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Match Reports
Nottingham Forest v Spurs, 02.03.05


Pamarot, 60
Keane, 72
Mido, 90

Referee: - Mark Clattenburg

Attendance: - 28,062

Forest (5-3-2):- Gerrard; Curtis, Morgan, Melville, Doig, Robertson; Perch, Powell, Evans (sub Thompson, 63); Taylor (Capt.), Johnson (sub Harris, 63)

Subs not used: - Doyle; Bopp; King

Booked: - Melville

Spurs: - Robinson; Kelly, Pamarot, Gardner, Atouba (sub Edman, 81); Davies, Mendes (sub Carrick, 77), Brown, Ziegler; Keane (Capt.), Kanoute (sub Mido, 73)

Subs not used: - Cerny; Defoe

No bookings

Spurs’ sixth Cup victory of the season, and progress to a second quarter-final, was achieved with a team that featured no less than SEVEN changes to Saturday’s starting line-up, and with star striker Jermain Defoe the only unused outfield player on the bench! Add to that the facts that both Ledley King (ever present in all games this season till last night) and Nourredine Naybet were declared unfit to play, ex-Forest Andy Reid was cup-tied, AND that there was a scheduled reserve match (called off half an hour before kick-off), and you have an idea of the scale of the strength and progress of this team.

The win was achieved against an under-strength Forest, who sorely missed the injured Kris Commons, who had been the man of the match in the drawn first leg of this time at White Hart Lane. Sadly, Gary Megson’s strategy seemed to be to play for penalties from the outset, as the home side spread a 5-man defence across the field. Of course it was up to Spurs to break down the opposition, and in a pretty un-exciting first half, they failed to show the degree of initiative and effort required.

Spurs did have some promising early moves down the flanks, and showed good approach play throughout, but they were not getting enough of the ball into the opposition area. At the same time, the improvised central defensive pairing of Noe Pamarot and Anthony Gardner did not convince when faced with Forest’s occasional corners. Over a quarter of an hour had passed before a penetrating move by Spurs, as the busy Michael Brown fed Atouba who threaded a good ball down the left channel for Kanoute, who tried an early shot that was yards wide and high. Robbie Keane had two great chances after 28 minutes, and again Atouba had been at the start of the supply line. Kanoute headed down, and Gerrard made a great save parrying Keane’s effort into the air. After the ball was clear, Simon Davies got the ball back into the area, and Keane failed to connect at short range.

Mendes had a shot that went nearer the corner flag than the goal, and Ziegler hit a shot wide from a Davies corner. Forest had their one decent chance just before the break, when Evans got the better of a rebound of Kelly’s block of his first effort, then forced a great save from Paul Robinson stretching high to push the ball away.

Spurs stepped up a gear as was required after the break, and Kanoute had a couple of efforts saved by Paul Gerrard, who also shared a laugh with Robbie Keane, as the latter started to sneak round the back of goal as the keeper had possession. Later in the game, Keane applauded Gerrard’s save, demonstrating the good spirit in which both these ties have been played, upholding the tradition of both clubs.

Stephen Kelly provided Kanoute with a good chance, which Gerrard held at the second attempt. Kanoute played really well in the second half, making good runs, and enjoying the run of the ball on occasions. Centre-back Andy Melville, signed on loan from West Ham early in February, go the only booking of the game for bringing down Robbie Keane as he charged towards goal. The free kick was in a similar position to that scored by Kanoute against Fulham, but this time Fredi fired through the wall, and there was a scramble within the 6 yard area as Spurs feet just could not get the ball over the line.

Spurs’ pressure paid off on the hour, as Ziegler sent in a corner from the right, and Pamarot got in front of Gerrard to glance home for his second goal of the season. With 20 minutes to go, Spurs broke from defence, and Ziegler ran from the half-way line, coming inside the defence and hitting a left foot shot, saved by Gerrard. Ziegler then supplied Keane with a chance which was saved, and Keane’s second effort was put out for a corner. Ziegler took again, and it was Michael Brown’s flick on that Keane converted almost on the line to seal the win in front of the ever-vocal Spurs fans.

Mido replaced Kanoute, and Mendes was replaced by Carrick. I have since learnt that Mendes has fractured a toe, so it looks like he will not be challenging Carrick for a place for a few weeks. It was almost one-way traffic now. A Keane run from half way nearly brought a goal, had Mido’s clever back-heel found its intended target. Michael Brown had a good run, then a shot that was parried with Keane ready to pounce, but again thwarted by Gerrard

Forest had one more chance when the ball was delivered from the left to the feet of Perch at the back post, but the midfielder hit his shot across Robinson and wide. Within seconds of the final whistle, Spurs made it 3-0, after a sequence of many passes, ending with Keane heading the ball into Brown’s path. Brown’s shot deserved a goal, but it hit the bar, and rebounded to the head of Mido who gladly beat Gerrard

Thus, Spurs progressed to their first FA Cup quarter-final for three years. They face Newcastle away, and last played this opposition in the competition twice, six years ago, losing in a semi-final at Old Trafford, and by a horrible 6-1 in December, 1999. (It was an experimental year for the FA Cup) We do however, have the best away record at St. James Park of any current Premiership side, and on current form, deserve to travel with great confidence.

· Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
· Read the preview for this game.

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