Football: Carbone double finishes Forest

Sheffield Wednesday 3 Nottingham Forest 2
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The Independent Online
WEDNESDAY'S ITALIAN striker Benito Carbone has spent most of the season in the shadow of his compatriot Paolo Di Canio, having neither pushed over a referee nor scored a Premiership goal. But he stepped into the limelight last night in a manner well worth waiting for.

Carbone's two exquisite goals in the space of four minutes midway through the second half gave Wednesday their fourth match without defeat and lifted them well clear of the relegation zone for the first time this season, condemning a brave but unlucky Forest to their 13th match without a win in the process.

The Forest manager Dave Bassett later accused his players of making their effort too late, and would have gone back happier to his Sheffield home had his side scored during their excellent final 10 minutes, which made inexplicable the ineptitude they had shown for most of the previous 80.

It looked all over after 68 minutes as Carbone's second gem lit up the Hillsborough gloom - a delightful little curling chip beyond Dave Beasant which was the mirror image of the one he had scored four minutes previously from the opposite corner of the penalty area.

Carbone had already contributed the cross that led to Niclas Alexandersson's 21st minute goal, which was all Wednesday had to show for their early dominance, and when he took advantage of Jon Olav Hjelde's error to score his first there seemed to be no way back for Forest.

But having landed that blow, Wednesday dropped their guard and succumbed to a sucker punch, Thierry Bonalair converting Alan Rogers' cross. It was the briefest of set-backs, Petter Rudi immediately releasing Carbone down the left for his second.

Then Pierre van Hooijdonk inspired Forest's barnstorming finish when he stabbed the ball home from six-yards after Andy Johnson's shot was deflected into his path.

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Srnicek; Atherton, Walker, Thome, Hinchcliffe; Alexandersson, Sonner, Jonk, Rudi (Briscoe, 80); Booth, Carbone (Stefanovic, 90). Substitutes not used: Clarke (gk), Humphreys, Magilton.

Nottingham Forest (3-5-2): Beasant; Chettle, Hjelde, Armstrong (Gemmill, 64); Johnson, Bart-Williams, Bonalair, Quashie (Gray, 64), Rogers; Van Hooijdonk, Darcheville (Harewood, 77). Substitutes not used: Crossley (gk), Shipperley.

Referee: A R Harris (Oxford).