The second half opened up with neither manager making any significant changes - not surprisingly given that Forest had only one substitution they could make. After five minutes of cat'n'mouse, the Glovers opened up kicking towards the Westland Stand end, and had their best chance of the match when Marcus Stewart brilliantly found Wayne Gray, who skipped past Ian Brechin as if he wasn't there, but with the goal gaping, he shot straight at keeper Paul Smith who gratefully saved the shot, which ironically was probably hit too cleanly for the Yeovil striker's own good.
Some frantic tackling by both sides with the boot being firmly put in all over the place. Mark Lynch bundled over Grant Holt, whilst Holt himself was lucky to escape without a booking after a blatant dive when he battled with Terry Skiverton, whilst the Yeovil captain was the last man. But referee Mr Russell decided not to bring out his book. It was just as heated off the pitch as Glovers keeper Steve Mildenhall was struck by an object thrown from the away end - calmly handed over to the match referee for his own keeping. Russell Slade got into his own shouting match with the Main Stand linesman after a series of decisions given against the Glovers that looked as though it might boil over when Slade refused to back down. Amidst the tackling and the passion, James Perch could have netted when he followed up a parried save from a Forest player, but he shot into the side netting, with the Yeovil defence somewhat guilty of standing still on the rebound.
Former Bristol Rovers striker Junior Agogo came on just past the hour mark to a chorus of boos as Forest played their final card, replacing Jack Lester as Forest went for all three points. Overall, Forest had experienced a far better open period than they had during the first half, in what was a game on a knife-edge, with both sides threatening but with both back fours holding very firm indeed.
Midway through the second half, Glovers keeper Steve Mildenhall made an utterly outstanding save from Neil Harris, pushing out a single arm to stop a header sneaking in by the bottom right post. From that save, Yeovil immediately broke up field, almost catching Forest on the break, with Lynch and Morris combining well up the flank. That was to be the last seen of Lee Morris though, as he made way for Ishmael Welsh, with the tactic of catching Forest with counter-attacking Yeovil's main method of trying to undo their opponents.
Daniel Webb was introduced in the dying minutes as the Glovers tried to introduce a bit of chaos into the Forest back line, replacing Wayne Gray. As the clock ticked down, Ishmael Welsh managed a series of stepovers down the left wing before delivering an excellent cross into the box, with Chris Cohen's header going narrowly wide for a goal kick - so near yet so far as Cohen looked to the heavens, knowing how close he'd come to winning the game.
But Forest are a side with a top-class strike force, and despite the Glovers having competed so well, they were made to pay from a late corner with just three minutes remaining. Nicky Southall sent the ball over to the backpost and what you don't do is leave Grant HOLT unmarked at close range. The Glovers did just that and the end result was Forest taking the points right at the end to kill of what had been a gutsy Yeovil performance.
Daniel Webb's brief appearance at the tail end of the game was made even more brief as he caught a stray Forest arm in his face in the final minute, and with blood coming from his face, he was replaced by Arron Davies. That saw more time added to the three that were put up on the board by the fourth official, but Forest ran the ball into the corners and played out time without too much danger to the single goal scoreline.
As the final whistle blew, the Glovers could find themselves a little hard done by, having competed well against the League leaders for pretty much the whole of the match. Had they converted one of several chances that came their way, it could have easily been them sending Forest home unhappy. But whilst Russell Slade has to wheel'n'deal with free transfers and loans, Forest can command players like Grant Holt - a man who Gary Johnson once tried to sign from Rochdale - and sometimes that ability to get that extra inch out of such players can be the difference between a 1-0 win and a 1-0 defeat. Nice if you can afford it mind!
MOTM Vote Result:
Overall match rating: 8.3 / 10
47 votes received.
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