Football: Forest suffer a Power cut as Norwich go top

Norwich City. . . . . . 3

Nottingham Forest. . . .1

NOTORIOUS though Nottingham Forest may be for extending their summer relaxation into the opening games of the new season, this time they have gone into repose for longer than at any time in Brian Clough's 18-season reign. They have now lost four of their first five matches and face a winter of gathering discontent.

Norwich, back on top of the Premier League, have the hard resolve that was too often absent in the past. It would be a pity, though, if it were gained at the expense of attractive football. But on last night's evidence Mike Walker, their manager, is capable of combining the qualities. Forest have often achieved that rare blend. However, a defence now deprived of Des Walker and an attack weaker for the loss of Teddy Sheringham must surely cause them to seek replacements.

Being a goal down after only one minute and 41 seconds last night could hardly be portrayed as evidence of Forest's defensive weaknesses, but it did their confidence no good. Rob Newman had chested the ball down and Steve Chettle handled as he tried to intercept. A direct free-kick from some 22 yards out was no gift but Ian Crook hit it cleanly before Mark Crossley had realised he was about to be tested. Crook had not found the goal for over a year and the reunion was all the sweeter.

With Ruel Fox injured, Norwich again chose to have Lee Power and Newman at the head of their attack and for a while it suffered from the lack of Fox's quick, ball-carrying ability. As a result the benefit of their early lead drifted away. Forest quietly revived. Nigel Clough, still trying to impress the sceptical England manager, Graham Taylor, who was in the stands, began to take the initiative in midfield and Norwich made the damaging mistake of giving him some space.

Clough's ability to sneak away from his marker and into the crucial area behind the attack might have brought Forest level earlier than the 31st minute. At that point, however, it was Clough, the powerful natural goalscoring centre-forward rather than lurking ghost, who showed his versatility.

Fine building work down the left side by Stuart Pearce, Roy Keane and especially Gary Bannister, who turned elusively to keep possession, eventually brought Clough into action on the far side of the penalty area. He required no second thought nor touch before aiming at the other corner. His shot clipped the post before going in but that made it no less impressive.

Norwich still had their new signing Mark Robins on the bench, a luxury that became increasingly difficult to understand as Forest steadily tightened up in midfield.

Nevertheless, shortly before half-time Power had the opportunity to do something about it when he escaped from Brian Laws, sprinted down the line, cut in and shot low. Crossley, not the most dominating of goalkeepers, spread himself efficiently and blocked the shot.

While Newman usually exposed the frailty of Forest's central defence, he also missed terribly when lifting David Phillips's cross high and wide. The error was not to haunt him for too long, but Thor Orlygsson will long remember his ungainly attempt to intercept a through ball from Mark Bowen.

Through it went and straight on to Power in the penalty area, and the goal was too inviting to miss. Though Forest felt deprived when Scot Gemmill's shot was deflected on to Chris Sutton's arm, they have an ominous soft centre that Norwich found again in the last minute when Newman deftly chested a ball down and provided Phillips with the opportunity to drive in a third goal.

Norwich City: Gunn; Culverhouse, Bowen, Butterworth, Sutton, Megson, Crook, Newman, Power, Goss, Phillips. Substitutes not used: Robins, Sutch, Walton (gk).

Nottingham Forest: Crossley; Laws, Pearce, Wilson, Chettle, Keane, Orlygsson, Gemmill, Clough, Bannister, Black. Substitutes not used: Crosby, Tiler, Marriott (gk).

Referee: B Hill (Kettering).

Football results, page 33

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland: Executive Director

£66,192 per annum including car allowance of £5,700): The Richmond Fellowship ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...

Recruitment Genius: Office Junior

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Site Agent

£22000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This traditional family company...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent