Thursday, September 22, 2011

Colo the conqueror

Nottingham Forest 3 - 4 Newcastle Utd (aet)
(2-2 at 90 minutes)

A last-gasp header from Sideshow Bob ensured our place in the next round of the League Cup after Forest had repeatedly thwarted our attempt to take a decisive lead in the tie.

With Alan Pardew electing to change nine of the starting eleven from the side who picked up a point on Saturday, it was very much a patchwork team which took to the field against a Forest side keen to make amends for their woeful defeat to near-neighbours Derby County. For Newcastle it was a chance to welcome Hatem Ben Arfa back into the first team, while also giving debuts to Mehdi Abeid and Rob Elliott.

Ahead at half-time thanks to a fine Peter Lovenkrands header from a Sylvain Marveaux cross, Newcastle allowed Forest too much space and Robbie Findley was able to crack a raking twenty-five-yarder past the helpless Elliott.

Back came Newcastle with Marveaux once again involved as his fine control and burst of speed saw him hauled down in the box, with ref Lee Mason pointing to the spot. Up stepped Lovenkrands to score his second of the match.

However, Forest were far from down and Matt Derbyshire scored to once again level the scores and take the match to extra time.

By that stage, Hatem Ben Arfa's legs had gone, although our returning number 10 enjoyed a solid game and will certainly be pushing for some more pitch time against a newly resurgent Blackburn at the weekend.

The start of extra time saw us once again take the lead, with Danny Simpson's cross looping over keeper Lee Camp and inside the far post to make it 3-2. However, Shteve McLaren's boys weren't finished yet and when Ishmael Miller ran clear of Simpson, he was able to pick out Marcus Tudgay to bundle home Forest's third equaliser.

Thankfully though, as penalties loomed, substitute Obertan Kenobe was on hand to knock over a cross which Sideshow Bob headed home to keep alive our cup ambitions for a little longer.

Other reports: BBC (including highlights - UK only I think)

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