Forest earn Spurs replay
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: 20/02/05 4:31pm
Nottingham Forest came from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw in their FA Cup fifth round clash with Tottenham.
Gary Megson's Championship strugglers belied their league position by matching their Premiership opponents for large parts of the match at White Hart Lane, and fully deserved a replay in the end.
Teenage goalkeeper Colin Doyle made an almighty blunder to hand Spurs the lead on the stroke of half time when he let Jermain Defoe's free kick squirm through his hands.
Forest skipper Gareth Taylor restored parity for a spirited visiting side on 56 minutes when he beat Paul Robinson to a long ball before slotting into an empty net to ensure that the two sides must meet again to earn a quarter final slot.
Forest had the first clear chance inside ten minutes when Alan Rogers stole into the box down the left, and slipped a tackle before bearing down on goal - only to fire his shot well wide of Robinson's goal from no more than five yards.
Spurs had the majority of the possession but failed to create a clear opportunity and it was Forest again who carved out the next good chance as Kris Commons raced clear of a square home defence, but his low shot was saved by Robinson's leg.
Martin Jol's side continued to dominate possession but could not create any chances as good as the two squandered by Forest.
Young goalkeeper Doyle had his first serious test just after the half hour when he scrambled to his right to tip a low Simon Davies effort just wide of the post.
Taylor spurned another great chance for Forest five minutes before the interval, as he got his head to Rogers' cross from the left only to power it straight at Robinson who gathered easily.
Spurs were within inches of taking the lead just before the break as Michael Brown fired in a vicious shot from the left of the box that rattled against the post with Doyle helpless, while Defoe fired the rebound over.
The Championship side thought they had weathered the first half storm only to concede on the stroke of half time, in a moment 19-year-old Doyle will want to forget.
After looking relatively assured throughout the half, the youngster allowed Defoe's harmless free kick to squirm through his hands and bounce over the line, to give Spurs the advantage at the interval.
Megson's side came out for the second period with their heads held high, and the impressive Commons fired in a shot after ten minutes that Robinson only just about dealt with.
The visitors found themselves level on 56 minutes, with Spurs keeper Robinson this time left with egg on his face.
Rogers' long ball gave Taylor something to chase and the Forest striker held off Ledley King before nodding the ball past the on-rushing Robinson before slotting into an empty net, with Robinson only serving to clatter into his skipper in the process.
The hosts still looked dangerous but Commons nearly put Forest ahead when his cross threatened to loop over Robinson before the England man's agility saved the day.
Defoe was still buzzing around inside the box, and he manufactured enough space to crack a shot goalwards 15 minutes from time but Doyle atoned for his earlier error by producing a smart save with his legs.
Egyptian striker Mido was introduced from the bench and he almost did the trick with an acrobatic effort three minutes from time, but Doyle was in the right place at the right time to gather his effort.
Commons came close to scoring a superb solo effort in the closing stages when he ghosted in from the right and slalomed his way past a couple of defenders to stride into the box only for Robinson's legs to thwart his chances of a dramatic winner.
Forest held out to earn a fully deserved draw against Premiership opposition and they will have a replay to look forward to at The City Ground.
|Team Name||Tottenham||Nottingham Forest|
|Shots On Target||8||5|
|Shots Off Target||9||4|