.

The corner predictably came to nothing and Forest received an unexpected bonus as the final whistle blew and fans streamed out of the stadium, learning that Oldham's late equaliser against Scunthorpe had put them top of the table. Not a bad performance by the Glovers by any means, but frustrating in that we all know that from a creativity point of view they can do better than that, and frustrating in that such a soft goal cost them a deserved point from the game. Still, if the Glovers have reached the stage where losing at the City Ground feels unjustified, then this shows the dizzy heights to which we have now become accustomed.

MOTM Vote Result:

Pos Player
1 Terrell Forbes
2 Terry Skiverton
3 Andy Lindegaard

Overall match rating: 5.5 / 10
Performance: 5.9
Entertainment: 5.1

26 votes received.

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Full-time: Nottingham Forest 0 - 0 Yeovil Town
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