Forest's late flurry brings victory the Clough way
Nottingham Forest 2 - West Ham United 1
Monday 27 September 2004
As at Derby on Saturday, the spirit of Brian Clough enveloped everything here yesterday, casting a giant shadow over a football match that could never really hope to be equal to the occasion. But where the club at the other end of the A52 could not quite pay their greatest manager the compliment of winning in his memory, Forest pulled it off dramatically, literally with the last kick of the game.
The crowd had come less to witness their current team's struggle to achieve the first win of a troubled season as to mourn the man whose achievements condemn them each year now to suffer the pain of largely hopeless expectation. In the end, however, they had something to cheer as substitute Marlon King's brilliant stoppage-time goal snatched a victory celebrated as few others will be this season.
Clough's feat in turning a mid-sized provincial club into not only the champions of England but of Europe, too - twice - will not be repeated, at least not unless someone can organise a redistribution of wealth of the type in which that other maverick famous in these parts used to specialise.
Even Robin Hood, one suspects, would be no match for the corporate wealth that runs football today. Which is why past glories are remembered with more feeling now than ever. And why the death of Brian Clough has led to such an outpouring of grief in Nottingham and Derby over the past seven days.
It continued yesterday as 3,000 people gathered in Nottingham's Old Market Square in the morning to listen to John McGovern, Clough's trusted captain, deliver a eulogy and to join in singing Abide With Me . Then at The City Ground green sweatshirts were worn in honour of the maestro's favoured uniform.
Past players paid their solemn respects, sharing the centre circle with replicas of the trophies that Clough's teams won: the League Championship, two European Cups, the European Super Cup and four League Cups.
The crowd listened, in reverence almost, to My Way , the piece of Frank Sinatra Clough adopted, with typical modesty, as his personal anthem. It brought many in a 25,000 crowd to shed more tears, just as they had while gazing at the floral tributes adorning the club gates and decorating the car park walls. The minute's silence that followed was observed without a murmur.
West Ham were fitting opponents, observing, as they have, football principles in keeping with Clough's. Indeed, they should have won yesterday, leading by Marlon Harewood's 58th minute goal, side-footed home after Matthew Etherington's run to the byline had prised open the Forest defence, and looking in complete control until Paul Evans, given unexpected space and time, rifled home an equaliser from 25 yards.
But if that goal raised the roof, it was as nothing compared with the last-gasp curler that King, released by Andy Reid's pass, swung in high and wide of Stephen Bywater's reach as the referee checked his watch for the last time.
King and Reid had been reinstated to the Forest side after rowing with manager Joe Kinnear over their commitment. "All the players wanted to win for Brian," said Kinnear, "and it was a fairytale finish a victory that is a fitting memorial."
Goals: Harewood (58) 0-1; Evans (84) 1-1; King (90) 2-1.
Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Gerrard; Perch, Hjelde, Morgan, Rogers; Impey (King, 66), Evans, Jess (Bopp, 83), Reid; Taylor, Johnson. Substitutes not used: Roche (gk), Robertson, Commons.
West Ham United (4-4-2): Bywater; Repka, Mackay, Davenport, Powell; Chadwick (Lomas, 76), Fletcher, Reo-Coker, Etherington; Sheringham, Harewood. Substitutes not used: Walker (gk), Mullins, Rebrov, Zamora.
Referee: M Messias (S Yorkshire).
Bookings: Forest: Reid. West Ham: Mackay, Reo-Coker, Fletcher.
Man of the match: Reid.
Matt Smith is set to join cast of Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
Latest in Sport
Nottingham Forest vs Fulham match report: Britt Assombalonga hat-trick deepens Felix Magath's gloom
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal player ratings: How did Ozil and Welbeck do in Germany?
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City player ratings: Joe Hart? Thomas Muller? Jerome Boateng? Who was the star man?
Chelsea vs Schalke player ratings: Cesc Fabregas? Didier Drogba? Klaas-Jan Huntelaar? Who was the star man?
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 'Necrophilia-obsessed' girl among double murder accused in three-way sex case
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'