Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Leeds 3 Nottingham Forest 7 (YES SEVEN)

Neil Warnock named an unchanged side once again for the visit of struggling Nottingham Forest. Having been held at home by West Ham at the weekend, the boss had stressed the importance of a good result against Forest, and United started on the front foot.Ross McCormack threatened early, and the Scot won a penalty when he was brought down by Adlene Guedioura. Robert Snodgrass stepped up and converted the spot-kick to give Leeds an early lead.That lead lasted barely two minutes before Guedioura equalised. The Forest man was allowed to advance before delivering a speculative strike from distance which beat Andy Lonergan.
It was a quick-fire opening to what was a pretty open contest. Both sides seemed to be able to find space and both looked to attack, although clear cut chances were few and far between.There were one or two niggly fouls and hefty challenges, and Paul Robinson found his name in the referee's notebook before the half-hour after one crunching challenge.Forest had an opportunity before the break when Lonergan felt he was impeded while looking to collect a cross and Gareth McCleary lifted a shot over the bar from inside the box.
But the visitors did snatch the lead before the break, courtesy of McCleary. Forest broke quickly and the ball fell to McCleary who scored with a deflected shot that looped over Lonergan.The visitors also started the second half on the front foot, putting United on the backfoot, and Dexter Blackstock made it 3-1 when he got up well at the back post to head home an Andy Reid cross.United were back in the game again moments later, though, when Luciano Becchio converted a cross froim the right.And it was 3-3 within a minute when Michael Brown smashed home his first goal in a Leeds shirt. A Paul Connolly throw-in was half-cleared and Brown lashed the ball home to level.The ridiculous nature of the game continued as Forest regained the lead just a minute later when McCleary raced cleared down the right in pursuit of a ball over the top and he smashed the ball past Lonergan.That took the tally to four goals in the space of five amazing second half minutes, and that flurry continued as Forest went further in front when Reid played a low ball across the edge of the box and McCleary tucked the ball home for his hat-trick.Despite an amazing flurry, the game was still open, and Lee Camp made a terrific save to deny Snodgrass with a superbly struck effort.But it was Forest, who scored again when McCleary again showed great skill down the right before cutting in and delivering another good finish to make it four for him and six for the visitors.And worse was to come when Blackstock scored his second of the game to make it 7-3 with nine minutes still remaining.

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