Football: Stone's quality sets the tone for Forest
Middlesbrough 0 Nottingham Forest 0
Thursday 27 November 1997
They succeeded in doing so, moving a point clear of West Bromwich Albion at the top of the First Division table and thwarting Boro's bid for pole position in the process.
Both clubs may be stuck in second class on the national football network but more likely than not only temporarily, judging by the first-rate fare they produced in an opening 20 minutes worthy of the Premiership stage. It was the high speed, high quality play of Steve Stone which set the tone. Thrice in the opening seven minutes the one-time England wide-boy ripped into the home guard, removing any doubts that the knee ligament damage he suffered 13 months ago had taken the edge off his pace.
Boro, though, weathered the early storm and responded with a whirlwind 10th minute move that took Emerson from defence to attack. After halting a Forest advance deep in his own half, the Brazilian midfielder played a sweeping pass to Mikkel Beck and then swept forward himself to accept the return ball. His nonchalant finish, though, landed inches wide of Dave Beasant's right-hand post.
The combative Mark Summerbell and the ubiquitous Craig Hignett both had shots deflected off target before half-time, but Forest had regained the initiative by then. Kevin Campbell and Chris Bart-Williams, in particular, ought to have capitalised on the sharp attacking that cut through an increasingly ponderous Middlesbrough defence.
It was a rather different story after the break. Beasant blocked a Beck drive with his chest, then tipped over a header from the Dane as Forest reeled against the ropes.
Middlesbrough (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Maddison, Vickers, Pearson, Festa (Harrison, 90); Hignett (Ormerod, 65), Summerbell, Emerson, Townsend; Merson, Beck. Substitute not used: Freestone.
Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Beasant; Lyttle, Chettle, Hjelde, Rogers; Stone, Cooper, Gemmill, Bart-Williams; Campbell, Van Hooijdonk. Substitutes not used: Woan, Pascalo (gk), Moore.
Referee: D Laws (Whitley Bay).
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Mario Balotelli takes 50 per cent pay cut to join Liverpool as Samuel as Eto’o waits in the wings if deal falls through
Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
Click here for the full story." title="When a youngster asked for an autograph outside Manchester City's training ground, Balotelli demanded to know why the boy was playing truant. After the child revealed he was being bullied, Balotelli drove the boy and his mother to the school in question so he could tackle the bully himself. He demanded to see the headmaster to make him aware of the issue and then mediated between the two boys to resolve the problem. A source said: 'Mario feels strongly about bullying.' Click here for the full story." width="88" height="52" />Mario Balotelli: The funniest stories
- 1 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for beauty pageant
- 2 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer - CCNP, Hedge Fu...
£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-CCIE, Mul...
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Infrastructure Engineer (...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, BGP, Mult...