In A Forest

Spurs Reserves vs. Notts. Forest Reserves 28.8.2001

If any of you are thinking of making the trip to Stevenage to see a reserve's home game, I for one, would wholly recommend it.  I took Jonesy Jnr. and two of his mates and at 5 at the turnstile for me and 3 each for the 'ankle-biters' it wasn't too extortionate.  There is plenty of free parking across the road and running the gauntlet of crossing the dual carriageway puts you right at the turnstiles.  Chips and cold drinks are also quite reasonable at 1 each.

So to the match.  Spurs looked a lot stronger on the team-sheet to me.  This is probably due in part to me having heard of six of ours and none of their players.  After a bit of a shaky start - Consorti looked particularly uncomfortable - Tim Sherwood began to boss the midfield.  This allowed Etherington down the left and Ferguson, who was operating mainly down the right, to get in some testing crosses.  Kamanan, who was the main target, had the ball delivered to his feet within the penalty area on three or four occasions, but was unable to get a clear shot on goal.  Sherwood came closest from an Etherington cross, heading just over the bar.  In amongst such a small crowd, you can clearly hear the players shouting to each other and the coach shouting at the team, I obviously need to watch a few more games though, before I get the hang of what Colin Calderwood is actually saying.

All Spurs supporters will appreciate the feeling I then started to get.   We were dominating the play and creating everything but the pass that put the goalscorer in.  All of a sudden, up front for Forest, a speedy-looking David Johnson and Gareth Edds on the left flank started to make our centre-backs, Perry and O'Donoghue look less than confident.  On the break, we looked stretched and the unthinkable (Forest scoring) looked a possibility for about fifteen worrying minutes.  Fortunately the game turned our way after a slick move lead to Leonhardsen putting Ferguson through with only the 'keeper to beat.  While four men in red held a hand in the air, one in black shook his head and Ferguson calmly slotted the ball in the corner.  Half time swiftly followed.

The second half was something of an anticlimax.  The midfield battle had given way to our boys showing off some nice one-touch football and the Forest lads working hard, but chasing shadows.  Consorti proved that he was more confident going forward than defending, Jackson and Piercy both showed some nice touches, but this was a Forest side now, it seemed, dedicated to damage limitation.  The threat on the break had even gone.  Kamanan's game was as frustrating to watch as it must have been for him to play.  He just never got on the end of a telling pass and when he did get it to feet, he played the ball 15 yards back towards his own goal.  With Ferguson off the field with what looked like a tweaked hamstring, the Forest defenders looked far less troubled by Snee and the crowd expected no further score.  They weren't disappointed.  

On this showing, Etherington looks like he could trouble top-class defenders and Ferguson deserves a go in the first team, as he is combative in the air, has great pace and seems to strike the ball well. 

Man Of The Match - Leonhardsen

Attendance - Me, Jnr., his two mates and about fifty people I didn't know.


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