Jamie Paterson scored a sensational hat-trick as Forest thrashed Premier League side West Ham 5-0 at The City Ground this afternoon.
The midfielder hadn’t scored for Forest before the FA Cup with Budweiser third-round clash but he emphatically broke that duck when, after winning a first-half penalty which was scored by Djamal Abdoun, he netted three times after the break to put The Hammers to the sword.
Andy Reid rounded off the scoring in a match Forest could have won by a considerably greater margin.
Billy Davies made two changes to the side which drew at Reading on New Year’s Day. Abdoun returned to the starting line-up in place of Jamie Mackie while Guy Moussi, back from his loan at Millwall, replaced Nathaniel Chalobah. There was room on the bench for Ishmael Miller - back from a successful loan at Yeovil Town.
West Ham’s starting 11 comprised Stewart Downing, Matt Jarvis, Ravel Morrison and Alou Diarra.
Forest had the lead with the first notable attack of the match. Paterson’s quick feet drew a trip from George Moncur in the area and referee Martin Atkinson had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Abdoun’s cheeky dink down the middle had echoes of Andrea Pirlo’s ‘Panenka’ penalty against England in the Euro 2012 quarter-final. It also heralded the same result, leaving Iron keeper Adrian to dive helplessly to his right as the ball sailed past him.
The Reds had started brightly but were almost pegged back on 24 minutes. Henri Lansbury, facing his former club, tripped Morrison just outside the area. The ex-Manchester United man curled the resultant free-kick over the wall, only to be left frustrated by a superb one-handed save from Karl Darlow.
That was to be a rare scare in a first half when the hosts kept possession much better than their Premier League opponents. Paterson saw a shot deflect into Greg Halford’s path and the lone striker looked certain to score from point-blank range. He was however denied by a superb last-ditch tackle by Callum Driver.
Forest were playing with confidence, reflected by Jamaal Lascelles’ audacious long-range attempt on 32 minutes. The young defender struck the ball well but, despite its dip at the last minute, Adrian held on.
The hosts’ defence had been comfortable and on 35 minutes showed, even when West Ham’s wealth of attacking talent worked the ball behind them, they had the ability to quell the danger. Eric Lichaj produced a brilliant sliding challenge to halt Modibo Maiga as the Malian bore down on goal.
In typical Forest fashion, The Reds offered an immediate response. Halford must have thought he had notched his fourth first-half header in as many matches after he met Abdoun’s excellent cross from the left, only for Adrian to get down to his left and hold the ball on his line.
And the hosts had an even better chance four minutes later. Reid’s through ball was perfect for the marauding Lichaj who went through one-on-one with Adrian. His low effort was blocked by the keeper and Lansbury fired the ball over after picking up the pieces.
One minute of added time was indicated at the end of the first half, during which Halford nodded down Reid’s cross in the area. Lansbury couldn’t get to it, West Ham cleared and the referee blew for half-time.
Neither side made a change at the break and there was no alteration to the pattern of play as the match resumed.
Abdoun embarked on a run down the left and cut onto his right foot when he reached The Hammers’ area. He didn’t catch his shot cleanly and Adrian saved comfortably.
There was similar frustration for Paterson two minutes later when, after twisting and turning on the edge of the area, he saw his shot blocked.
It had been a disciplined display by Forest, but a momentary lapse presented their visitors with an opportunity on 51 minutes. Abdoun’s cross-field ball was wayward, sending Downing away down the left. Lascelles slid across to block the former Middlesbrough man’s effort.
That opportunity appeared to give West Ham a lift. Danny Whitehead saw his shot deflected over on 54 minutes before Darlow was called into another excellent save. Sebastien Lletget shot through a crowd of bodies but Darlow was able to turn it behind. From the subsequent corner, Morrison took the ball along the byline before drawing another block from Darlow, this time at the keeper's near post.
The Reds soon retook the reins however, with Lansbury’s first-time effort after Gonzalo Jara’s pass a mere taste of what was to come. The midfielder struck his effort over from a difficult angle, but a minute later Forest doubled their lead.
Paterson shimmied his way into the area, creating himself an angle from which to shoot. He sent his low effort across Adrian and, although the Spaniard got a hand to it, he couldn’t prevent the ball striking the inside of the post and rolling over the line.
The former Walsall man, who had impressed at Reading earlier in the week, was in his element and could have had a second goal minutes later. Abdoun did well down the left before cutting it back for Paterson, who could only blaze the ball over with his left foot.
It wasn’t to matter however - he made it 3-0 on 71 minutes after Lansbury supplied him in the area. This time the ball took a deflection before hitting the back of the net.
Blair Turgott had replaced Downing earlier in the half and went close to reducing the deficit, sending a stinging effort towards Darlow’s top corner. The keeper produced another excellent save to send it behind.
Turgott’s attempt had been speculative, but Forest responded with another string of well-worked moves, one of which lead to the fourth goal.
Simon Cox, on for Halford, saw his header pushed away brilliantly by Adrian before Paterson claimed his hat-trick. He took his time in the area, working himself an angle, and blasted the ball low into the left-hand corner from six yards. Paterson was given a standing ovation when he was replaced by Matt Derbyshire with seven minutes to play.
Forest refused to relent their pressure as Lansbury and Reid both shot wide with the clock ticking down.
And it was left to Reid to put the icing on the cake in the first of three added minutes. Abdoun raced into space down the left before composing himself and spotting the run of Reid. The Irishman received the cut-back and finished emphatically, sending the ball into the roof of the net to emphasise The Reds’ dominance.
Cox could have made it six with the last move of the match but saw his effort blocked in the area.
Forest: Darlow, Jara, Lascelles, Hobbs, Lichaj (Harding 58'), Moussi, Lansbury, Reid (c), Abdoun, Paterson (Derbyshire 83'), Halford (Cox 75')
Subs not used: Evtimov, Mackie, Majewski, Miller
Scorers: Abdoun 12' (pen), Paterson 65', 71', 79', Reid 90'
Booking: Derbyshire 87'
West Ham: Adrian, Jarvis, Maiga, Morrison, Diarra (Burke 55'), Downing (c) (Turgott 64'), Potts, Whitehead, Lletget, Driver, Moncur (Fanimo 55')
Subs not used: Spiegel, Lee, Maguire, Gordon
Booking: Lletget 45'
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Attendance: 14,397 (Away: 2,977)