Tag: Nottingham Forest

The Twohundredpercent Play-Off Jamboree: Swansea City 3-1 Nottingham Forest (3-1 Agg)

Thirty years ago, the football world was a very different place. What we now take to be the Premier League was still the First Division of the Football League, three points for a win were just about to be introduced as Aston Villa won their first league championship since 1910, having fielded just fourteen players all season, and Nottingham Forest had surrendered their name as the champions of Europe after two years with a 2-0 aggregate defeat at the hands of CSKA Sofia in the First Round of the European Cup the previous September, but still finished the season in a creditable seventh place in the table. Much has come and gone over the course of the intervening three decades, though, and Forest find themselves in the play-offs for a place in the Premier League. Swansea City, meanwhile, were heading for the promised land in 1981. The BBC’s Match Of The Day cameras were at Deepdale on the last day of the season to see John Toshack’s team win 3-1 against Preston North End and win promotion to the First Division for the first time on goal difference above Blackburn Rovers, relegating Preston at the same time. They were to last just two seasons in the top flight and by 1986 was back in the Fourth Division, but that team, a team of experience and flair, has come to...

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Match of the Week: Leeds United 4-1 Nottingham Forest

It feels a bit blasphemous reporting on a match in which a club associated with Ken Bates performed well, but since he’s one of football’s greatest chairmen, a good scrub in the shower should eliminate some of the guilt. Certainly, the Championship fixture between Leeds United and Nottingham Forest weighed heavily upon those at Elland Road on Saturday–both in terms of history and contemporary significance. While managers Simon Grayson and Billy Davies walked down those halls, through those doors, and onto that pitch, the ghosts of Revie and Clough floated along in their wake, anxious to see how today’s squads would rise in a match of near eternal foes. With promotion playoff potential at stake for both clubs, passions indeed ran high on the field of battle but in the end, quality won the day. The opening fifteen minutes were a flurry of  fits and starts as each side wanted to be the first off the mark. Indeed, it was difficult to devise a strategy for either club during this time, although Forest’s initial attack seemed geared toward flooding the Leeds half with as many bodies as possible and forcing them to concede set pieces. Shots by defenders Chambers and Lynch from the channel carved out on the right side were dealt with while Leeds attempted swift counter attacks via Aston Villa loanee Barry Bannan as Forest’s defenders were...

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Match Of The Week: Swansea City 3-2 Nottingham Forest

Things are getting quite congested at the top of the Championship. Just six points separate second placed Norwich City from Nottingham Forest in sixth place in the table and, should Queens Park Rangers find themselves being docked points over the Alejandro Faurlin, even the relatively comfortable gap between them and the chasing pack – they are seven points clear of Norwich and ten ahead of third placed Swansea City – even that could start to crumble. Yet again, the top of the Championship table seems likely to offer us a tight end to the season. Part of the package that comes with such a close run-in is that the chasing pack, all jostling for position, have to play each other regularly as the season enters its final straight and this afternoon third-placed Swansea City are at home against sixth-placed Nottingham Forest. Both teams have already been granted a favour at lunchtime by struggling Sheffield United, who beat Leeds United by two goals to nil at Bramall Lane. It’s a result that has given Forest the opportunity to leapfrog over Leeds if they can muster a single point from The Liberty Stadium this afternoon. At this stage of the season, the margins that separate victory from defeat can be very slender indeed. Much is made of Nottingham Forest’s slide from grace since the glory days of the late 1970s, but...

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Match Of The Midweek: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Middlesbrough

The heightened feeling of expectation that is generated by a place in the play-offs is one of the more curious phenomena that has come to accompany this most modern of season end jamborees. Four teams in every division take part in them, but only one can win through and win promotion but it often feels that, in the excitement of the end of season battle to grab something – anything! – from nine months of blood, sweat and tears, the simple logic of the equation that four into one doesn’t go is lost upon us. The hangover of an unsuccessful bid for the play-offs can be mixed. In the Championship this season, Cardiff City have reacted reasonably positively to their Wembley defeat at the hands of Blackpool last May. The beaten semi-finalists, however, have found the new season to be somewhat more laborious. In the case of Leicester City, this is perhaps unsurprising. Catapulted into the play-offs in their first season back in the Championship after a spell in the relative purgatory of League One, their second season was always likely to be more difficult than last, though they can be expected to pull clear of the relegation zone. For the other beaten semi-finalists, Nottingham Forest, however, the hangover has been more mystifying. A state of what has been described as a “Mexican stand-off” is said to exist between...

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Match Of The Midweek 1: Nottingham Forest 3-4 Blackpool

It’s all back to The City Ground, then, for the second leg of the Championship play-off, and the people of Nottingham clearly have better thing to do than worry about who will or won’t be forming the next government this evening. They’ve got Blackpool to worry about. Their trip to the seaside at the weekend was some distance from what one might describe as “the Premier League experience”. The travelling supporters were housed in a temporary, roofless stand while the two teams played out a high tempo match on a bumpy pitch with a high wind swirling around. This evening, though, they’re back on home turf and it feels rather as if everything is back under their control. The City Ground is, after all, a Premier League ground in most respects. Only the Main Stand feels like a throwback, and that was only built in 1965. Sitting opposite it, The Brian Clough Stand was opened in 1980 but it was a prototype for the steel and glass that we take for granted today and certainly wouldn’t look out of place mixing it amongst the best. The current team, however, may be a slightly different matter. They finished third in the table but didn’t often look like seriously troubling Newcastle United or West Bromwich Albion for one of the automatic promotion places, and in the first leg of this tie...

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