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Nottingham Forest 2017

It was an extremely sunny and warm morning as both teams emerged onto the spectacular playing surface at The City Ground. The Home team, led by skipper Ben Griffiths and Legend Craig Armstrong, started the better of the two teams and quickly established an early lead which they extended to 6-3 midway through in the 2nd half. However, a fantastic comeback from the Away Team, led by captain Ryan Loasby and Legend Paul McGregor, made sure they didn’t leave empty handed (FT score 6-6). 

Date: Wednesday 10th May
Venue: The City Ground
Nottingham Forest (Home) vs Nottingham Forest (Away)
Kick Off: 10;00 am
Legends & Managers: Craig Armstrong & Paul McGregor
Match Officials: Gregg Stuart, James Tewson, George Dibbs & Phoebe Cross

The playing conditions were absolutely perfect at The City Ground and the Home team certainly took advantage of the perfect surface to bag an early lead trhough No 9 Josh Clifford, who gave his side an early lead after just 2 mins. The striker getting beyond the Away defence and finishing superbly into the top right corner from the edge of the box (1-0).

The game continued to be end to end, with chances for both teams but it was Home No 11 George Simpson who doubled his side’s lead on 20 mins. A great long ball from Home Legend Craig Armstrong found Home No 11 Josh Clifford on the right and he picked out Simpson who slid home a deadly finish from close range (2-0).

However the Away team weren’t disheartened and they got themselves back in the game a few mins later through Away No 7 Roger Loasby. The skilful right mid did well in intercepting Home No 4 Adam Johnson on the edge of the Home box, and in a 1v1, with time and space, calmly slotted his effort past the keeper (2-1).

Home No 6 Brett Davids was then very close to regaining his side’s 2 goal lead, after a deadly cross from Home captain No 8 Ben Griffiths found Davids at the far post, but he was so unlucky not to keep his header down as the ball agonisingly went just over the crossbar.

With the Home team looking to get on top and searching for another goal, captain No 8 Ben Griffiths attempted an audacious shot on the turn from the left side of the box, and he almost pulled it off, only for the ball to bounce off of the crossbar and trickle along the byline!

That was to be the last of the action and a high quality 1st half ended with the Home team enjoying a narrow 2-1 lead. The players returned to the dressing rooms for some much needed refreshments and some invaluable advice from Forest Legends Armstrong and McGregor.  

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

The Away team started the 2nd half in determined fashion and No 7 Roger Loasby got himself a 2nd goal to equalise for his side on 52 mins. The captain finishing brilliantly from the right, looping his effort towards the far post, with the ball smashing off the inside of the post and in (2-2).

However it only took 3 mins for the Home team to restore their lead, this time through substitute winger Home No 17 David Large, as he was among a scramble in the Away penalty area, and the ball found his feet and deflected into the back of the net (3-2).

Home No 17 David Large then bagged his 2nd on 58 mins after some spectacular play between the left mid and Home No 9 Josh Clifford down the left, Clifford cutting the ball back to Large in the middle of the box and the on fire winger comfortably tucked his effort home (4-2).

The game had exploded into life and the ball couldn’t stop finding the back of the net! Next up Away No 5 Mark Patten got a goal back for his side, finding himself in an advanced position in the opposition box he was brilliantly picked out from the right by Away No 16 Pete Brown and the defender cut onto his left foot and tucked his effort into the corner of the net (4-3).

63 mins gone and unbelievably, we had our 5th goal of the half! This time the Home side were able to regain a 2 goal lead through Home No 17 David Large, with the winger securing his hat-trick from close range after being skilfully set up by Home No 9 Josh Clifford (5-3).

The Home team were full of confidence now and No 11 George Simpson grabbed his 2nd of the match on 65 mins. The striker doing very well to turn and shoot into the bottom left corner of the net in a crowded penalty area to give his side a further grip on the game (6-3).

Determined to get back into the game, the Away team got a goal back on 78 mins through Away No 11 Chris Stanton-Wharmby. The striker beat the offside trap and latched onto a long ball from Away Legend Paul McGregor before rounding the keeper to tap into an empty net and give his side some hope of a comeback (6-4).

Just 4 mins later and it was game on once more, with Away No 8 James Hewitt scoring for his side after beating the defender inside the box, and on his right food he drilled his effort into the far corner to put his side one goal away from an equaliser (6-5).

It had been a fantastic end to end half and incredibly there was even more late drama to come, with time running out Away No 11 Sean Kidby was on hand to score the all-important equaliser with less than a minute to play! The striker creating space inside the box and firing his left foot shot into the top corner, before removing his shirt in a jubilant celebration. It was a just reward for an energetic performance from the striker and it deservedly earned him the Moment of the Match Trophy (6-6)!

Despite the 2nd half goal fest both keepers, Mark Turner and Paul Quinn, had performed brilliantly, with Quinn's acrobatic saves eventually earning him the MOTM award!

Unfortunately the game had to come to an end with the sides finishing all square in what was a thrilling and unforgettable game of football at The City Ground. Both sets of players had given their all and as they walked of the pitch they received a deserved round of applause for their outstanding efforts.

A big thanks to Nottingham Forest for their excellent continued support of Football Aid and a special thanks to the Playing Legends Craig Armstrong and Paul McGregor for lending their expertise throughout the day.

Full Time: Nottm Forest Home 6 - 6 Nottm Forest Away

Man of the Match Home: No.14 Ben Griffiths
Man of the Match Away: No.1 Paul Quinn
Moment of the Match: No.11 Sean Kidby

Home Team: Mark Turner, Andrew Gravel, Craig Armstrong, Adam Johnson, Phil Ruff, Brett Davids, Joshua Chedzey, Ben Griffiths (C), Josh Clifford, Gavin Baxter, George Simpson, Ben Griffiths (H8), Nicky Chappell, Andrea Massari, David Large
Home Mascot: Ellie-mae Griffiths

Away Team: Paul Quinn, Derek McLeod, Paul McGregor, John Vint, Mark Patten, Matthew Barnsley, Roger Loasby, James Hewitt, Chris Stanton-Wharmby, Ryan Loasby (C), Sean Kidby, Michael Retsinas, Craig Gilchrist, Pete Brown, Dave Wheatley

The photographs used in this report were taken on staff mobile phones. A wider selection of fantastic Official Photographs are available from Matt Nuttall Photography. To order just visit or contact Matt on T: 07793 818021 or E:

If you'd like to order a DVD of your game please contact – Chillpics' Shane Wilkinson, Freelance Cameraman & Photographer on Tel: 07901 590723 or E-mail:

"What a game at The City Ground, by the post in the second half, missed literally an open goal whilst 6-4 down and then Kidby pops up to get a last minute equaliser with his left foot to make it 6-6. Cracking game with amazing lads. Thanks Football Aid!"
Sean Kidby - Away Team No.11

"Great experience yet again. Big thanks to everyone from Football Aid."
Josh Clifford - Home Team No.9

"Awesome day at The City Ground. Quality from Football Aid, will definitely be playing again."
Joshua Chedzey - Home Team No.7

"Unforgettable experience and a great game!"
Ryan Loasby - Away Team Captain & No.6

"Unbeatable day out, amazing fun and well run. I will be back again for sure."
Chris Stanton-Wharmby - Away Team No.9

"Another fantastic day by Football Aid at The City Ground."
Adam Johnson - Home Team No.4

"Simply amazing, great day!"
David Large - Home Team No.17

"Great day! You Reds!"
Nicky Chappell - Home Team No.15

Match Report written by Sam Bettany (@bettany_sam)