Football: Saunders sets scene for summit

Nottingham Forest 3 Ipswich Town 0
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The Independent Online
Some people are never happy. After spending most of the season losing to just about everybody in sight, Forest's fans at last have something to shout about. But when Dean Saunders scored their third goal in the 75th minute on Saturday, cries of "Wem-ber-lee, Wem-ber-lee," were conspicuous by their absence.

Instead, a spontaneous chorus of "Sack the board" was preceded by chants of "You greedy, greedy shareholders" and "Stand up Sandy Anderson". To understand all that is happening at the City Ground at the moment requires a little patience. The most eagerly anticipated extraordinary meeting in Nottingham since Little John and Friar Tuck last sat round a table together will take place today. Anderson's consortium, the local favourite, will attempt to persuade the shareholders that their takeover bid is the best way forward for the financially impoverished club.

Just when it seemed everything was about to be settled after months of confusion and bad results - which brought about Frank Clark's resignation as manager - two more consortiums have thrown their hats back into the ring: Irving Scholar, the former Tottenham chairman, and Grant Bovey, the video magnate.

Both men are tempting some Forest members with tidy sums for their shares, but Alan Hill, Forest's general manager and acting assistant to Stuart Pearce at the moment, is in no doubt Anderson is the right man and will vote for him today. He is understandably impatient for the club to get their hands on the pounds 13m Anderson is promising for new players, but the likelihood now is that nothing will be resolved for at least a further month.

Pearce, though, is not doing too badly with what he has, and this was their third win in five games under his care, losing only to Manchester United.

Ipswich, struggling for goals this season, were attractive coming forward, with Jamie Scowcroft and Danny Sonner catching the eye, but they failed to hit the target. Saunders, with two excellent finishes, made them pay.

His first goal was perfectly struck from the edge of the area and flew past the England Under-21 goalkeeper Richard Wright into the bottom corner of the net. Chris Allen then took advantage of a slip by the former Spurs defender Jason Cundy to put Forest 2-0 up, and Saunders' second, stemming like the first from Kevin Campbell's headed assist, sealed the tie.

George Burley, the Ipswich manager, bemoaned his team's failure to take their chances, and had they scored during their best spell just before half-time, Forest might have come unstuck. As it is, Ipswich now have a Coca-Cola Cup quarter-final at home to Leicester, and it is a fair bet that the passion missing from their play on Saturday will be there at Portman Road tomorrow night.

Goals: Saunders (16) 1-0; Allen (27) 2-0; Saunders (75) 3-0.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Crossley; Lyttle, Cooper, Chettle, Pearce; Allen (Gemmill, 72), Haland, Phillips, Woan; Campbell (Roy, 78), Saunders. Substitute not used: T Wright (gk).

Ipswich Town (4-1-4-1): R Wright; Uhlenbeek, Tanner, Cundy, Taricco; Williams; Stockwell, Sonner, Thomsen, Dyer (Naylor, 60); Scowcroft. Substitutes not used: Norfolk, Forrest (gk).

Referee: M Bodenham (Cornwall).

Bookings: Forest Chettle; Ipswich Tanner.

Man of the match: Saunders. Attendance: 14,681.