Football: Wright's rich dividends can secure loan

Nottingham Forest 4 Walsall 1 Freedman 43, 76 Robins 4 Chettle pen 71 Wright 86 Half-time: 1-1 Attendance: 15,081

FOREST FINISHED the afternoon in style, with two former England stars cavorting in the sun and four goals in the net. Their manager, David Platt, called his team's second-half showing, starring his former international team-mate Ian Wright, the best since he joined, but the roof did not fall in on Walsall until 20 minutes from the end when their goalkeeper, James Walker, conceded a penalty and was shown the red card when he brought down Gianluca Petrachi, the home side's inspiration.

Steve Chettle thumped home the penalty. Five minutes later Dougie Freedman claimed his second of the match and three minutes from the end Wright earned deserved reward as he slipped the ball past the stand-in goalkeeper, Carl Emberson.

The Walsall manager, Ray Graydon, said it was the first time this season his promoted team had been second best. "I can't wait to get out of here," he admitted. "It isn't a pleasant sight to watch your side well beaten. We were nowhere near them."

Honest and true. Walsall had a wonderful boost of a goal after only four minutes, and they defended this lead doggedly until almost half-time through the bulk of Tony Barras and the goalkeeping heroics of Walker. But after the interval Petrachi tormented the left side of Walsall's defence and their cave-in always seemed on the cards.

However, Forest were so long turning their domination into goals that Platt, who had named himself as one of the substitutes because of an injury crisis among his midfielders, was warming up after only an hour. His arrival with five minutes left was more in the nature of a celebratory trot than anything else since, in his opinion, all 11 Forest men were heroes.

They looked anything but heroic after that early setback. By then Wright had already gone close to scoring, chipping Walker with a delightful effort which landed on the roof of the net. Walsall raced away from the goal- kick, Darren Wrack crossed from the right and Mark Robins, from a very long way out indeed, struck a perfectly timed header high to Dave Beasant's leap to his left.

Petrachi, Freedman, John Burns and Wright all came close to the equaliser, but there were only three minutes to the safety of the dressing-room when Walsall capitulated. The credit goes to Petrachi, who forced his way into the area and drew Walker before his shot was blocked. The rebound fell kindly for Matthieu Louis-Jean, who crossed for Freedman to head in.

The timing of that goal was the boost Forest needed to take the match to Walsall and keep them penned in their defensive zone. Walker was constantly in action as Forest clipped both uprights and Wright floated another chip on to the bar.

Walsall could not contain Petrachi and it was his darting run into the penalty area which led to the second Forest goal. Put through by Nigel Quashie with Walsall looking for the offside flag, the Italian rounded Walker but was pulled down. The referee Kevin Lynch's red card was a formality and, once Emberson had replaced him in goal just in time to pick Chettle's penalty out of the net, Walsall were goners.

Forest's third was a beauty. Alan Rogers and Petrachi worked a short corner on the right, Petrachi transferred the ball to his left foot and swung over a precise cross to the far post, where Freedman squeezed his header between the upright and a hesitant goalkeeper.

Emberson managed to stop one when he thrust Quashie's storming drive over his head, then hurriedly rescued the ball as it bounced towards goal. But he was nowhere when Wright struck the woodwork again.

With two minutes left, Wright collected from Riccardo Scimeca and got in a shot which Emberson parried, but could not keep out.

Wright is only on loan for another couple of weeks from West Ham and Platt is understandably keen to keep him, since he is forming a potent spearhead with Freedman. "In the space of a week they are getting a very good understanding together," he said. With Harry Redknapp's indulgence, they may go on to greater things.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Financial Analyst -International TV Production

£250 - £300 per day: Sauce Recruitment: 6 month contract (Initially)A global e...

Recruitment Genius: Project Management Support Assistant

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Railway Museum, the largest of its ...

Sauce Recruitment: FP&A Analyst -Home Entertainment

£250 - £300 per day: Sauce Recruitment: (Rolling) 3 month contractA global en...

Recruitment Genius: Sales and Account Manager - OTE £80,000+

£40000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project