Championship leaders Newcastle United were up against Promotion challengers Nottingham Forest on a rainy and windswept night in the North-East.
Both of these sides have been doing very well this season and with them sitting in first and third in the table it looked like a close game on paper. Yet Newcastle were odds-on to win this, and didn’t look very tempting at 8/11 over at Sky Bet. The reason for which is because Newcastle’s home form has been formidable (won their last 6) and Forest’s away from has been terrible (lost their last six).
The match got off to a fiery start as expected with Carroll looking lively up front and Routledge using his pace and trickery to frustrate the Forest defense. The best chance in the half fell to Carroll. Lovenkrands was tackled and denied a penalty and whilst he argued with the referee Carroll picked up the ball in the box and looked sure to score, but the left footed player wasn’t confident enough to take the shot on with his right and eventually the chance got away from him.
Forest came back into the game in the second half and applied some pressure to Newcastle who were forced to sub an injured Andrew Carroll for Shola Ameobi. Tyson missed a great chance early on for the away side and Newcastle also had a good few efforts on goal.
The game was very open and a pleasure to watch but prospect of a thrilling 0-0 draw was denied with twenty minutes to go when Newcastle took the lead. Ameobi took a pass from Nolan and with two defenders on him he turned and drilled a shot into the far corner. Pure strikers instinct from a top goalscorer who has been out with injury for a lot of this season.
Newcastle looked hot after the goal and pushed for a second with Guthrie coming close on two occasions. In stoppage time the superb left-back Enrique worked his way into the box with some neat trickery before slipping the ball past the ‘keeper with his weaker foot, to score his first goal for Newcastle after a fantastic season. A great way to end a great game and Newcastle are now, potentially, just one win away from promotion.