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Nottingham Forest 2014

The weather was bright and clear on the morning of the 14th of May for the Football Aid 2014 fixture at The City Ground. The ground played host to a great game of football as the evenly matched teams battled it out with a surprising result. The final score ended up a good reflection of the great play by both sides and the drive and determination of one team not to be left behind after a slow start.

Date: Wednesday 14th of May 2014
Venue: The City Ground
Nottingham Forest (Home) vs Nottingham Forest (Away)
Kick off: 10:00 am
Legends: Jason Lee and Craig Armstong
Match Officials: Phil Towers, Sam Kane, Daniel Taylor and Tom Tolond

The game got underway and both sides showed promise from the start, with some excellent passing and attacking play. Things started to heat up early on when No.7 Roger Loasby got past his man and into the box. He then set up No.9 Jonathan Davis to send an excellent shot at goal which was well saved by Away Captain and Keeper Chris Annable.

The first goal came not long after with the Away side striking back in the form of No.9 Thomas Shiers. The Centre Forward collected a strong pass from No 2 Martin Finch just outside the box before turning and sending a fantastic shot from distance past the keeper and into the top of the net. This gave the Away side an early lead in the 10th minute (0-1).

The Home side were determined not to be left behind though and began to push back. There were some good tackles with one leading to Davis getting into space and getting a shot off which just missed the top of the goal. The Home side continued to press in attack but were denied a well orchestrated chance on goal from No 11 Chris Comben and No 17 Mark Lee when the latter was taken out in the box. However the subsequent penalty was comfortably slid in by Mark Lee who sent the Keeper the wrong way beautifully. The score was now level on 26 mins (1-1).

With the scoreline level the Home side continued to press forward. A well placed cross from No 6 Paul Lee found left-mid Mark Lee who slipped past the defence. He proceeded to go one-on-one with the keeper and an unlucky bounce meant the ball went up and over the Away Goalkeeper, who slid out to meet it. Mark Lee once again slid the ball into the back of the net for his 2nd goal of the game. His acrobatic celebration was greatly deserved having given his team the lead in a few short minutes. This time the Home side were ahead in the 29th min (2-1).

This was by no means the end of the Away team who nearly evened the score soon after. No 10 James Freeman made a good tackle and carried the ball forward to the edge of the box. The shot that followed was unfortunately blocked by a diving save from Home GK Dean Gillon. The Away side weren’t letting up either as Away Forward Thomas Shiers attempted to get his 2nd goal of the game with a strong shot on goal. Sadly it was once again well saved by the Home Keeper.

Despite the Away side's great efforts the Home side crept further ahead before half-time. A long pass forward found Centre-Forward Jonathan Davis, he collected the ball and carried it forward before passing across the face of the goal under pressure to his teammate No 11 Chris Comben. Comben then proceeded to chip the ball over the line to give the Home side a 2 goal lead in the 36th min (3-1).

The half came to an end with the score remaining the same but not with lack of effort on both sides, who continued to press forward. Half-time saw the Home side treated to the observations of their Legend Jason Lee who extolled the virtues of their play but also had some helpful suggestions on how they could improve. The Away side had much the same from their legend Craig Armstrong who made sure that the Away side would not let their heads go down and highlighted areas that could be improved on. His words clearly pushed the Away side on to greater heights, as the 2nd half would show.

Half Time: Nottingham Forest (Home) 3 - 1 Nottingham Forest (Away)

The Home side started strongly in the 2nd half with their forward pair working together well after the expert advice from Jason Lee. This paid off almost immediately as they opened up the 2nd half scoring in the 46th min. A well timed pass from Davis found its way past the defence to the other Striker, Chris Comben, who slotted it past the Away Keeper into the bottom right corner, putting the Home side even further ahead with just over half of the game gone (4-1).

Their opponents refused to let this stand, however, and struck back within minutes. No 17 Matt Gough dribbled down the wing before sending an accurate cross straight to the feet of Thomas Shiers. Shiers avoided a last ditch tackle as he chipped the ball over the head of the Home Keeper into the opposite corner. The Away side were now only 2 goals down in the 48th min and looking strong again (4-2).

The pressure began to mount as the Away side continued to press forward. Away Left-Mid Gough did a repeat performance, travelling down the wing to cross into the box. It failed to reach his team mate but almost resulted in an own goal. No 8 Edward Smith also got a chance on goal, charging into the box and sending the ball streaking at goal. He was only denied by another athletic save from Home Keeper Dean Gillion.

The Away side continued to fight their way back into the game and kept pushing at the Home defence until a gap opened up. This allowed No 10 James Freeman to send the ball unchallenged where it was met by the Left-Mid Matt Gough. He then beat the charging Keeper by sliding it past him. The Away team had again cut into the Home side’s lead in the 64th min (4-3).

There continued to be some close chances on goal from the Away team, most notably from their Centre-Mid James Freeman who sent a long chip towards goal. This then had to be tipped clear by Gillon or it surely would have found the back of the net. However the constant pressure from the Away side paid off as they soon gained an equal footing once again. A high corner found the chest of Away No 14 Scott Wood. He controlled the ball superbly before half-volleying it straight into the far left corner from outside the box. His equaliser coming in the 68th min (4-4).

The Away team weren't finished there and their Legend Armstrong sought to send his team into the lead. He was laid off just outside the box and hammered the ball straight at goal only to be denied by the Home Keeper. While that chance didn’t pay off the next one did. A cross into the Home box was cleared away but rolled towards No.6 Mike Finch who hit it straight back at goal. On the way it deflected slightly off Home No.10 Robert Hall but had enough speed on it to beat the keeper. Incredibly the Away team had now taken the lead in the 75th min (4-5)!

The Away side didn’t stop there though and extended their lead shortly afterwards. Legend Craig Armstrong played a quick one-two as he sped towards the box and off loaded it to Centre-Mid Mike Finch, who promptly spun on the spot before firing the ball straight at goal and the ball sped past the Keeper. This gave Finch his brace for the day and took his team even further into the lead in the 80th min (4-6).

Despite having only 10 mins to go the Home side refused to give in and struck back to cut the Away side's lead in half. Home No 7 Roger Loasby showed his strength to latch onto a pass and play the ball to No 9 Jonathan Davis who proceeded to round the keeper and avoid a defender. He then put the ball neatly into the back of the net to cut the Away lead to 1 in the 82nd min (5-6).

However the 11th goal of the game was to be the last, with the referee ending the contest soon afterwards. A fantastic come back in the 2nd half by the Away side had enabled them to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. However both sides played exceptionally well on the day, with plenty of great attacking play on show throughout the whole 90mins. The watching Forest fans had certainly got their monies worth and gave both sets of players a well deserved, resounding reception when they left the pitch.

Full time: Nottingham Forest (Home) 5 - 6 Nottingham Forest (Away)

Man of the Match Home: Mark Lee
Man of the Match Away: James Freeman
Moment of the Match: Thomas Shiers (Away)

Home Team: Dean Gillon, Sid Sims (C), Jason Lee, Brett Davids, Richard Hughes, Paul Lee, Roger Loasby, Steve McLean, Jonathan Davis, Robert Hall, Chris Comben, Stefan Lee, Mark Lee
Home Mascot: George Lee

Away Team: Chris Annable (C), Martin Finch, Craig Armstrong, Matt Thompson, Daniel Berridge, Mike Finch, Paul Wakefield, Edward Smith, Thomas Shiers, James Freeman, Scott Wood, Gavin Mee, Andrew Till, Matt Gough
Away Mascot: Joshua Thompson