From winners against Derby and Leeds to Andy Reid’s belters, Nottingham Forest have scored some remarkable goals this year. Michael Shaw selects 10 of the best from 2013…
So as 2013 draws to a close, even by Forest’s standards it’s been an interesting one. It began with a whimper, Alex McLeish’s side slipping to an abject 3-0 defeat at Ewood Park and ended with a bang, Matt Derbyshire’s wonder strike seeing off Leeds on Trentside.
In between it saw a change of manager, it usually does, with the return of Billy Davies. It saw a media ‘blackout’, a dramatic late run that almost secured an unlikely play-off spot and, of course, some brilliant goals.
Some were hugely important, some spectacular, some just felt fantastic, so I’ll make no apologies for Jack Hobbs’ header against Derby making the cut. That’s what football is about, what it makes you feel, just for that split second when the net bulges.
So here are my favourites, I hope you’ll indulge me and agree.
1. Chris Cohen v Derby (away) 19.01.13
“He sidefoots home and Chris Cohen has Forest in front!”
There are no sweeter goals scored than those on your greatest rival’s home turf. The fact that it was Chris Cohen — a man who inspires fans and team-mates alike with his passion, work-rate and drive; a man who had sustained an awful injury against the same opposition some 17 months previously; and a man who is as close to being “Forest through and through” as it is in these transient days when players come and go so frequently — made it all the sweeter. The goal itself was not a classic — Billy Sharp’s half-cleared cross fell to Cohen, his initial miscue wrong-footed two defenders and then he kept his cool to roll the ball into the net. Not a classic, but ask the 4,000 travelling fans if they minded.
2. Andy Reid v Bolton (home) 16.02.13
“Here’s Andy Reid on the volley, oooh what a strike!”
King/***king Billy’s return (delete as applicable) was lit up by a wonderful finish from Andy Reid just shy of the hour mark. Gonzalo Jara’s outside of the boot pass was knocked down by Simon Cox and Reid met it perfectly in stride, 16 yards out to drill a volley into the bottom corner of the Bolton net. In terms of technique, this one was up there with the very best.
3. Radi Majewski v Huddersfield (home) 19.02.13
“Well left by Cox for Majewski to shoot, oooh another super goal from Radi Majewski!”
One of those nights when everything the Reds touched turned to goals. Radi Majewski netted the pick of the bunch, his third and the Reds fourth, but his second and Henri Lansbury’s fine finish for the fifth could easily have been in there too. Forest won possession inside their own half and broke at speed, Andy Reid’s pass was dummied by Simon Cox and Majewski steadied himself before arrowing a shot into the top corner of the visitors net.
4. Henri Lansbury v Wolves (home) 09.03.13
“Forest have lost their way in this second-half, they’ve lost their lead, but here’s Lansbury, trying to give it back to them…”
Despite Wolves’ struggles this was never going to be easy, especially as a top six place was now a possibility and having played with nothing to lose the past few weeks there was a chance that the pressure could start to tell on the Reds. Henri Lansbury had put Forest in front but after Wolves responded the home fans might have started to fear the worst. They need not have done, Lansbury picked up the ball and curled home a beauty from 22 yards into the far corner of the net. It was a watershed moment for a player who had made a slow start to his Reds career but was now flourishing.
5. Lewis McGugan v Hull (away) 16.03.13
“Now the ball breaks for McGugan, who fires between the legs of the goalkeeper David Stockdale!”
Now established as genuine play-off hopefuls, a trip to the KC Stadium to face a Hull City side well in the automatic promotion hunt would be a huge test of the Reds mettle. After falling behind to the inevitable George Boyd goal on the stroke of half-time, complete with glasses celebration to match, you’d have been forgiven for thinking the trip to Humberside was a bridge too far. But Darius Henderson levelled and then Billy Davies sent for his supersub. McGugan had netted in the last two games and was to do so again, collecting a loose ball and slipping a left-footed finish beneath the goalkeeper to send the away end into delirium.
6. Andy Reid v Watford (away) 25.08.13
“Mackie lays it off for Reid to drive!”
The Reds had started the season in a rich vein of form, but a trip to Vicarage Road, seldom a happy hunting ground, would prove tough. They made the perfect start, Reid collecting a loose Watford pass before swapping passes with Jamie Mackie and rifling a rising shot into the corner of the net from 20 yards. Even by the Irishman’s high standards, this was a goal of real quality.
7. Andy Reid v Wigan (away) 31.08.13
“Seven minutes gone at the DW, it’s Reid who takes it. Into the top corner!”
This is in danger of becoming the Andy Reid show, but why not eh? This time a dead ball, 25 yards out allowing the little magician to measure a perfect free-kick into the Wigan net via the inside of the post. Another moment of class for the Reds talisman, although sadly it was to prove in vain on that particular afternoon.
8. Jack Hobbs v Derby (home) 28.09.13
“Reid to take, left-footed, in-swinger. Jack Hobbs with the header at the near post!”
Arguably Forest’s man of the first-half of the season, Hobbs has been the model of consistency this term and he also seems to know when to pick his moments to pop up with a goal too. This took his grand career total to four in over 200 matches, but we’ll forgive him that seeing it was the winner against the old enemy. The centre-back timed his run to perfection to meet Andy Reid’s pinpoint corner and power his header into the net to give the Reds the edge on a tense afternoon at the City Ground.
9. Henri Lansbury v Bournemouth (home) 19.10.13
“Henri Lansbury, 30 yards, chipped it into the top corner.”
Taking everything in isolation, this is probably the best goal of the lot. Lansbury takes a touch to set himself, has a little look to see where the visiting goalkeeper is and then curls, rather than powers, a perfectly placed shot into the very top corner of the Bournemouth net. A special goal from a really special talent, hopefully when we come to look back on 2014 we’ll be able to pick out a few more gems from the midfield maestro.
10. Matt Derbyshire v Leeds (home) 29.12.13
“Forest have got to win this game again with Derbyshire! They might well have done!”
What. A. Goal. Moments after Ross McCormack’s scrambled equaliser looked to have given Leeds a share of the spoils, the much-maligned Derbyshire picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and without a second thought unleashed a rocket into the top corner of the net. It was a great moment for the striker who has endured a tough time since his move to the City Ground a couple of years ago and most importantly it was a great moment for the Reds, three more precious points to round off 2013 in the best possible fashion. Martin Fisher’s commentary will stir something in Forest fans of a certain age too.
Add your own favourite YouTube goals in the comments section…
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