Nottingham Forest 7 Swindon 1

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 26 February 2006

Nicky Southall lead the way with a hat-trick, as the Reds picked up a second consecutive win under the guidance of Frank Barlow and Ian McParland, with a 7-1 success that had the City Ground on its feet.

This was the caretaker duo's first home game in charge, since last weekend's 2-0 success at Port Vale. But, if there were any nerves in the dug out, they didn't show as Forest made a lightening start to the match.

There were barely three minutes on the clock when, from out of nothing, Julian Bennett struck a 25 yard shot that cannoned back off the bar.

With the Swindon defence caught flat footed, Nicky Southall reacted quickest to pick up the rebound on the edge of the box and take a single touch, before lashing an arrow of a shot into the top left hand corner of the net.

While they had been caught flat footed moments earlier, Swindon looked sharp as they hit back immediately when a Ricky Shakes cross was only half cleared to Jamie Cureton on the right, where the striker fired the ball straight back into the six yard box, only to see Lee Peacock hammer a glorious opportunity against the cross bar.

This was a new look Forest however, since the departure of Gary Megson, and they were not short of confidence themselves.

Forest felt they had been robbed when Grant Holt had been brought down by Jack Smith, seemingly just inside the box. Referee Clive Oliver awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box instead of the penalty Forest wanted.

Southall came close to adding a second to his own tally and to Forest's, with a curling effort that Rhys Evans did well to save, from the resulting set piece.

And when Kris Commons was brought down in a similar position, by Jerel Ifil who was also booked it eventually led to the goal that made it 2-0.

Commons' free-kick bounced agonisingly off the post, rebounded into the back of keeper Evans and out for a corner but when Southall bent a cross to the near post, Wes Morgan rose highest at the near post to head a simple finish inside the post.

Before the half an hour mark, it was 3-0. Nathan Tyson's determination forced another flag kick and Southall again provided expert delivery to the near post where Ian Breckin this time glanced a header into the far corner of the net.

By half time, Swindon had keeper Evans to thank for not being further behind, as he made outstanding saves from Tyson and Southall.

But six minutes after the break it was 4-0, as Grant Holt provided a cross from the left, for Southall to bag his second, with a far post header.

At this point, Swindon collapsed.

Tyson's cross to the far post picked out Southall again, who completed his hat-trick and made it 5-0 in the 55th minute. Two minutes later, a Southall corner again picked out Morgan's run to the near post and the defender again headed home, to make it 6-0.

Things got worse for Swindon, as Ifil was sent off, after picking up a second booking, this time for a late tackle on Tyson although the visitors did manage to pull one goal back, as substitute Benjamin scrambled home from just inside the box in the 76th minute.

But that was not to be the end of the scoring as Forest sub Jack Lester bundled home Forest's seventh from a Grant Holt cross in the 89th minute.

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