Football: Clinical Sutton takes his chances

Nottingham Forest. . .0 Blackburn Rovers . . .2 Sutton 6, 68 Attendance: 22,131 CHRIS SUTTON may not be a candidate for the kind of adulation enjoyed by the likes of Ryan Giggs and Andy Cole, but his sheer efficiency must be his manager's joy. He had two chances at the City Ground and took them both without hesitation or ceremony to send an increasingly frantic Nottingham Forest to their first Premiership defeat of the season, ending a 24-game unbeaten record in all competitions.

Sutton has scored 14 goals this season - 11 of them in the League - and none with more potential significance than yesterday's strikes. Despite the best efforts of Lars Bohinen in the first half and Bryan Roy in the second, Forest could find no reply on a day in which all their shots went straight at Tim Flowers in the Blackburn goal.

Forest missed the ability of the injured Stan Collymore to create goals out of nothing, but they still had more than enough chances to drag themselves back into the match after Sutton had given Blackburn the lead in the eighth minute. The pounds 5m striker capitalised on Forest's failure to clear the ball on the edge of their area by thumping a right-foot shot on the turn, the ball taking a slight deflection off Colin Cooper.

With Jason Lee partnering Roy in front of a four-man midfield, Forest gradually raised the intensity of their efforts. Bohinen ran the game for the 30 minutes before half-time, spreading the ball to Ian Woan on the left and Steve Stone on the right in an effort to go around the flanks of the Blackburn defence.

For 20 minutes in the second half, Roy took over as the mainstay of the Forest attack, drawing warm applause as he flickered between the markers, on one occasion drawing three of them to him before releasing the ball with exquisite timing to the unmarked Woan.

The Dutchman shot over the bar twice and tested Flowers' catching on two more occasions. Stuart Pearce and the otherwise disappointing David Phillips also experienced the magnetic power of the Blackburn goalkeeper, who needed only to stand his ground and protect his midriff to shut out the home side.

The more pressure Forest exerted, the more likely it seemed that Blackburn would break away to score again. Even when Stuart Ripley and Jason Wilcox were required to concentrate on helping defend the flanks, Sutton's ability to hold the ball up, matched with Shearer's instinct for a damaging run, maintained the threat.

In the event, their second goal came from a corner, swung over by Ripley to Shearer, whose apparent mishit on the turn fell neatly for Sutton to smash the ball past Mark Crossley and a couple of defenders. 'I thought we fell asleep and failed to defend a well-worked corner,' said Frank Clark, the Forest manager. 'I thought at least we're getting a bit of good luck today,' his opposite number, Kenny Dalglish, said.

Clark praised the entertainment value of the match, and described himself as 'disappointed, but not despondent'. He could not, he said, have asked for more effort from his players. Invited to blame defeat on the absence of Collymore, he chose instead to praise Lee's wholehearted commitment, a contribution unappreciated by the crowd who were pining for their hero.

In a hard, competitive match there were bookings for Roy, Pearce and Paul Warhurst. The referee, Paul Danson of Leicester, also sent off Wilcox for two bookable offences - the second of them, in the 87th minute, for a stupid attempt to waste time by flipping the ball away. Dalglish, invited to comment yet again about the inconsistency of officialdom, allowed himself to mutter something about the probable desire of some referees to see their names in the papers.

Otherwise he was in good humour, praising the level of entertainment offered by this season's Premiership contest. The functional effectiveness of his own side may not be designed to entertain anyone beyond their own supporters, but at least it makes an interesting contrast with the more fashionably decorative approaches preferred elsewhere. Yesterday, riding their luck, they looked well prepared for the long haul.

(Photograph omitted)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living