Super City Stuff Forest

NOTTINGHAM FOREST 1-4 COVENTRY CITY by Kev Monks

Coventry City recorded their first away victory of the season with a fine 4-1 victory at Nottingham Forest.

With rumours abounding that Calum Davenport would be joining Spurs on Tuesday for a fee of £1.1m to rise to £3m,Peter Reid fielded a team that included Tim Sherwood and saw Andy Morrell and Eddy Johnson lead the attack.

Forest who also are struggling to prevent one of their players moving to Tottenham in Andy Reid,included former Sky Blue Eoin Jess,a man I had recommended to the club.

Joe Kinnear's team were forced into a change after only four minutes when Louis Jean limped off with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Kris Commons who scored for Stoke last season against the Sky Blues.

The City following which the very biased local radio described as being between 750 and 1,000 (actually it was 1325) were their usual noisy selves and in the sixth minute, chants of "off,off,off" boomed out of the away end as Alan Rogers shoved Michael Doyle and was cautioned by referee Mr Ryan.

City looked confident at the back but should have been behind in the 11th minute when an Andy Reid cross found the completely unmarked Gareth Taylor who somehow missed with a close range diving header.

A Louis Carey free kick that produced a good diving save by stand in keeper Barry Roche earned a 13th minute City corner.

Eddy Johnson then flashed wide before an handball by a Forest player was not picked up and a Reid header was caught by Scott Shearer.

In the 22nd minute,Graham Barrett lost possession and the ball was pumped forward towards David Johnson. Louis Carey was now in a situation of do something or concede a goal and he impeded Johnson and was duly booked for the offence.

Reid quickly took the kick and a late tackle by Doyle gave Forest another one which fell for Johnson to push wide.

In the 24th minute,Gareth Taylor was the next booked for taking out Steve Staunton.

Seven minutes later,a on the ball challenge on Carey went unpunished and necessitated treatment for the City right back.

Now the Nottinghamshire police and stewards have a reputation of being pedantic and over bearing in the extreme and by the 34th minute,the number of needless ejections was starting to rile the Sky Blues supporters.

A poor effort from Tim Sherwood who did well considering some of the tackles on him.,was followed by Reid only being able to slam the ball into the side netting with the goal at his mercy.

In the 39th minute,City won a second corner in quick succession. Michael Doyle took the kick for ANDY MORRELL to get in front of the defender and deflect the ball via his shin into the net to give City the lead.

It was a lead that Coventry deserved and two minutes later,City's advantage turned to a numerical one when Gareth Taylor elbowed Tim Sherwood and was instantly shown the red card by Mr Ryan.

City won three more corners and we went into the break happy with events so far.

Eoin Jess was replaced by Marlon King at the break and Forest had the ball in the net in the 48th minute only for offside to be given.

Boosted by this let off,City tore into the home side who were unbeaten this season and a mistake in the Forest defence saw a Barrett cross,Roche came out and missed,allowing ANDY MORRELL to prod the ball into the net.
A bad 52nd minute foul by David Johnson on Sherwood went unpunished and four minutes later,a Doyle cross was hacked away by Rogers for a corner. Davenport was beaten to the header,the ball was banged up field but thankfully, Louis Carey in his best game so far for the Sky Blues made a superb tackle to clear the danger.
In the 58th minute, a good number of Forest supporters in the 23,041 crowd were making their way out of the stadium when a Barrett cross was met by an EDDY JOHNSON flick header and City were three goals to the good.
Their passing may have been lacking during the home defeat to Millwall but there was no sign of it today as an excellent move saw Sherwood tee in Johnson who blasted over.
That was the last of Eddy Johnson as he was replaced by Patrick Suffo and Andy Morrell who worked incredibly hard was replaced by Bjarni Gudjonsson in the 61st minute.
Even Gudjonsson who has had a miserable time so far this season, was getting into the match and a lovely run by the Icelander down the right saw him taken down by Rogers. We appealed for a decision but Mr Ryan simply waved play on.
After Calum Davenport had cleared away a Reid free kick, good move by Graham Barrett played in Gudjonsson who initially fell over the ball but recovered to fire over with only Roche to beat.
"Taking the p**s and having a laugh" sang the City fans as the Coventry players found each other with passes and controlled the show entirely.
As if to empathise this point even further, City went 4-0 up in the 69th minute when a lovely move saw Staunton find Suffo who in turn found Gudjonsson. The Icelander squared the ball and STEPHEN HUGHES curled a left footed shot from twelve yards into the net.
"Keep a clean sheet,City" shouted a friend who had come to Germany with us but it was not to be as in the 73rd minute,a cross from Reid was headed into the net by the unmarked DAVID JOHNSON.
Forest may have slightly reduced the deficit but there was no way they were coming back into the game and with fifteen minutes remaining, one of the most iconic moments of City's season occurred when City put together 32 passes before Hughes was flattened by Andrew Impey and the Leicester reject went straight into the book.
With the few Forest fans left in the ground demanding a change of manager, Gary McSheffrey came on for Graham Barrett.
The City fans were clearly enjoying themselves and when a steward who certainly resembled Patrick Suffo walked past the City followers, he responded to the chants of "Suffo" with a cheery wave.
The Suffo on the pitch looked lively and a lovely run in the 83rd minute saw him deliver a ball which Gary McSheffrey was unable to get a decent touch on and the chance went begging.
Andy Reid who again impressed me even if he should have been sent off, curled the ball against the foot of the post with five minutes to go and then sent a free kick over the bar of Scott Shearer,as Forest made a last ditch attempt to get some respectability.
But it was too late and City had capped their best performance of the season with a superb victory.
HT NFFC 0-1 CCFC FT NFFC 1-4 CCFC
ATT 23,041
Goals Andy Morrell (39,50),Eddy Johnson (68),Stephen Hughes (69),David Johnson (73)
Booked Carey, Rogers,Taylor,Reid
Sent Off Taylor (42 mins)
Referee M.Ryan
Man Of The Match - Every one of the players had an excellent game but Stephen Hughes picked up the most votes from Davenport and Morrell.

Mare Of The Match - Again the Nottinghamshire police and stewards win hands down.
TEAM
Shearer,Carey,Shaw,Davenport,Staunton, Barrett (McSheffrey 80),Doyle,Hughes, Sherwood, Johnson (Suffo 61),Morrell (Gudjonsson 61) SNU Marriott,Whing