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Nottingham Forest 2012

Football Aid 2012 at the City Ground proved to be a very eventful game in front of a passionate crowd. This year's game also included another fantastic array of legends for the players to live their dreams with on their hallowed turf, with legends John O'Hare, Jason Lee, Des Lyttle and Steve Hodge all putting every effort into making sure their respective teams performed to the best of their abilities. It was the Home side that just had enough to edge past the spirited away team by 4 goals to 2.

Date: Wednesday 2nd May 2012
Venue: The City Ground
Nottingham Forest Home vs Nottingham Forest Away
Kick Off: 1:00pm
Match Officials: Paul Cooper, Lee Hible, Danny Jones and Lee Freeman
Legends: John O'Hare, Jason Lee, Des Lyttle and Steve Hodge

The Home team, wearing the famous red shirts, got the game underway. It was a very entertaining first half with both teams passing the ball well and making sure their first touches were made early in the game. With the legendary John O'Hare managing on the sidelines and orchestrating his players, and playing legend Jason Lee preparing the team at warm up, the Home team began a bit nervous, clearly wanting to impress.

Managed and organised by the legendary Des Lyttle, the Away team started brighter with a very composed passing display trying to stretch the Home team. A great example of this was after some great play from Roger Loasby, turning in plenty of space, shielding the ball from Jamie Marriott, looking up and playing a delightful pass between the two centre half's for David Heason to convert in to the bottom corner. He thought he had scored but unfortunately for Heason and the Away side, the linesman flagged for offside.

Early on there was an un-scheduled delay in play when Steven Halford suffered an unfortunate injury; the Away No 2 falling awkwardly after a 50-50 challenge and injuring his ankle. Halford, a massive Forest fan who had made a long pilgrimage from Northern Scotland to play, was hugely disappointed to have his day cut short, but he did at least leave the field of play to sustained applause from his fellow players, as well as the Legends. 

It was the Away team that broke the deadlock mid way through the first half with Des Lyttle starting the move, Robert Weaver, turning on the ball before a reverse pass on to the foot of Lyttle. Lyttle crossed an inviting ball across the box before a poor defensive header from Jason Lee presented the oncoming No 9 Robert Weaver with the chance. Weaver took a touch, and unleashed a powerful drive on the edge of the box into the bottom right corner. It was a fantastic strike to open the scoring in this tightly contested match. (0-1)

The goal woke up the Home team, as they gradually applied more and more pressure during the 1st half, before a loose pass from Colin Robertson was intercepted by Dean Thorpe, who squared the ball across the 6 yard box for Chris Comben to slot home. It was great teamwork and understanding by the two attack minded players. (1-1)

The Home side continued their pressure and after a measured pass by Edward Smith exposing a defensive gap on the left, Luke Wilkinson cut inside off the wing to curl a shot just for the diving Andrew Harrison to pull off a finger tip save pushing the ball over the crossbar and keep his team in the game.

The Away side's great counterattacking style of play produced the game's next goal. Heason receiving the ball from Lyttle, playing a short pass to Roger Milner who then played one of the passes of the match to No 9 David Heason who beat the offside trap, and picked his spot before coolly sliding the ball underneath Peter Raeburn. (1-2)

The last action of the first half was a short corner taken on the left to which Robert Weaver which caught out the slow reacting defence and chipped in a cross to the back post which was just too far in front of Milner to finish.

Half-Time: Nottingham Forest Home 1 - 2 Nottingham Forest Away

At half time in the dressing rooms (where the likes of Brian Clough have given inspirational and game defining team talks) the players were able to reflect on their first half performances. John O'Hare shared his thoughts "in the middle of the park tighten up a little bit, but when it does break down make an effort to get back.." and "don't be afraid to take them on".

Des Lyttle giving a very enthusiastic half-time team talk made sure his players kept the same spirit as the first half and not to "go away and let it [the game] pass you by" and more importantly "relax and enjoy yourselves".

O'Hare must have been proud as the Home team picked up their game in the 2nd half and really took the game to the Away side.

The Away team kicked off the second half in determined fashion but on 57 mins it was the Home team that managed to find an opening in the defence to capitalise and get a well deserved equaliser. Receiving a deep cross from Robert Thorpe, Kevin Helliwell managed to keep the ball in play which caught the defence off guard before passing to the oncoming Jamie Marriott to side-foot it past the keeper. (2-2)

For the first time in the match, the Home team found themselves in front on 72 mins after a great counterattack and cross from Wilkinson, the No 7 carefully played the ball across the 6 yard box to the determined Robert Thorpe who was there at the right place at the right time to pass the ball into then net. (3-2)

The same player could have sealed the win in the 84th minute, after meeting a great, teasing cross, but the Football Aid regular was distracted by the oncoming keeper who just did enough to put him off.  

The match was sealed in the 91st min after the Away team's defence got caught sleeping and it was certainly a moment that Andrew Harrison will want to forget. After a pass-back to Harrison, Home No 7 Luke Wilkinson managed to tackle the keeper after he had tried to knock it past him in his own area. Wilkinson then had enough time to prod the ball past the on-rushing defender Steve McLean to give the Home team a two goal cushion and seal a hard fought, and impressive comeback victory. (4-2)

Full-Time: Nottingham Forest Home 4 - 2 Nottingham Forest Away

Man of the Match Home: Jamie Marriott
Man of the Match Away: Thomas Heason
Moment of the Match: Luke Wilkinson

Home Team: Raeburn, Frenchman, Lee, Walton, Ciudiskis, Smith, Wilkinson (C), Jameson, Thorpe, Marriott, Comben, Thorpe, Mills, Gillon, Helliwell
Home Mascot: Caleb Ciudiskis

Away Team: Harrison, Halford, Lyttle, Hodge, Heason, McLean, Loasby, George, Weaver, Heason, Milner, Baker (C), Lea, Hughes, Robertson, Gibbins
Away Mascot: Liberty McLean