Forest Fell Magpies

Alan Smith v Notts Forest

Coca-Cola Championship
City Ground
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Kick-off 5.20pm
Craig Hope reports from City Ground ...


NEWCASTLE United have slipped from their perch at the summit of the Championship after a below-par display at the City Ground saw the hosts run out 1-0 winners.

The early attacking pressure was all Forest's and Dexter Blackstock saw a 4th-minute header kept out by a scrambling Steve Harper with the Magpies on the back foot from the off.

And the home striker came within a lick of paint of breaking the deadlock not long after when, from another header, he hit the post with Harper beaten.

At the other end Ryan Taylor saw a free-kick strike the woodwork but chances were otherwise at a premium for the Magpies during a disappointing first-half.

And the decisive goal arrived on the stroke of half-time, Blackstock beating the offside trap to roll beyond Harper having been slid in on goal by Polish midfielder Radolsaw Majewski.

United emereged with far more purpose after the interval and Kevin Nolan saw a goal ruled out for offside before Nile Ranger flashed a header over the bar from close range in the closing stages.

SECOND-HALF UPDATES (click refresh for latest)

And the City Ground erupts as the whistle sounds for full-time - 1-0 Forest.

90+2min - Gutierrez skies high into the stands from 20 yards and Forest breathe a sigh of relief.

There will be four additional minutes for United to find a leveller.

89min - Joe Garner is booked as he snaps at the heels of Danny Guthrie 30 yards from goal. Nothing comes of the free-kick.

86min - Joe Garner replaces Paul McKenna.

85min - Andy Carroll is stretching to get on the end of Enrique's low centre but it's Morgan who extends a toe to poke behind for a corner. Guthrie drops the ball onto the head of Nile Ranger but the susbstitute is unable to keep his effort under the crossbar - that would've been an instant impact and maybe the youngster should have done better.

83min - Marlon Harewood receives a warm reception from the home crowd as he makes way for Nile Ranger.

80min - Lewis McGugan replaces Paul Anderson.

77min - Danny Guthrie spins away from Chris Gunter tight to the left-hand touchline before darting into the area. The midfielder shows a presence of mind to draw back for the unmarked Jose Enrique but the Spaniard is robbed of the chance to get a clean strike away on goal when, after taking a touch, his snap shot is blocked by the desperate figure of Wes Morgan - that was a chance.

74min - The Magpies are gettind desperate if Jonas Gutierrez's 40-yard shot is anything to go by - the effort sailing high over the crossbar.

71min - Ryan Taylor is booked for dissent - the lingering frustration from that disallowed goal clearly still evident.

69min - United think they've equalised when Kevin Nolan volleys home from close range after Alan Smith had helped on Ryan Taylor's right-wing cross. The Liverpudlian wheels away arms aloft but his celebrations are cut short when the linesman's raised flag comes into view - that was close.

67min - Chris Cohen marauds down the left flank before being sent to ground by the sliding challenge of Zurab - the Georgian seeing yellow for his troubles.

65min - United have faded since a bright opening to the second period, can Jonas inject some life into the quest for parity?

62min - A change for either side sees Jonas Gutierrez replace Peter Lovenkrands and David McGoldrick come on for Radolsaw Majewski.

59min - Forest can only half clear from Ryan Taylor's wedged centre and Danny Guthrie, seizing the loose ball 20 yards out, smashes on goal only for his effort to cannon wide off a red shirt. Taylor sweeps over from the corner but it is a red head which climbs to clear.

51min - This is far more purposeful from the visitors and Harewood, spinning six yards from goal, crashes a shot off Morgan and behind for a corner. Ryan Taylor delivers, Dexter Blackstock extends a foot in an attempt to clear on the penalty spot but merely succeeds in hooking the ball over Lee Camp. The keeper is beaten but, luckily for Forest, Polish midfielder Majewski has stuck to his position on the post and heads clear.

50min - Kevin Nolan holds up play deep in enemy territory before rolling a pass into the path of the supporing Peter Lovenkrands. The Dane strikes first time from the edge of the area but gets a rush of blood as the ball balloons over the crossbar.

Forest get us started for the second-half with no changes at half-time.


There will be two minutes added time.

45min - NOTTS FOREST GOAL (1-0): Alan Smith ends up as last man on DEXTER BLACKSTOCK and the Forest striker steals a yard on the visiting skipper to race onto Paul Anderson's threaded throughball. Steve Harper has dashed from his six-yard box in an attempt to block but the former Southampton youngster rolls beyond the on-rushing keeper with the ball creeping inside the post.

41min - Paul Anderson, receiving possession just outside the area, lifts the ball over Ryan Taylor before dashing by the wrong footed Liverpudlian. It's on the winger's weaker left side and that shows as his shot bobbles wide of goal from 12 yards - great work but poor execution with the finish.

38min - Tyson lashes a low shot just inches wide of goal from 18 yards after United had squandered possession in midfield.

35min - The Geordies, after a sluggish start, are coming back into this and Ryan Taylor gallops down the right flank before dropping a cross into the danger zone. Kevin Nolan, arriving from deep, looks to connect but it's the head of skipper Paul McKenna that inadvertently almost turns past Lee Camp - his blushes are spared, however, as the keeper plucks from the top corner.

27min - The Magpies win a free-kick 40 yards from goal when Andy Carroll is tugged the turf by Wes Morgan. Ryan Taylor clips into a crowded penalty area but the ball glides through bodies before striking the base of the post with keeper Camp flat footed. Lucky for Forest, though, defender Cohen is first on the scene to swipe behind the rebound. Taylor delivers and again finds Carroll at the far post, the striker climbs but can only head wide under pressure from Morgan.

23min - United's first attempt on goal wins a corner as Carroll, carrying through the area in search of angle for the strike, eventually releases a low effort which deflects off home legs and spins behind. Ryan Taylor's clip is met by the head of Carroll but the Geordie striker is unable to direct on target with the ball floating into the front row of the stand behind the goal - Carroll feels he was pushed but the referee is having none of it.

17min - The Magpies are at sixes and sevens at the back with the powerful duo of Tyson and Blackstock running the visiting rearguard a merry dance during these early exchanges. This time it's the burly Blackstock who surges through Simpson and Zurab, the ball is worked to McKenna who, 20 yards from goal, steadies before seeing a right-foot shot cannon off the backside of Kevin Nolan and loop on to the roof of Steve Harper's net. Majewski delivers from the corner but the cross has too much weight and travels to safety.

13min - Danny Simspon carelessly overruns the ball at the expense of a corner. Majewski flights an inch-perfect flag-kick onto the forhead of Dexter Blackstock, leaping to meet on the penalty spot, and the Forest striker comes within a lick of paint of breaking the deadlock as his effort crashes off the post with Steve Harper beaten in the middle of his goal.

7min - The visitors are on the backfoot following a vibrant start from Billy Davies' men. This time a flowing move ends with lively Polish midfielder Radolsaw Majewski testing Harper with a measured curler from 20 yards - the stopper reads his intentions, however, and shuffles to his right to save.

4min - From the resultant deadball United are forced to call on Steve Harper as the keeper flings his frame low to the bottom corner to block Dexter Blackstock's goal-bound header - great reactions from the Magpie No.1.

3min - Alan Smith takes just three minutes to enter the book as, after bringing down Anderson, he flicks the ball clear preventing a quick free-kick.

United get us started defending the end where their fans are housed.

A chorus of boos from the 4,300-strong Toon Army greets the announcement of the Forest side.

United are kitted in their blue-and-black stripped third outfit as the teams emerge from the tunnel.


DEFENSIVE duo Steven Taylor (hamstring) and Fabricio Coloccini (groin) have come up short in a bid to prove their fitness ahead of this evening's game.

Their absence sees Zurab Khizanishvili joined by Danny Simpson at the heart of the backline with Ryan Taylor and Jose Enrique occupying the full-back berths.

Jonas Gutierrez only arrived back on Tyneside on Friday afternoon and is named among the substitutes after his involvement in Argentina's 1-0 win over Uruguay on Wednesday - a result which takes them to next summer's World Cup finals in South Africa.

Peter Lovenkrands deputises for the South American, meaning Andy Carroll is restored to the attack alongside former Forest star Marlon Harewood - who has scored in each of his two returns to the City Ground.


NFFC: Lee Camp, Wes Morgan, Kelvin Wilson, Paul Anderson, Nathan Tyson, Chris Cohen, Chris Gunter, Paul McKenna (c), Guy Moussi, Dexter Blackstock, Radoslaw Majewski
Subs: Luke Chambers, Lewis McGugan, Dele Adebola, Garath McCleary, Joe Garner, David McGoldrick, Paul Smith

NUFC: Steve Harper, Ryan Taylor, Danny Simpson, Zurab Khizanishvili, Jose Enrique, Danny Guthrie, Alan Smith (c), Kevin Nolan, Peter Lovenkrands, Andy Carroll, Marlon Harewood
Subs: Tim Krul, Tamas Kadar, Nicky Butt, Geremi, Ryan Donaldson, Nile Ranger, Jonas Gutierrez

Referee: P Taylor
Attendance: 29, 155

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