FOOTBALL: All smiles for one Lee

Nottingham Forest 3 Manchester City 0

There is a lot to be said for a bit of dignity under pressure. It was one of the few things, for example, that earned Trevor Francis credit during his decline at Sheffield Wednesday. He may have managed badly but at least he did it with composure.

Alan Ball seems to have lost his already. So far this abject season, if he has not been whining about unlucky defeats, it has been unhelpful referees. He could not bring himself even to do that after this match, though he would have been justified. "They've been making it up all week, they can make it up again now," was his only public comment.

Apparently, it was the suggestion that he was planning a clear-out of players that had made him so cross, even though most people looking at his team's record would probably say it was a good idea. If reports of a rebellious dressing room have any foundation, he might do well to ship a few out.

If Ball manages to keep City in the Premiership - assuming that Francis Lee stays loyal to him - it will be a remarkable achievement. One draw and seven straight defeats is the worst sequence even in City's up-and- down history. The scoreline here probably flattered them. Had Forest, unbeaten now in 21 League games, been at full throttle, it might have doubled.

"We could have done no more in the second half but I felt we were a bit low-key before that," the Forest manager, Frank Clark, said, finding it hard not to rub it in. "We could have done our goal difference some good."

Bryan Roy, for all his wizardry on the ball, again missed the target more often than he hit it, but otherwise for Clark there was much encouragement, not least in the progress of Jason Lee.

Bought 18 months ago from Southend for pounds 200,000, Lee's only function previously was to cover for Stan Collymore and, really, he never seemed much of a substitute. Given that he spent nearly pounds 4m on Kevin Campbell and Andrea Silenzi during the summer, Clark appears to have been of similar mind.

But with Silenzi and now Campbell suffering injuries, Lee has acquired first claim on the target striker's position and not only is he quite unfazed by it, he is also destroying one or two preconceptions. His hair may look as though it should be attached to a donkey's posterior but the similarities end there.

He scored twice - a first for him in a Forest shirt - and although neither goal will be remembered long, both were put away coolly, capping an accomplished performance. No wonder Silenzi looked eager to impress when he replaced a limping Roy.

Had he been of a mind, Ball could have grumbled about Mike Reed, the referee, and received a sympathetic hearing. It was never a match to warrant nine yellow cards - plus a first-half red for Ian Brightwell for picking up two within a minute - but with 27 bookings and three men sent off already, Ball will need some new players, clear-outs notwithstanding, to replace all those suspended.

Goals: Lee (10) 1-0; Lee (47) 2-0; Stone (82) 3-0.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Crossley; Lyttle, Cooper, Chettle, Pearce; Stone, Bart-Williams, Bohinen (Gemmill, 85), Woan; Roy (Silenzi, 65), Lee. Substitute not used: Tiler.

Manchester City (4-4-2): Immel; I Brightwell, Curle, Symons, Foster; Lomas, Brown, Kinkladze, Beagrie; Rosler, Creaney (Summerbee, 52). Substitutes not used: Quinn, Margetson (gk).

Referee: M Reed (Birmingham).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map