Writer: Auckland Owl
Date:Monday January 15 2007
A midweek third round FA Cup date away to Stuart Pearce's boys after a 1-1 home draw? It's deja vu all over again for Auckland Owl! It happened in January 1994.
Of course the Owls opponents that year were Nottingham Forest, with Pearce still a player, and Mark Crossley in goal.
Visiting the City Ground, Owls manager Trevor Francis had the last laugh on his old club after a shaky first half. Wednesday struck soon after the interval. An Andy Sinton free kick was partially cleared, but his second attempt dropped over Carlton Palmer to Andy Pearce, and the giant defender swept the ball home to send the Wednesdayites into rapture. Forest were still reeling when Sinton provided the knockout punch - his cross was driven past Crossley by Chris Bart-Williams, with the aid of a deflection, to give the Owls an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Up until half time, the Reds must have thought they'd overcome the largest obstacle by drawing at Hillsborough, but they failed to capitalize on their opening spell of the replay, which was described by Trevor Francis as 'the worst 45 minutes since I became Owls manager.. we were all over the place'.
Forest had opportunities to cause a cup shock, but they were denied by resolute defending or terrible finishing. When they did get through, Kevin Pressman was on hand to avert the danger, making vital saves from Ian Woan and Steve Stone.
Afterwards, Francis praised his side's tenacity. 'We showed more determination in the second half' he said. 'The players didn't want to go out of the cup'. Nottingham manager Frank Clark was considerably less satisfied. 'We defended badly from two crosses and it cost us the match' he grumbled.
One man who wasn't grumbling when the whistle blew was Andy Pearce, his solid defensive display alongside Des Walker and his memorable first goal delighted the fans. 'We get great support' enthused the big centre half. 'When the fans start to sing, it gives the whole team a real boost.'
Forest: Crossley, Lyttle, Pearce, Cooper, Chettle, Stone (Crosby 73), Philips, Webb, Black (Bull 65), Glover, Woan. Unused sub: Wright.
Wednesday: Pressman, Linighan, Sinton, Pearce, Walker, Bart-Williams, Jones, Palmer, Hyde, Watson (Jemson 73), Bright. Unused subs: Poric, Woods.
Let's hope Wednesday can get the same result against City on Tuesday!
Date:Monday January 15 2007
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