Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Nottingham Forest - The City Ground

Nottingham Forest FC
The City Ground
Colwick Road
West Bridgford

0115 9824444
Official Website

Matchday Number: 22
Nottingham Forest 1-0 Wycombe Wanderers
Tuesday 18th September 1996
League Cup 2nd Round, 1st Leg

Under Brian Clough and in their glory days Notts Forest were used to playing in front of full houses. Even back in 1996 with them mid table in the Premiership they were getting over 20,000 a game. But the general malaise of the League Cup (or whatever they called it back then, Coca-Cola Cup I think) was well and truly underway. And this was reflected in the attendance of just 6482, with around a thousand travelling Wanderers. This would have been more had we had a popular manager in charge, but this were the back end of Alan Smith's dismal spell in charge and we were well in the relegation mire. That said, we had done well in the League Cup, already beating local rivals Reading over 2 legs back in August.


Despite the Forest fans general apathy towards the game, Forest fielded a full strength side including the likes of Mark Crossley and Stuart Pearce. Wycombe frustrated their opponents in the first half with some stout defending. Indeed we had the best chance of the first half when Miquel Desouza broke clear, got into a one on one situation but put his shot wide. Forest were duly booed off by their own fans at the interval. 3 minutes after half time they took the lead with a well taken goal by Brian Roy. Despite further chances for both sides the game ended 1-0 to the hosts which set up an intriguing second leg back in Bucks. For the record that game ended 1-1, with Wycombe taking the lead and taking the game to extra time. But Jason Lee (minus his infamous "pineapple" haircut) spared Forest's blushes and killed Wycombe's cup dream by scoring the goal that secured Forest's place in the next round. A couple of weeks later, to the delight of the Wycombe fans, Alan Smith was sacked after Wycombe went bottom of the league following a 6-3 reverse at Peterborough, after being 3-1 up at half time.

I visited the ground again in February 2006, while we were up at Notts County, to take a few photos. They were really friendly and gave us free reign to take whatever pictures we wanted. It was also my mates wife's Birthday, he let them know and they presented her with a great signed photo, the sort of which you'd be looking at a fair amount if ever it was on sale. The ground hadn't changed much from when I'd last visited, still a very decent ground at any level, let alone League One where they were plying their trade at the time.

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