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Gemmill remembers ZDS Cup final

29 March 2020

When that volley hit the back of the net, Wembley erupted. He’d already found the net on the hallowed turf once but now Scot Gemmill could add a winning goal to his CV on his Wembley debut.

That brace in the Zenith Data Systems Cup is still talked about to this day by Reds fans, despite it not being a ‘major’ trophy, but still providing some great memories in the days when English sides were absent from European competition.

"It was a brilliant experience because the stadium was full but I have to put it into context because it wasn't one of the top cup competitions and therefore I'm not sure how it is perceived or remembered by Forest fans,” Scott said.

"Having said that, Brian Clough was an outstanding manager and he always demanded a performance on that sort of occasion. We had such good players in our team at that time and every time we stepped out onto the pitch, regardless of the competition, the mentality was always correct. As players and staff we always put demands on ourselves and the standards never dipped.”

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The Reds raced into a two-goal lead and looked set to clinch their second Full Members’ Cup title, but Southampton hit back to force extra-time. But Gemmill’s volley at the back post five minutes before time secured the win in the last ever match in the competition.

Gemmill added: "The manager and the players would never allow a poor performance in a cup final at Wembley and I think that is why Forest had so much success in cup competitions during that period. It was an amazing experience for me to score twice and help Forest to lift a trophy at Wembley.”

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While it was Scot’s first outing on the Wembley pitch, he had been involved in the build-up to the FA Cup final the previous season, thrust into it by the gaffer.

He said: "I was in the squad the year before for the FA Cup final against Tottenham and something that really stuck in my mind that day was something Brian Clough did. Just as the teams were walking out from behind the goal, Brian literally picked me up and put me in the line-up and I walked out with the team to the halfway line.

"A lot of people would have been thinking 'why has he done that?' because there I was, shaking hands with Princess Diana and I wasn't even named on the substitutes' bench! Looking back, he was giving me the experience of the occasion and giving me a chance to get used to featuring in a cup final at Wembley even in a small way and that really helped me."

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