Forest shrug off the home blues

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The Independent Football

Nottingham Forest's Alan Rogers and Riccardo Scimeca scored stunning 30-yard goals last night to cap their side's biggest win of the season and leave Burnley to reassess quite how well they have adjusted to the First Division.

Nottingham Forest's Alan Rogers and Riccardo Scimeca scored stunning 30-yard goals last night to cap their side's biggest win of the season and leave Burnley to reassess quite how well they have adjusted to the First Division.

Going into last night's game, Forest had not won at home since the opening day of the season and had just two goals and four points to show from 450 minutes of football at the City Ground. Stan Ternent's visitors, in contrast, went into the match looking for their fifth win of the season on the road.

It was the home side who took the initiative, making the breakthrough in the third minute after Jack Lester had been bundled down. Forest's captain, Chris Bart-Williams - who in the local paper before the match had promised fans that "We have to sort our home form, NOW" - stepped up and curled the resulting free-kick sweetly around the wall and into the corner of the net.

Forest continued to look the livelier throughout the first half with both Lester and Robbie Blake making intelligent runs to await service that came, more often than not, from Rogers. After half an hour, he made dogged progress down the left before hooking across to Blake in the box. A scramble ensued, but somehow Burnley's goalkeeper, Nick Michopolous, ended up with the ball.

The home side increased their lead from another free-kick. Rogers whipped in the ball from the right and Andy Johnson rose highest to glance it into the net.

Forest made it three seven minutes after the break when Lester, in the centre of the box with the ball at his feet, was impeded by Steve Davis and the referee awarded a penalty. Bart-Williams stepped up and chipped coolly home. Blake nearly added another two minutes later but his lob hit the bar. Rogers and Scimeca then produced their pieces de resistance to finalise matters.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Beasant; Edwards, Bart-Williams, Vaughan, Rogers (Olsen, 80); Prutton, Scimeca, Jones (Williams, 69), Johnson (Louis-Jean, 75); Blake, Lester. Substitutes not used: Roche (gk), Harewood.

Burnley (4-4-2): Michopoulos; Thomas, Cox, Davis (Johnrose, 67), Cook (Mullin, h-t); Weller, Mellon, Ball, Briscoe; Branch (Robinson, 60), Payton. Substitutes not used: Crichton (gk), Armstrong.

Referee: S Mathieson (Stockport).

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