Football: Forest made to pay for their carelessness

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The Independent Online
Derick Allsop

Bury 2 Nottingham Forest 0

Nottingham Forest's promotion cruise was unceremoniously interrupted at Gigg Lane last night, but then their opponents are likely to dent a few more reputations this season.

Bury have come a long way since these two clubs last met here in a League Cup tie 17 years ago. Forest were then top of the old First Division and European champions, while Bury were bottom of the Fourth Division. Forest won 7-0.

For a side aspiring to a five-point lead at the top of the First Division, Forest embarked upon this match in a perversely lacklustre manner. Their carelessness at the back invited Bury on to them and the home side, who have confounded the game by reaching this level, gleefully obliged.

Forest were fortunate not to be confronting a three-goal deficit by the midway point of the first half. Their early uncertainty encouraged Bury to believe they were not out of place with the best in the division and that growing optimism blossomed into a goal after 16 minutes. David Johnson, a source of considerable trouble for Forest, crossed and Peter Swan stooped to head past Dave Beasant.

The often maligned goalkeeper spared Des Lyttle's embarrassment with a brave header after the full-back sold him short, and then looked on gratefully when Nicky Daws miscued from his punched clearance.

In between those skirmishes in Forest's area, Scot Gemmill produced the visitors' first worthwhile effort, his raking long-range shot giving Dean Kiely the opportunity to demonstrate his excellent handling.

A glimpse of the Steve Stone who gathered England caps revived Forest hopes in the second half. He raced clear on the right and crossed towards Colin Cooper, but Andy Gray, an international of older vintage, made an athletic interception.

Forest were still more exasperated after 63 minutes. Alan Rogers inexplicably headed into the zone between his central defenders and Beasant, and Johnson, unchallenged, drilled an emphatic second for Bury.

Bury (3-4-3): Kiely; Lucketti, Woodward, Butler; Daws, Hughes, Gray, Johnrose; Battersby (Armstrong, 83), Johnson (Jepson, 83), Swan. Substitute not used: Peake.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Beasant; Lyttle, Hjelde, Chettle, Rogers (Woan, 82); Stone, Cooper, Gemmill, Bart-Williams; Campbell, Van Hooijdonk. Substitutes not used: Pascolo (gk), Moore.

Referee: J Robinson (Hull).