Nottingham Forest today battered Scunthorpe to all but secure their berth in this years playoffs. 5-1 wasn't even a flattering score in a game that Forest absolutely dominated against a very poor Scunthorpe team, consigned to relegation today, and its easy to see why.
Forest made two changes to the team that beat Bristol City. McGoldrick and Gunter coming into the team, despite the previous story we published saying Gunter had been dropped, that was proved wrong. The diamond formation was persevered with.
It didn't take Forest long to take the lead, Kris Boyd was released outside the box, when the ball cam through and the offside trap failed. Earnshaw had been coming back, with Boyd going forward, so confusion reigned in the Scunthorpe defence. Boyd finished well past the keeper to give the Reds the best possible start in game that was vital to win.
The lead was doubled on 25 minutes by Luke Chambers, who was celebrating his awarding of player of the season. Cohens corner was headed in by Chambers, although not given straightaway, the linesman flagged for the goal and Forest had a 2 goal lead after 5 minutes. In a day where adding goals to goal difference in order to make life easier in qualifying for the playoffs, adding more goals would be vital rather than scraping a simple win.
Scunthorpe would hit back with an O'Connor penalty, after Gunter fouled Nunez. The penalty was very well taken powerfully into the top corner sending Camp the wrong way. It was a definite penalty, with Gunter tripping Nunez from behind. It was possibly harsh that Scunthorpe had something out of the game at this juncture.
Forest made two changes at the break, bringing on Moussi and Anderson for McKenna and McGoldrick respectively. McGoldrick had been largely anonymous,and McKenna had one of those games where the crowd were instantly on his back for any mistake.
The changes soon bought about a goal. Anderson netted from close in, after a corner was fired in, Anderson tried to flick the ball in at the front post, missing the ball, however it ricocheted right back to him as he bounced back up and fired in from close in with his left foot, and Forest were looking good again.
The problem was this made large swathes of the second half feel like a training session more than a match. Scunthorpe as said were terrible and couldn't retain any semblance of possession. Forest had all the ball, and passed the Iron off the park. It was frustrating as Forest needed goals to open the difference up in the table. However it would soon change.
Chambers would score his second and Forests fourth with 10 minutes left. Again from a set piece. This time a free kick sent in by Cohen, after substitute Julian Bennett was fouled trying to squeeze into the area. The free kick fell to Chambers who squeezed the ball home from close in, and the centre half was a hat trick.
There would be controversy late on. Robert Earnshaw was given his marching orders when he got a second yellow card for taking a free kick when the ref hadn't blown his whistle. The free kick was awarded for a foul on Guy Moussi. Earnshaw had shot before the whistle, netting in the process. The referee took exception to this and gave Earnshaw a second yellow, and thus the Welshmans marching orders.
Boyd then stepped up to take the free kick, and blasted it with power towards goal, on its way deflecting off the wall and going in for Forests fifth goal. In the build up, the Trent End had been chanting for Chambers to take the kick to attempt to get his hat trick, and he had briefly stood around them all to take it, gesturing to the crowd to back him up.
As is customary for the last home game of the regular season, there was the lap of honour by the players,and many of the players children after the match,where Billy briefly addressed the fans,in a video that will be uploaded on the site shortly.
All in all a very good win for Forest against a very poor side. The fact that our play-off status is all but confirmed is pleasing. The extra goals we scored really puts pressure on Leeds, even if result should go their way. Its unlikely that we'd get stuffed by Palace, and its unlikely QPR similarly would lose heavily to Leeds if at all,so its virtually nailed on that we will feature in the end of season extravaganza.