Tag Archives: Nottingham Forest

Shock Results: Manchester United 1-2 Nottingham Forest (December 1994)

Goalscorers: Stan Collymore 35, Stuart Pearce 62, Eric Cantona 68

Teams:

Manchester United: Gary Walsh, Steve Bruce, Denis Irwin, Gary Pallister, Roy Keane, Paul Ince, Ryan Giggs (Nicky Butt 74), Andrei Kanchelskis (Gary Neville 87), Brian McClair, Eric Cantona, Mark Hughes

Nottingham Forest: Mark Crossley, Steve Chettle, Des Lyttle, Stuart Pearce, Alf-Inge Haaland, Scot Gemmill, David Phillips, Steve Stone, Ian Woan, Stan Collymore, Bryan Roy (Lars Bohinen 84)

Referee: Keith Burge, Attendance: 43,744

Manchester United had gone eight whole months without conceding a home Premier League goal at Old Trafford. Despite being distracted slightly by their European commitments, the reigning champions were still just a point behind league leaders Blackburn Rovers before kicking-off at home to Nottingham Forest.

Having made a brilliant start on their top-flight return, Forest’s form had levelled out, with just one win in seven league matches and a recent exit in the League Cup at home to First Division Millwall. Frank Clark’s side were not expected to stop the United juggernaut. The Red Devils had only dropped two points since beating Blackburn 4-2 back in October.

In the first 20 minutes, it was the home side that looked more likely to score. Mark Hughes was desperately unlucky not to open the scoring; with his volley smashing the crossbar with Mark Crossley well-beaten and Andrei Kanchelskis’s fizzling free-kick only just cleared the bar moments later. However, Forest were causing some problems from set-pieces and Stan Collymore had the ball in the net but the goal was disallowed for him impeding his marker at a corner.

Collymore was a Manchester United transfer target and had scored in the 1-1 draw between the sides back in August at The City Ground. 10 minutes before half-time, he found the back of the net again against the team who had turned Premier League clean sheets at Old Trafford into an art. Found by Bryan Roy, Collymore cut inside Denis Irwin and before Gary Pallister could make a sliding challenge, the striker unleased a powerful shot into the top corner of Gary Walsh’s goal. United’s defence had been breached after 1,135 minutes since Graeme Sharp had scored in April 1994 for Oldham Athletic.

Collymore missed another glorious opportunity early in the second half but Forest found their second goal just past the hour mark. From a short corner routine, Steve Chettle’s flick-on was only partially cleared into the path of the captain, Stuart Pearce. His shot took a deflection off one of the charging defenders and left Walsh completely stranded. The visitors had a two-goal buffer to defend.

The home side’s frustration started to boil over. Referee Keith Burge gave out yellow cards to Ryan Giggs, Roy and Des Lyttle after a couple of ugly skirmishes. Both Giggs and Roy were lucky to avoid further sanction. On 68 minutes, Manchester United found a way through. From a Giggs corner, Eric Cantona flicked the ball into the net on the near post despite the efforts of Steve Stone on the goal-line.

Stone did clear a late effort off the line from Paul Ince and despite waves of intense pressure, Nottingham Forest held on for their fourth victory in their last 12 visits to Old Trafford. It would turn out to be Manchester United’s only home loss of the domestic season and a costly one. They missed out on a third successive title in May by just a single point.

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Great Goals: Ian Woan – NOTTINGHAM FOREST vs. Newcastle United (May 1996)

Newcastle United needed the three points in their chase of Manchester United in the 1996 title race but they were to be denied these on their visit to The City Ground thanks to a superb strike from one of the best players of the 1995-1996 Premier League season.

Ian Woan enjoyed a brilliant individual campaign and this goal sparked huge cheers across Manchester. Newcastle were leading 1-0 with 10 minutes to go when David Batty carelessly lost possession in the middle of the park. Woan seized the initiative and started running unchallenged towards the goal.

With Newcastle players continuing to back off, Woan decided to launch one of his left-foot specials and his razor-like shot found the back of the net. It was a fantastic equaliser from Woan and earned Nottingham Forest a point. Newcastle missed out on the title by four points, despite holding a 12-point advantage over Manchester United four months earlier.

See the goal here: https://www.facebook.com/premierleague/videos/1690406877650387/

Shock Results: Nottingham Forest 2-1 Arsenal (December 1996)

Goalscorers: Ian Wright 63, Alf-Inge Haaland 67, 89

Teams:

Nottingham Forest: Mark Crossley, Colin Cooper, Steve Chettle, Stuart Pearce, Nikola Jerkan (Des Lyttle 85), Chris Allen, Alf-Inge Haaland, Ian Woan, Kevin Campbell, Bryan Roy (Nigel Clough 65), Dean Saunders

Arsenal: John Lukic, Steve Bould, Martin Keown, Andy Linighan, Nigel Winterburn, Remi Garde (Steve Morrow 78), Gavin McGowan (Ray Parlour 69), David Platt, Paul Merson, Dennis Bergkamp (John Hartson 74), Ian Wright (SENT OFF)

Referee: Stephen Lodge, Attendance: 27,384

Nottingham Forest were in dire straits going into the 1996 Christmas period. With just one victory all season, popular manager Frank Clark had left leading up to this fixture against Arsenal after three and a half years at the helm. England defender Stuart Pearce was given the challenge to try and keep the club in the Premier League in a caretaker capacity.

His first match against Arsenal couldn’t be much harder. The Gunners were firmly in the shake-up for the Premier League title and manager Arsene Wenger had only tasted defeat once since becoming the club’s permanent boss in October. He did arrive at The City Ground with David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Tony Adams and Patrick Vieira all absent. However, he could welcome Dennis Bergkamp back after he’d missed the last four matches with a hamstring injury.

On a chilly afternoon by the River Trent, goalscoring chances were few and far between in the first 45 minutes. As anticipated pre-match, the visitors had the best of the moments. Martin Keown had the best opportunity after a nice interchange of passes with Bergkamp. However, he scuffed his shot well wide of the post. There was also a tense exchange between Arsenal teammates Ian Wright and Paul Merson which involved some shoving and set the tone for Wright’s troubled afternoon.

Wenger’s side took the lead on 63 minutes. Mark Crossley dropped a cross from Nigel Winterburn. Keown challenged for the loose ball and it broke to Wright who lashed the ball into the unguarded net. However, Forest responded with an equaliser just four minutes later. Fine work on the left-hand side from Dean Saunders saw his cross find Alf-Inge Haaland, who swept home.

The flashpoint moment came on 70 minutes when referee Stephen Lodge sent Wright off for the first time in his Arsenal career. Having won a free-kick for being body checked by Nikola Jerkan, Wright got involved further. Television replays showed him stamping on the foot of the Croatian. There was definitely an overreaction from Jerkan but after consultation from his linesman closest to the incident, Lodge brandished the red card in Wright’s direction.

Forest sensed a winner was there for the taking. The decisive goal came one minute from full-time. Kevin Campbell and Andy Linighan battled for the ball in the penalty area and the ball ricocheted to the feet of Norwegian Haaland. From 10-yards out, he drilled past John Lukic to set Pearce up for a dream start in his caretaker role.

Nottingham Forest were relegated before the season’s end whilst Arsenal finished in third position but this was a day which showed that in the Premier League, nothing is certain until the final whistle.

The Clubs: Nottingham Forest

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
198 60 59 79 229 287 -58 239 5

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Steve Chettle 174
Mark Crossley 162
Ian Woan 132
Scot Gemmill 128
Stuart Pearce 123
Steve Stone 118
Des Lyttle 113
Colin Cooper 108
Bryan Roy 84
David Phillips 83

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Bryan Roy 24
Stan Collymore 22
Stuart Pearce 18
Ian Woan 17
Steve Stone 16
Jason Lee 12
Nigel Clough 11
Kevin Campbell 9
Gary Bannister 8
Colin Cooper 8

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Sheffield Wednesday 1-7 Nottingham Forest 1st April 1995 1994-1995
Leeds United 1-4 Nottingham Forest 5th December 1992 1992-1993
Nottingham Forest 4-1 Sheffield Wednesday 10th September 1994 1994-1995
Tottenham Hotspur 1-4 Nottingham Forest 24th September 1994 1994-1995
Nottingham Forest 4-1 Ipswich Town 10th December 1994 1994-1995
Nottingham Forest 4-1 Wimbledon 6th November 1995 1995-1996
Nottingham Forest 3-0 Chelsea 16th January 1993 1992-1993
Nottingham Forest 3-0 Southampton 18th March 1995 1994-1995
Nottingham Forest 3-0 Leeds United 22nd March 1995 1994-1995
Nottingham Forest 3-0 Manchester City 30th September 1995 1995-1996

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Nottingham Forest 1-8 Manchester United 6th February 1999 1998-1999
Blackburn Rovers 7-0 Nottingham Forest 18th November 1995 1995-1996
Manchester United 5-0 Nottingham Forest 28th April 1996 1995-1996
Newcastle United 5-0 Nottingham Forest 11th May 1997 1996-1997
Nottingham Forest 1-5 Blackburn Rovers 13th April 1996 1995-1996
Liverpool FC 5-1 Nottingham Forest 24th October 1998 1998-1999
Nottingham Forest 0-4 Manchester United 26th December 1996 1996-1997
Coventry City 4-0 Nottingham Forest 9th January 1999 1998-1999
Blackburn Rovers 4-1 Nottingham Forest 5th September 1992 1992-1993
Nottingham Forest 1-4 Sunderland 21st August 1996 1996-1997

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Brian Clough 1 8th May 1993
Frank Clark 3 19th December 1996
Stuart Pearce 1 30th June 1997
Dave Bassett 1 5th January 1999
Ron Atkinson 1 30th June 1999

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Nottingham Forest 1-8 Manchester United 6th February 1999 30,025 1998-1999
Nottingham Forest 1-1 Manchester United 27th November 1995 29,263 1995-1996
Nottingham Forest 1-1 Liverpool FC 15th March 1997 29,181 1996-1997
Nottingham Forest 1-0 Liverpool FC 23rd March 1996 29.058 1995-1996
Nottingham Forest 0-4 Manchester United 26th December 1996 29,032 1996-1997
Nottingham Forest 1-0 Manchester City 6th May 1995 28,882 1994-1995
Nottingham Forest 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur 4th March 1995 28,711 1994-1995
Nottingham Forest 2-2 Liverpool FC 5th April 1999 28,374 1998-1999
Nottingham Forest 1-1 West Ham United 8th April 1995 28,361 1994-1995
Nottingham Forest 2-0 Chelsea 11th January 1997 28,358 1996-1997

 

Intro

It has been nearly 20 years now since Nottingham Forest last graced the top-flight of English football. They still remain one of the biggest teams outside of the Premier League and still one of the most successful sides to have graced the European Cup following those back-to-back victories in 1979 and 1980. Forest have been relegated in three of their five Premier League seasons but also finished a fantastic third under the guidance of the shrewd Frank Clark in the 1994-1995 season.

 

1992-1993

Nottingham Forest began the new season with victory over Liverpool FC in the very-first live match on Sky Sports in the new league with Teddy Sheringham scoring the only goal of the game. Sheringham was sold shortly afterwards though to Tottenham Hotspur and the club followed up this Liverpool victory with six successive defeats. They were six points from safety going into the New Year.

A brief revival early in 1993 saw them climb out of the relegation zone at the end of February but just two wins from their last 10 matches saw their fate slide out of their control. On the eve of the final home match of the season against Sheffield United, legendary manager Brian Clough announced he was retiring from football management. Sadly, there was no happy ending. Forest lost 2-0 to the Blades and were relegated to the First Division. Clough would be replaced by Frank Clark.

 

1994-1995

After impressing at the World Cup finals with the Netherlands, Bryan Roy was signed by Frank Clark to help lead Nottingham Forest’s attack on their top-flight return. They enjoyed a brilliant season, staying unbeaten in their first 11 matches and sitting in second spot for much of the first three months of the campaign. After a 2-0 loss at home to Blackburn Rovers, there was a six-game winless sequence but Clark’s side continued to figure inside the top six throughout the season.

Stan Collymore scored 22 goals and he was also the first player in the season to score at Old Trafford when Forest pulled off a stunning 2-1 victory away at the reigning champions. In April, they recorded the biggest away victory of the season, thumping Sheffield Wednesday 7-1 at Hillsborough. A draw on the final weekend away at Wimbledon ensured a third place finish and UEFA Cup football for the following season. No promoted club has finished higher than this in Premier League history.

 

1995-1996

Progress at Nottingham Forest stuttered in 1995-1996 after Collymore was sold in the summer to Liverpool FC for a British transfer record fee. Andrea Silenzi was signed as his replacement and proved to be a complete flop although the additions of Kevin Campbell from Arsenal and Chris Bart-Williams from Sheffield Wednesday were useful acquisitions.

Again, they enjoyed a lengthy unbeaten start to the season. A 12-match unbeaten sequence which culminated with a 4-1 victory at home to Wimbledon in early November took Clark’s side into third place in the table. Two weeks later, that unbeaten run ended dramatically with a 7-0 beating away at Blackburn Rovers. Their domestic season never quite recovered from that demoralising performance and Forest faded to ninth place and mid-table mediocrity.

Ian Woan sparkled and scored a crucial long-range effort to deny Newcastle United a vital victory in their title run-in challenge whilst a quarter-final run in the UEFA Cup was the best effort from a British team in European competition that season.

 

1996-1997

Nottingham Forest topped the table after the opening round of fixtures when Kevin Campbell scored a hat-trick on a scorching afternoon at Highfield Road against Coventry City. That 3-0 victory was the high point in a dreadful campaign for the club. Frank Clark failed to win another league match during his reign and in mid-December; he resigned after a 4-2 loss at Anfield. Club captain Stuart Pearce was given the opportunity to manage the team and he did spearhead a shock victory over Arsenal in his first match in-charge.

A three-game winning sequence at the start of January took the Midlands side out of the bottom three but Dean Saunders’ winner at White Hart Lane in early March would turn out to be the last victory of the season for Nottingham Forest. They collected just six points from their remaining 11 fixtures and were relegated on the final Saturday of the season after failing to beat Wimbledon at home. Pearce left at the end of the season to continue his playing career at Newcastle United and was replaced by Dave Bassett.

 

1998-1999

After romping away with the First Division title in 1998, Nottingham Forest made an instant return to the Premier League but their plans were thrown in disarray when unhappy that Kevin Campbell had been sold to Trabzonspor, star striker Pierre van Hooijdonk went on-strike in the summer!

Forest did win two of their opening three games but soon fell into trouble and didn’t record another victory until the end of January. By then, Van Hooijdonk had returned to the club and Dave Bassett was sacked following an FA Cup loss to First Division Portsmouth. Ron Atkinson answered the call to save the sinking ship but even he couldn’t prevent the inevitable.

Van Hooijdonk did score a winner at Goodison Park in Atkinson’s second game in-charge but a week later, they lost 8-1 at home to Manchester United in a scoreline that still remains as the biggest home defeat in Premier League history. Relegation was confirmed at the end of April at Villa Park, although they did win their last three matches of the season against Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City.

Iconic Moments: Le Tissier’s only penalty failure (March 1993)

There are few players who can boast as good a Premier League record from the penalty spot than Southampton’s lynchpin for many years, Matt Le Tissier.

In fact, he took 48 penalties in his whole career and scored 47 of them. A 98% penalty success ratio during his playing days means he is considered as one of the greatest masters from 12-yards.

However, he did have one failure from the spot and it came in the very first Premier League season. Playing for Southampton at home to Nottingham Forest, he had a first half penalty saved by Forest goalkeeper Mark Crossley, who once saved a penalty from Gary Lineker in an FA Cup final.

 

Le Tissier did score past Crossley later in the match with a long-range effort but the visitors left The Dell with all three points, winning 2-1. It is the only mark on almost near-perfection from Matt Le Tissier in his battles with the penalty spot.

Premier League Files: Lars Bohinen

Premier League Career: Nottingham Forest (1994-1995), Blackburn Rovers (1995-1998), Derby County (1998-2000)

Norwegian international Lars Bohinen enjoyed a productive spell in English football. He played in the Premier League for Blackburn Rovers, Derby County and most prominently, Nottingham Forest. He was part of an exciting Forest side in the mid-1990s that finished third in the table in 1994-1995.

Born in Vadsø in 1969, Bohinen made his international debut at the age of just 20 and had already played for several clubs in his homeland as well as a successful time in Swiss football with BSC Young Boys. It was Frank Clark who managed to tempt him to English football, signing Bohinen in 1993 for £450,000. At the time, Forest were languishing in the First Division and were just 18th in November but they rapidly improved as the season progressed and ultimately won promotion in his first season in the Midlands.

In 1994-1995, Bohinen shone in a team of thrilling talent. His long-distance effort in a 4-1 home win over Sheffield Wednesday in September 1994 set the tone for Lars’ season. He was showing no effects from his country’s agonising elimination in the group stages of that summer’s World Cup finals in the United States. Two weeks later, he was at it again, scoring a 30-yard lob at White Hart Lane in a very impressive 4-1 victory at Tottenham Hotspur. He finished with figures of six goals in 34 league appearances as Clark’s side finished third, only behind Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United in the final standings.

In his contract, Bohinen had a £700,000 buyout fee which meant he could leave The City Ground if any club matched the fee. Reigning champions Blackburn did just this in October 1995 and he was heading for Lancashire. Clark was unimpressed, saying: “Lars is not the first player to move for money, but I feel very disappointed in him and let down. You learn from your mistakes and I would never again let anyone have that sort of clause, but when he first joined us I agreed to it as security for him.”

He never quite rediscovered his Forest form at Blackburn, although there were moments of magic, such as a fine individual effort at Old Trafford as Rovers drew 2-2 with the reigning champions in August 1996.

Having scored just once in the 1997-1998 season and firmly a backup player under Roy Hodgson’s tenure, Bohinen was sold to Derby County in March 1998 for £1.45 million. He scored his solitary goal for the Rams a month later in an away defeat to Crystal Palace. Injuries meant he wasn’t able to string together a consistent run of matches and he made his last Premier League appearance in a 4-1 loss to Chelsea in December 2000. A month later, Derby cancelled his contract and he returned to Norway.

Bohinen retired from playing in 2005 and has since held roles as the sporting director at Stabæk IF and assistant coach of Vålerenga. In 2011, Lars finished third in the Norwegian version of Strictly Come Dancing and is now firmly in management, having taken over as boss of Aalesund in December 2017.

The Managers: Frank Clark

Premier League Clubs Managed: Nottingham Forest (1994-1996)

Succeeding the legend that was Brian Clough was never going to be easy at Nottingham Forest but Frank Clark did it his way and enjoyed a fairly successful spell as manager of the former European Cup winners. His excellent man-management skills saw him get the best out of players like Steve Stone, Ian Woan and Bryan Roy. Forest flourished under his guidance, finishing in a brilliant third place in the Premier League table in 1995. He returned to the club in the 21st century for a brief spell as the chairman at The City Ground.

A European Cup winner

Clark’s playing days started at Crook Town in 1961 as an amateur before making the professional breakthrough at Newcastle United. He spent 13 years as a player on Tyneside, featuring 464 times for them in all competitions. He never scored for the club but did experience victory in the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final against Hungarian outfit Újpest.

In July 1975, his links with Nottingham Forest began when Clough signed him on a free transfer. He was an ever-present at full-back for the next two campaigns as Forest were about to embark on the most golden period of their existence. He won promotion to the top-flight in 1977 and a year later, they won both the League Cup and the Football League championship title. In 1979, the Midlands side beat Malmo 1-0 in the European Cup final with the only goal coming from the £1 million man, Trevor Francis.

This was to be Clark’s final game as a professional player. He retired shortly afterwards.

A tough act to follow

Frank’s first steps in coaching were at Sunderland, where he served as their assistant manager for three years. In 1982, he became manager of Leyton Orient, taking a position later on as managing director of the Londoners.

He took charge of over 400 matches as Leyton Orient boss before stepping down in the summer of 1991. Two years later, he would return to Nottingham Forest as Clough’s successor. Clark astutely used some of Clough’s players, rekindling the careers of Steve Chettle, Mark Crossley and Stuart Pearce by adding a fresh impetus with the arrivals of David Phillips, Lars Bohinen and of course, Stan Collymore.

In his first full season in the dugout at The City Ground, Clark guided the club back to the Premier League at the first attempt, finishing second in the First Division behind Crystal Palace. Clough would congratulate him for the achievement but added: “If he wants to emulate what we did in the late 1970s he’ll need to be bloody good.”

It was a tough act to follow but he was doing it his own way. Nottingham Forest started the 1994-1995 season with an 11-game unbeaten sequence that left them flying high in second position in the table. They were playing some breathtaking football. Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield Wednesday were both beaten 4-1 and Wimbledon lost 3-1 as the likes of Roy, Collymore and Bohinen flourished spectacularly. Clark won the Manager of the Month award for September 1994. Forest’s title challenge did fade in the winter months but they never dropped out of the top five and they rallied in the closing weeks to pip Liverpool FC and Newcastle United to third spot in the table.

No repeat performance

Hopes of a repeat performance in 1995-1996 were hurt by Collymore’s summer departure to Liverpool FC for a British transfer record fee of £8.5 million, whilst league champions Blackburn Rovers activated a clause in Bohinen’s contract which saw the Dutchman leave for Ewood Park in the season’s early weeks. However, they remained unbeaten again until mid-November before suffering a 7-0 pasting at Blackburn. Forest finished ninth in the table but upheld British honour in continental competition, going the furthest. They reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup before bowing out to eventual winners, Bayern Munich.

The momentum though couldn’t be maintained. There was turmoil in the boardroom with rival parties attempting to buy the club and form drastically disappeared on-the-pitch. After a 3-0 opening day win at Coventry, Clark failed to win another game in the Premier League and desperate moves such as changing tactics and dropping senior players didn’t work.

After a 4-2 loss at Anfield in December 1996, he left the club with them propping up the Premier League table. On his departure, he said: “I have just about run out of things to do so I’ve done the ultimate. Sometimes, a manager leaving a club can be a help.” Pearce took over as caretaker manager until the end of the season but couldn’t prevent them from sliding out of the top-flight in May 1997.

10 days later, Clark took over at First Division side Manchester City but couldn’t galvanise them and left in February 1998 with the club struggling to stay in the second-tier. That was to be his final job in management. He spent a decade as vice-chairman of the LMA (League Managers Association) but Nottingham Forest was always his club. In 2011, he took over as chairman after Nigel Doughty stood down and remained as a club ambassador after a takeover by Kuwaiti owners. That role ended in 2013.

Memorable Matches: Nottingham Forest 3-2 Queens Park Rangers (October 1994)

Goalscorers: Kingsley Black 51, Les Ferdinand 54, Bryan Roy 63, Bradley Allen 84, Stan Collymore 88

Teams:

Nottingham Forest: Mark Crossley, Steve Chettle, Colin Cooper, Des Lyttle, Stuart Pearce, Kingsley Black, Lars Bohinen, David Phillips, Steve Stone, Stan Collymore, Bryan Roy

Queens Park Rangers: Tony Roberts, David Bardsley, Rufus Brevett, Danny Maddix, Alan McDonald (Bradley Allen 65), Steve Yates, Simon Barker, Ian Holloway, Andy Impey, Trevor Sinclair, Les Ferdinand

Referee: Kelvin Morton, Attendance: 21,449

This was Nottingham Forest’s first season in the top-flight under the guidance of Frank Clark. Clark was September’s Manager of the Month and they were still unbeaten before the visit of Queens Park Rangers and the Sky Sports Super Sunday cameras in October 1994. Forest knew a victory would take them second and right on the coattails of early pacesetters Newcastle United.

Queens Park Rangers boss Gerry Francis could welcome Danny Maddix back into the starting XI after a lengthy injury absence for the centre-back. They’d had never won at the City Ground before arriving on a rain-soaked afternoon. They would should their attacking potential in a game of two halves. Considering the talents on display, the first half was disappointing with both sides cancelling each other out. The game needed a moment of quality to spark into life and it arrived spectacularly after 51 minutes.

From the right-hand side, Kingsley Black cut inside and produced an exquisite curling shot that bent past Tony Roberts and into the back of the net. It was Black’s second goal of the season and it gave the home side the lead. It was an advantage that would last for just three minutes. Colin Cooper was caught in possession by Ian Holloway. Holloway played through Les Ferdinand and he made the most of Cooper’s error. The forward drove a shot underneath Mark Crossley. It was a cheap goal to concede but Ferdinand wasn’t complaining.

The pace of Roy and Stan Collymore was starting to cause problems for QPR’s defenders. Both were denied by excellent goalkeeping from Roberts. However, the Welshman was about to blot his copybook as Forest regained the lead on 63 minutes. He completely misjudged Lars Bohinen’s vicious corner and as he desperately tried to scramble something onto the ball, Roy stabbed the ball over the goal-line from practically two-yards out to put the hosts back infront.

Although Forest were creating the better chances, QPR’s excellent use of possession kept them right in the contest. Francis brought on Bradley Allen with devastating effect. Six minutes from full-time, he turned Des Lyttle and fired a beautiful low drive from the edge of the area that gave Crossley no chance.

It looked like the points would be shared but Collymore had other ideas. With Maddix tiring as the match went its course, Collymore exploited this weakness. He raced onto Lyttle’s clearing header, outsprinted Maddix and then produced a devastating finish past the onrushing Roberts to win this topsy-turvy clash for Nottingham Forest.

Forest stayed unbeaten until the end of October and finished an excellent third. Francis left Queens Park Rangers a month after this defeat due to disagreements with the board over the appointment of Rodney Marsh as a Director of Football. Nevertheless, they improved rapidly to finish eighth with Ray Wilkins in-charge.

Premier League Files: Ian Woan

Premier League Career: Nottingham Forest (1992-1993, 1994-1997, 1998-1999)

Ian Woan’s playing career will always be linked with Nottingham Forest. He spent a decade on Trentside with the club that gave him plenty of happy memories. In his prime, Woan had one of the best left-foot shots in the Premier League and was one of the club’s most influential players when Frank Clark was the manager during the mid-1990s.

Woan started playing football in 1985 and spent the first five years toiling in the non-league but his big break arrived in March 1990 when Nottingham Forest signed him for £80,000 from Runcorn. At the time, it looked like Ian was set to join AFC Bournemouth and he’d actually shaken hands on a verbal deal with the Bournemouth boss at the time, Harry Redknapp. Forest intervened at the last moment though and managed to persuade Woan to join the bigger-profile side.

He made his first-team debut off the bench against Norwich City in January 1991, 10 months after joining the club. He finished that season scoring goals for fun, netting in resounding victories over Chelsea and Norwich, before scoring the decisive goal in May 1991 against Liverpool FC at The City Ground which handed the championship crown to Arsenal. He ended the season in the team in the FA Cup final, selected by Brian Clough ahead of ex-England international Steve Hodge, much to Woan’s surprise. Sadly though, there was no happy ending as Tottenham won 2-1 in extra-time.

That was the beginning of the end for Clough. His 18-year reign at the helm as Nottingham Forest manager ended with relegation from the inaugural Premier League season as the club finished bottom of the table. Ian established himself further in the first-team; scoring five times but his efforts were not enough to keep Forest away from their top-flight demise.

Frank Clark took over that summer and helped Forest return to the Premier League at the first attempt of asking. His coaching skills benefited Woan’s game, as he was given more freedom and license to get forward and supply the team with goals and assists. In 1994-1995, Nottingham Forest finished a fantastic third in the table on their return to the Premier League, qualifying for the UEFA Cup. Ian played 40 times in that season but his best was yet to come.

His finest campaign was the 1995-1996 season as Forest finished as the strongest English side in European competition, reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup before losing to eventual winners Bayern Munich. In the league, the team finished in ninth position but Woan sparkled, with eight goals including long-range efforts against Everton and Tottenham Hotspur. In an FA Cup fifth round tie against the north Londoners, Woan smashed in two outstanding free-kicks to ensure a replay which Forest won at White Hart Lane via a penalty shootout.

Woan also had a habit of scoring title-wrecking goals for opponents. Having scored the decisive goal in 1991 to hand Arsenal the title, he scored a winning goal at Old Trafford a year later to start Manchester United’s dramatic decline in the final Football League season before the formation of the Premier League. In 1996, he pounced on a mistake by David Batty to crash home another fantastic goal that earned Nottingham Forest a deserved draw against Newcastle United. Kevin Keegan’s side had to win the game to keep the pressure on Manchester United at the top of the table. Woan’s intervention had all but buried their title chances.

Clark’s resignation in December 1996 came during a struggling time and a persistent knee injury which flared up towards the end of the 1996-1997 season kept Ian on the sidelines for a full year. He only figured twice in another relegation campaign in 1998-1999. His final Premier League appearance came in a 1-0 loss to Tottenham in April 1999. After failing to see eye-to-eye with new manager David Platt, he was released in 2000 without any discussion over a testimonial or a contract extension.

After a trial with Bolton Wanderers, Ian signed for Swindon Town in the summer of 2000 and also had one season with Shrewsbury Town, which included a stunning FA Cup third round victory over Premier League Everton in January 2003. He finished his career in the MLS before retiring in 2004.

He has since gone into coaching with spells on the staff at Portsmouth and Watford before linking up with Sean Dyche at Burnley. He is currently Dyche’s assistant manager at Turf Moor as they continue to defy expectations this season, sitting in seventh place in the table.

A player who I always enjoyed watching in the 1990s, Ian Woan could always pop up with crucial and often, spectacular goals.

Iconic Moments: Teddy’s Sky moment (August 1992)

It was a “Whole New Ball Game” in 1992 when the Premier League was born in this country and it was the same for where to watch it. BSkyB had swooped to take the live rights for the new division with 60 live games per season for the first five years of the new era in English football. Games would be shown live on Sunday afternoons and Monday nights. Super Sunday and Monday Night Football were therefore born.

The first match televised live was a battle between two former European champions who were experiencing tougher times of late in Nottingham Forest and Liverpool FC. The first goal live on Sky Sports was scored by Teddy Sheringham.

Just over 20 minutes had been played when Forest broke down the visitors’ barrier. Scot Gemmill played the ball out wide to Sheringham. He had options but elected to cut inside and go for goal himself. He smashed his strike past David James and into the net. It was a piece of television history for sport in this country.

Nottingham Forest won the game 1-0 but would finish bottom of the first Premier League table and the late, great Brian Clough retired at the end of the season as manager. Sheringham wouldn’t stay much longer in the Midlands. He moved to Tottenham Hotspur before the month was out and ended up as the winner of the 1992-1993 Golden Boot. What a start for one of the league’s most precise finishers!

Premier League Rewind: 6th-8th February 1999

Results: Aston Villa 1-3 Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea 1-0 Southampton, Leeds United 0-1 Newcastle United, Leicester City 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday, Liverpool FC 3-1 Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest 1-8 Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Coventry City, West Ham United 0-4 Arsenal, Derby County 2-1 Everton, Charlton Athletic 2-0 Wimbledon

In the early weeks of February 1999, four sides still held genuine realistic chances of becoming Premier League champions. Just two points covered leaders Manchester United, second-placed Chelsea, early season pacesetters Aston Villa and reigning champions Arsenal. By the end of the 6th-8th February weekend, it became crystal clear that only three sides had serious title credentials.

Aston Villa’s form in the early weeks of 1999 was already concerning. They had managed just one victory at home to Everton and had been dumped out of the FA Cup by First Division Fulham. Nevertheless, John Gregory would still have been expecting a home victory against relegation-threatened Blackburn Rovers. It didn’t turn out the way he hoped. Gareth Southgate scored an embarrassing own goal and further strikes from Ashley Ward and David Dunn helped Blackburn to an impressive 3-1 victory. It meant a league double over the Villans’ whose form completely collapsed. They would take just three points from their next eight matches and dropped to sixth by the season’s end.

If Villa’s challenge had completely wilted, Manchester United’s was in top gear. They visited bottom-placed Nottingham Forest and ran riot at the City Ground. Alan Rogers did briefly equalise after Dwight Yorke had given the league leaders an early lead but it went swiftly downhill from there for the home side. Yorke added another goal and there were two for his strike partner Andy Cole. At 4-1 up with 18 minutes left, Yorke was substituted to his clear disappointment and on came Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He would leave his mark with an incredible four-goal haul of his own from the bench. The 8-1 final scoreline means it remains the biggest away victory in Premier League history.

Arsenal were now hitting their stride too. Out of Europe, their focus was now solely on retaining the league and cup double they’d managed in 1998. They won 4-0 at Upton Park with a classy attacking performance that was reminiscent of the closing weeks of their title triumph the previous season. Dennis Bergkamp was at his best, opening the scoring and completely controlling the game. It was a home debut to forget for Paolo di Canio but at least he didn’t get into any trouble against Arsenal – unlike his experience earlier in the season as a Sheffield Wednesday player.

Whilst Manchester United and Arsenal were winning with more than something to spare, Chelsea took the prudent approach. Gianfranco Zola’s free-kick was good enough to beat Southampton 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. Gianluca Vialli’s side would continue to dig in and made it a real three-way fight all the way until mid-April when their exertions in the Cup Winners’ Cup would catch up on their title challenge.

Leeds United were having an excellent season under David O’Leary but they came unstuck at home to mid-table Newcastle United. Nolberto Solano scored the only goal of the game to mark the Yorkshire’s club third defeat in their last four outings. This galvanised Leeds though, who would go on a stunning run of seven successive victories to match the mark set by Don Revie’s great side of the early 1970s.

Elsewhere, Liverpool FC moved into the top six with a 3-1 home victory over Middlesbrough. Like the reverse fixture on Boxing Day, defender Vegard Heggem was on target for the Reds’, who were well in control and 3-0 up by half-time. Defender Dominic Matteo was sent off in the second half but Middlesbrough could only muster a late consolation through substitute Phil Stamp.

On Monday Night Football, Charlton Athletic were absolutely desperate for a victory against Wimbledon. Charlton had gone 13 games without a win since beating West Ham United 4-2 at the backend of October and that had included a seven-game losing sequence which had seen them plummet from 9th to 19th. Martin Pringle picked the best time to score his first Addicks’ goal and a comical own goal by Dean Blackwell ensured a priceless 2-0 victory for Alan Curbishley’s side although the season would end with heartache on the final day and relegation from the top-flight after one season in the elite.

What else happened in February 1999?

  • After a year of allegations, strain and defence, Bill Clinton is acquitted of impeachment proceedings in the US senate.
  • King Hussein of Jordan dies from cancer and is succeeded by his son, Abdullah II.
  • While trying to circumnavigate the world in a hot air balloon, Colin Prescot and Andy Elson set a new endurance record after being aloft for 233 hours and 55 minutes.
  • 31 people are killed when an avalanche dismantles the small Austrian village of Galtür.
  • The BBC announces that Noel’s House Party will be axed after eight successful years.
  • Kelly Brook succeeds Denise van Outen as co-presenter of The Big Breakfast on Channel 4.
  • Lauryn Hill makes history at the Grammy Awards by being the first female artist to win five Grammys in one night.

Premier League Rewind: 15th-17th October 1994

Results: Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea, Aston Villa 1-1 Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers 3-2 Liverpool FC, Crystal Palace 0-1 Newcastle United, Everton 0-2 Coventry City, Leeds United 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City 4-3 Southampton, Manchester United 1-0 West Ham United, Queens Park Rangers 1-2 Manchester City, Ipswich Town 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest 3-1 Wimbledon

Whilst Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United were the two teams who would go on to dictate the destiny of the Premier League title in season 1994-1995, it wasn’t so clear who would be the team to beat in mid-October 1994. Kenny Dalglish and Alex Ferguson’s sides were in the chasing pack, but behind a couple of hot pacesetters.

Going into the weekend’s matches, Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest still held unbeaten records and these were maintained through contrasting fashions. Kevin Keegan’s Magpies’ had dropped just four points all season but their trip to Selhurst Park for a match with Crystal Palace wasn’t all about style and swagger. This time, it was about grit and determination to get all three points. They managed to achieve this with a minute to go. Palace defended brilliantly all day but Peter Beardsley produced a special effort to beat Nigel Martyn and ensure the visiting fans went home happy and still on top of the table.

Nottingham Forest had to wait until the Monday evening to respond. Frank Clark’s side were in live action on Sky Sports and played a Wimbledon side that had made a sluggish start to the season. Stan Collymore scored one of the goals of the season at the City Ground. Collecting possession from just inside the Wimbledon half, the striker went on a mazy run and as the space opened up, went for goal. The shot flew past Hans Segers as Forest went on to record a 3-1 victory and maintain their impressive start on their Premier League return.

The two sides that Dalglish cared about the most in English football clashed at Ewood Park and Blackburn Rovers prevailed in a five-goal thriller with Liverpool FC. John Barnes might have scored the goal of the weekend with a stunning acrobatic kick that rolled back the years to his prime days. It wasn’t enough though for the visitors’ to grab a share of the spoils. Two goals from Chris Sutton ensured Dalglish’s current side beat his old employers 3-2.

Liverpool FC stayed in the top four but the nightmare continued across Merseyside for Everton. Still without a win and the pressure continued to mount on the beleaguered Mike Walker. New signings Duncan Ferguson and Ian Durrant played at home to Coventry City but made little impact on the contest. Dion Dublin was among the scorers in an easy 2-0 win for Coventry. Walker insisted he wasn’t under pressure from the board afterwards but his time was almost up in the Goodison Park hotseat.

Another side that had been struggling were Leicester City but the newly-promoted Foxes’ achieved a second victory of the term in an entertaining 4-3 triumph at home to Southampton. Franz Carr scored the goal of the match as Brian Little’s side held off a late fightback from their opponents to claim all three points. It would be the last victory Little achieved with Leicester. He would walk out on the club five weeks later to take over at Midlands’ rivals Aston Villa.

Elsewhere, Arsenal beat Chelsea 3-1 in a London derby, Manchester United sneaked past West Ham United through an Eric Cantona goal and David Hirst scored an 89th minute winner as Sheffield Wednesday beat Ipswich Town 2-1 on Super Sunday despite a late red card for Des Walker.

What else happened in October 1994?

  • Fernando Henrique Cardoso is elected president of Brazil.
  • Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in keeping peace in the Middle East.
  • The USA defeats Europe 13-7 in the Solheim Cup.
  • BSkyB launch two new channels; Sky Soap and Sky Travel.
  • The conclusion of the Sharongate storyline in EastEnders as Grant finds out Sharon has been having an affair with his brother, Phil. An estimated 25.3 million watch the drama unfold.
  • Former Academy Award winner Martha Raye dies in Los Angeles aged 78.
  • Two trains crash head-on in heavy fog in Kent after a driver passes a red signal. Five are killed and 13 injured.