All posts by karlord32

I am a very big Nottingham Forest Fan and have been following the club since 1997/98 I also work there as a Member of the Security Team on Matchday's

Nottingham Forest were Promoted to The Championship After beating Yeovil Town

Most die hard Nottingham Forest Fans will have seen so many fantastic games at the City Ground. I don’t think, however, in all my 15 years of following the Reds have I ever seen a game quite like this.

It all came down to 90 minutes of football, Forest had to win and hope that Doncaster slipped up at Cheltenham. It was the final day of the League One season.

Forest started the day in 3rd place and they were playing Yeovil, a team that had ended Forest’s Play-Off hopes the previous season. Even before the Players came out onto the pitch, the whole City Ground was buzzing with excitement knowing that this could be their day that they won Promotion from League One. Forest had after all spent the past three years in that division.  It was a Sunny Day at a Packed City Ground and the noise was epic. The Forest players knew that they had to get the job done or risk the Play Offs one more time.

If you think that the Players and Fans were nervous none were more nervous than The BBC Radio Nottingham Sport’s Team Of Robin Chipperfiled, Colin Fray and John McGovern. It was there job to not only commentate on the action but keep all the fans informed on what the score was down at the Cheltenham vs Doncaster Match.

It was a nervous opening 10 minutes or so with both Forest and Yeovil getting some early touches of the ball.  In the 12th minute of the match however the breakthrough arrived as Kris Commons planted a beautiful ball into the box . The Yeovil backline cleared the danger only as far as Forest’ Player of the Year, Julian Bennett, who put in a great tackle, that even Stuart Pearce would of been proud off.

Bennett picked up the ball and sent a rocket of a shot into the top left hand corner giving the Yeovil goalkeeper, Steve Mildenhall no chance.

That goal meant so much to Jules, his nickname to the fans, as being a local boy with his family and friends sat in the stands you could see on his face how much it meant too him. It was the perfect start for The Reds.

Jules said after the game:

“That goal was the best that i have ever scored in all of my time playing football, but I loved that tackle almost as well as the goal”

Yeovil came back after 15 minutes as they worked the ball up the pitch through Jaime Peters, who played a one two with Marcus Stewart and calmly walked the ball into the net from six yards out making it  1-1.

Now it truly was game on, Forest however did not have to wait long to restore their lead as Kris Commons was played in by Brett Ormerod and Yeovil were looking for the offside flag that never came. Commons had timed his run to perfection and subsequently  slotted the ball under the body of the goalkeeper, making it 2-1 to the reds.

Then came the moment that all Forest fans had been hoping for, at around the same time as Forest were getting back in front, Cheltenham Town were leading Doncaster by a goal to nil. BBC Radio Nottingham’s Reds Commentator was getting the news via his earphones.

Colin Fray BBC Radio Nottingham reds Commentator “Cheltenham 1 Doncaster Nil This Time i can Confirm It” when that score was given out The whole Place cheered as if Forest had scored again.

Forest were 2-1 ahead with over 28 minutes played and had at this moment in time one foot back in the Championship.

Then it got even better for Forest as they went 3-1 ahead thanks to a beautiful free kick by Lewis McGugan.  McGugan was brought down 25 yards out from goal and with both himself and Commons standing over the ball there was only going to be one outcome. McGugan stepped up to sent it into the top right hand corner.

Forest were 3-1 ahead and it looked like it was going to be there day despite Doncaster Rovers equalising against Cheltenham.

The Second Half started with Forest attacking the Trent End, as they like to do and with a two goal advantage it seemed that nothing could go wrong. Things started to get even more interesting however as Doncaster went ahead in their game.  That meant Rovers were the ones in 2nd Place with Forest in 3rd. It was getting more tense as the second half continued, it seemed that all was lost.

From nowhere, The Robins were able to pull it back to 2-2, meaning that Forest were now back in 2nd place, so it was back to as you were at the start of the half. Forest once more had it in their own hands.

Yeovil seemed to have other ideas and after 75 minutes they got their second after a corner was taken quickly and Marcus Stewart popped up to head in at the near post. With over 15 minutes plus added time left to play Forest knew that they had to hold one to this slender lead.

Colin Fray ” Forest Please Please Please do not let this lead slip now”

They need not have worried however as the best news was to come, after 80 minutes Cheltenham had scored again making it 3-2 to them. As the news was coming through everyone’s radio the Forest Fans went bonkers, It was party time.

With five minutes of added time to play, Forest just had to get past this and they were there and when news came in that the match at Cheltenham had finished it was celebration time for everyone at Forest: the players, the staff and the fans all now knew that Forest had pipped Rovers to second place.

Now it was all down to referee Fred Graham to blow that whistle and after an extra two minutes, he did. Cue the total pitch invasion as fans and player’s alike all celebrated on the pitch .

It was a pitch invasion like no other as everyone danced around on the hallow turf. BBC Radio Nottingham pitch side reporter Robin Chipperfield had a very hard time in trying to get some reaction from the players. He eventually managed to get some in the dressing room.

He spoke to Lewis McGugan after the match and McGugan said:

“This is the most unbeleavable moment of my life to have finally done it. All the players and staff kept going even when the other score were coming in.

“It felt wired at times as it was like, are we up or are we not. It was a rollercoaster of a game and its one that I will never forget in a hurry.”

Forest had done it. They were promoted back to The Championship after three long hard seasons in League One.

We must however give credit to all the Yeovil Fans who stayed behind to clap off the Forest players staff and there family’s on the lap of honour.

It was a game that had everything,  the team at BBC Radio Nottingham must also be given plaudits for keeping a cool, calm head when giving out the scores and making sure that everyone was updated.

Its a game that I will never forget in a hurry and I hope that at some point we will see that same kind of atmosphere again, if the EFL Season restarts. We will have to wait and see….

The Day that Nottingham Forest Won Promotion Back to The Premier League

The date 25th April 1998, the place, The City Ground, the match Nottingham Forest Vs Reading. This was the Classic Moment when Nottingham Forest returned to the Premier league after a one season absence. Forest needing a win to gain promotion defeat for Reading meant relegation to Division Two.

That season turned out to be a three horse race with both Forest, Sunderland and Middlesbrough fighting to gain that top spot. It was also a season that saw plenty of goals from all over the pitch with both Kevin Campbell and Pirere Van Hoojidonk blowing there competition away to become the best strike partnership in the country. At that time they had scored over 53 goals between them. Van Hooijdonk managed 34 goals and Campbell scored 23.  Subsequently Van Hooijdonk was named the Player of the season.  By the time that final home game against Reading came about, Forest had already defeated Middlesbrough by winning 4-0 in front of the Sky cameras.

It came down to this, the big game, Nottingham Forest knowing that nothing but a win would do. It was a game that had it all, both Forest and Reading kept each other at bay for long spells in the match. It appeared that the chance of promotion would have to go down to the final match of that season.

It was a packed sell out City Ground of 29,302 and also in front of the Sky cameras that saw Forest win promotion back to the big league.

Chris Bart-Williams Vs Reading 25th April 1998 was one of the biggest goals ever to be scored at the City Ground in recent times, as nails were being bitten right down to the ends the clock had passed the 85th minute when Colin Cooper sent a beautiful ball into the Reading box for Bart-Williams to control, turn, spin and shoot all in one movement and the ball was sent hard and true into the Reading net. The wild celebrations both on and off the pitch were epic to see and Martin Tyler said on Sky Sports during commentary:

” And here is Bart-Williams and he’s in here and in the end Forest will say it don’t matter how you play as long as you win it and has Bart-Williams goal done the trick”

The Bart-Man (as he was known to fans) had done it , his goal had won not only the match but promotion back into the big time after just a one season absence.  Forest, however, still had to wait for confirmation as to whether they had done it as both Sunderland and Middlesbrough still had a game to play.  To the relief of Forest supporters they need not have worried as following a draw and a loss for both Sunderland and Middlesbrough it was made official, Nottingham Forest were Champions.

Forest had one final game to play away to West Brom, But that game did not matter as Forest were already Champions it was party time and a crowd of over 25.000, all of them happy of what had been a fantastic season, West Brom Players provided a guard of honour and over 5000 fans paid their tribute. The score ended 1-1 and Forest had finished the Season with 93 points 82 goals and a place back in the Premiership, They were Champions of the First Division.

So that was a magic game that Forest fans will always look back on with happy memories and say that I was there when we won promotion back into the Premiere League.

Forest have not been promoted to the Premier League since that day and fans would’ve been dreaming of that ending in this current season. Now though it is conceivable that even if Forest end there long exile from the top division,  fans won’t be able to witness it due to Covid-19.

 

 

 

Jill Ellis Looks to Be FAVORITE to Replace Phil Neville As England Manager

As we are all hoping for the Football in England to return, for many of us its been a long wait to see what will happen. In the woman’s game its just the same as the FA are still waiting to see if they can give the go ahead to restart the WSL.

Apart from that the big news coming out of the FA in the Woman’s Game is that Phil Neville has said that he is stepping down from his role as manger of the England Lionesses after his contract runs out in the summer of 2021.

Neville has been the England manger for a few years now since taking the role in 2018. He lead the Lionesses to their first ever win in the SheBelieves Cup and following that he also lead the Lionesses to two Semi-Final places in the European Championships and the World Cup , where they lost to the eventual winners Holland and the USA respectively.

Since the World Cup in 2019, however, the Lionesses have only won three of their last 12 matches.

This is a very poor record for a team that reached the Semi Finals and will soon be hosting The European Championships in 2022.

This brings us to former USA coach Jill Ellis,  who lead the Americans to two World Cup successes as well as making them the top rank team in the world.  This makes her an ideal choice to replace Neville when he steps down.

Former England International Eniola Aluko says Ellis is the best candidate but also says the Football Association must be prepared to pay Ellis the same as England men’s boss Gareth Southgate.

“She has that pedigree and she has that experience,” Aluko told Sky Sports.

“She’s worked with some of the best footballers – elite athletes – in the world. The England women’s team now are at that point where they’re getting to semi-finals and now need to be getting to a final and winning it, winning World Cups, winning European Championships.”

Ellis was manager of the USA when the team began their legal battle for equal pay, and Aluko has suggested that the FA would need to avoid the possibility of a similar scenario developing.

“The contract she’s probably going to command is going to be very, very high and it’s whether the FA are willing to invest that amount of money,” added Aluko.

Last month, former England and Arsenal defender Alex Scott said

“the FA has the capability to attract Ellis” because of the growing investment in women’s football.

So thing’s in the Woman’s Game are taking pace keep as we might soon have a new manager leading the Lionesses to an even better future.