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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 20 Mar 12 at 21:57 PM

Leeds United 3 v 7 Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest hit a magnificent seven as they ran riot in a 7-3 victory at Elland Road.

Garath McCleary was the star of the show as he scored four.

The game started at a frantic pace, and Forest had the first chance of the game after 47 seconds, but Dexter Blackstock prodded just wide after good work down the right flank from Garath McCleary.

But it was the home side who got the opening goal of the game on five minutes. Ross McCormack went over a challenge by Adlene Guedioura in the penalty area, and Robert Snodgrass firmly placed the ball into the top right corner.

However it didn't take long for Guedioura to make up for his earlier error, as three minutes later the ball broke to him 25 yards out - and after taking a touch he fired a superb shot past Leeds keeper Andy Lonergan.

The game settled down after the equaliser, but the visitors looked a lot more comfortable throughout the first period.

The next chance came in the 24 minute, and it fell to Andy Reid, who was found by McCleary on the edge of the box. He shifted the ball onto his left foot, but shot tamely into the hands of Lonergan.

The first yellow card of the game came on the half-hour mark, for Leeds left-back Paul Robinson, who lunged in on Dexter Blackstock.

As the first half closed in Forest remained dominant, and had a host of chances.

On 37 minutes Guy Moussi couldn't get a strong enough header on target from McCleary's cross, and two minutes after the latter volleyed well over from 25 yards after a corner fell to him.

McCleary went closer three minutes later, but his 18-yard rasping drive went over after Moussi laid the ball back for him.

Leeds came close to going into the break ahead, after good work on the right allowed Snodgrass to cross low for Aidan White, whose backheel went wide of Lee Camp's left-hand post.

But it was Forest who led at the break, after Guedioura broke with the ball from a Leeds corner, and his cross-field ball found McCleary in acres of space - he advanced into the area, and his shot found the top corner despite Lonergan getting a strong hand to it.

The half-time break came with Forest taking a deserved lead into it.

The second half started in a quite remarkable fashion, in which five goals were scored in the first 15 minutes.

On 51 minutes Blackstock got his name on the scoresheet, after excellent work down the left from Reid, whose cross found the striker rise high at the back post to head home.

But the home side struck back immediately, after Snodgrass squared for Luciano Becchio, who was free inside the area to stroke the ball past Camp.

Leeds were rampant, and equalised two minutes later through a splendid effort from Michael Brown, who beat Lee Camp's left hand with a half volley from 18 yards.

Despite this, Forest hit back with two goals of their own within the next five minutes.

On 55 minutes McCleary scored his second with another touch of quality. After the ball was played over the top, McCleary was left on his own, but he smashed a shot over Lonergan from an acute angle.

The Reds made it 5-3 four minutes later as McCleary claimed his hattrick. Good work again down the left from Reid saw his cut-back find McCleary, who found the net under the arms of Lonergan.

As the home side looked to come to terms with this hammerblow, Camp was forced into a superb save from a Snodgrass volley, and Danny Webber headed over from the resulting corner.

The visitors kept up the pressure, and McCleary got his fourth of the night on 71 minutes. After receiving the ball on the right, he dribbled into the area, cut back and slammed a left footed shot past the helpless Lonergan.

Forest completed the rout ten minutes later, after Blackstock beat the offside trap and calmly placed the ball into the bottom left corner.

Leeds were left bereft of ideas as the home side looked shellshocked, and they came close to a consolation in the 91st minute, but McCormack blazed over from 16 yards.

The final whistle sounded to a cacophony of cheers from the travelling support as Forest claimed a vital three points.

It was the first time Forest had scored seven away from the City Ground since April 1 1995 when they won 7-1 against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, and the first time a player has scored four in a game since Marlon Harewood's quadruple against Stoke in a 6-0 victory in February 2003.

Nottingham Forest:Camp, Gunter, Lynch, Chambers(C), Cunningham, McCleary, Moussi(McGugan 87min), Guedioura, Reid, Majewski(Wootton, 84min), Blackstock(Miller 84min)
Subs not used: Smith, Greening,
Bookings: Reid 68min
Scorers: Guedioura 8min, McCleary 45+2min, 56min,60min, 70min Blackstock 52min, 81min

Leeds United:Lonergan, Connolly, Brown, Becchio(Paynter 80min), Clayton, Lees, Snodgrass(C), White(Webber 45minHT), Robinson(Pugh 66min), McCormack, O'Dea
Subs not used: Forssell, Thompson
Bookings: Robinson 30min
Scorers: Snodgrass 6min pen, Becchio 53min, Brown 55min

Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear)
Attendance: 21,367

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