FOREST 6 TOWN 1
Majewski nets hat trick in heavy defeat
Town suffered another heavy defeat on the road at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday evening as Billy Davies' men hit six at the City Ground.
The evening started well for Town, who took the lead through James Vaughan and were contesting well against Play-Off chasing Forest. That early goal, though, proved to by Town’s only highlight of the evening as Davies’ men hit back in superb fashion to score five without reply.
Radoslaw Majeski grabbed a first half hat trick and goals from Elliot Ward, Henri Lansbury and Darius Henderson sealed the victory.
Mark Robins recalled Lee Novak into the starting line-up following his goal against Wigan on the weekend as he partnered Vaughan in attack.
Elsewhere, Oliver Norwood came back into the midfield and Joel Lynch into the defence – to play against the team he spent three seasons at before joining the Terriers.
It all started so well for Town at the City Ground. They were desperately unlucky not to be ahead within inside two minutes when Vaughan’s overhead kick rebounded off the upright, after a mazy run from Neil Danns.
Danns then forced a corner with a powerful shot on nine minutes from which Oliver Norwood recycled the ball and crossed for Vaughan to guide home his first away goal for Town since his effort against Blackpool in September.
From there, though, it was all downhill in the first half for Town. A two minute goal salvo from Forest gave them the advantage by the 24th minute.
Majewski – who grabbed a first half hat trick – scored his first in the 21st minute when he stabbed home after Lansbury had failed to convert Andy Reid’s clipped ball.
Reid then claimed his second assist moments later when he found the head of Ward with an in swinging delivery; the defender did superbly to flick the ball past Smithies and into the far corner.
Town received a brief rest just before the half hour mark as Sean Scannell tested Forest ‘keeper Karl Darlow with an effort from the edge of the area following a good run; but that proved to be the Terriers’ last attacking threat of the half.
The home team were quickly back on the attack and laying siege on Smithies’ goal with Dexter Blackstock seeing a header deflected onto the bar following another Reid delivery.
Smithies – who couldn’t be blamed for any of the four first half goals – did well to keep Town in the contest on 34 minutes when he denied Lansbury at his feet after he had got the better of Calum Woods.
Smithies’ efforts were to be undone just a few minutes later, though, when Polish midfielder Majewski grabbed his second from the edge of the box. The passing was neat from Forest, but the marking was poor from Town as they allowed the left footer acres of time and space to fire home.
Reid went close again for Forest on 41 minutes before the diminutive midfielder scored his third – and the best of the bunch from at least 25 yards. After collecting the ball 30 yards out, he spun and rifled in a shot, which hit the underside of Smithies’ bar before nestling in the back of the net.
Robins unsurprisingly changed things around at half-time with Scott Arfield replacing Scannell in midfield.
It didn’t work though, as Forest made it five within ten minutes of the restart. Midfielder Lansbury – who had spurned an effort in the first half – cut through the Town defence from 25 yards out before sending a low left footed shot past Smithies from the edge of the area.
To Town’s credit they responded well and enjoyed a decent spell of pressure, but lacked a cutting edge to close the deficit. Firstly, Vaughan and Hunt went close with long range efforts before substitute Arfield wasted the best of the chances when he failed to beat Darlow when one on one.
Oscar Gobern – who had replaced Norwood to make his first league appearance of the season – then headed over before Arfield squandered another good chance when he failed to connect cleanly with Vaughan’s headed knock down.
Town continued to keep Forest at bay and should have had a second in the 77th minute, but Vaughan wasted another one on one when he sliced wide his effort; summing up the Terriers’ fortunes in front of goal on the night.
Forest finished the evening on the front foot and almost had sixth in the 88th minute, but Simon Cox was denied by a superb save from Smithies.
They did have a sixth in the final minute of injury time when Darius Henderson headed past Smithies at the far post to seal a miserable evening for the Terriers.
Town’s team (4-4-2):
Alex Smithies; Calum Woods, Joel Lynch, Peter Clarke (c), Jack Hunt; Sean Scannell (Scott Arfield, 46), Oliver Norwood (Oscar Gobern, 58), Adam Clayton, Neil Danns; James Vaughan, Lee Novak (Jordan Sinnott, 74)
Ian Bennett, Paul Dixon, Anthony Gerrard, Alan Lee
Bookings Town: Joel Lynch 40, Scott Arfield 68