Forest 2-1 Newcastle United
On a crazy evening in Nottingham, Newcastle United management team, players and fans alike would be left fuming with the officials and opposition after seeing two men sent off in a 2-1 loss. And that doesn't even begin to describe one of the most infuriating games those in black and white will ever witness that also saw our keeper make not one but two penalty saves.
STARTING XI: Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Hayden, Shelvey, Ritchie, Perez (Anita, 45), Gouffran (Diame, 77), Gayle (Mitrovic, 87)
A goal from Matt Ritchie would give Newcastle United the lead just before half time after Newcastle had already been reduced to 10 men following Shelvey's sending off on 33 minutes and seeing Karl Darlow save the resultant penalty. The play acting from Forest's Henri Lansbury being quite frankly disgraceful.
With Dummett also then being dismissed in first half injury time, Darlow saving yet another penalty from this incident the visitors would go in at half time with only 9 men left on the pitch but with a 1-0 lead.
Goals in the second half from first Bendtner, one that was clearly offside, and then an own goal from Lascelles (one of our hero's on the night) would ultimately mean Newcastle would leave empty handed.
The game had started quietly with little to separate the sides in the opening exchanges as Newcastle would settle into their normal shape content to hit Forest on the break.
Indeed the first really notable thing to happen would spark the entire game into life with Shelvey receiving a straight red card for apparently kicking out at Lansbury on the ground. And whilst replays seemed to show that Shelvey had almost certainly been using his feet in getting the Forest player off him the whole incident would have been a lot different had Lansbury not been playacting. Not only was his kick and pull on Shelvey responsible for them both being on the floor in the first place, but his delayed and over-exaggerated reaction to what looked like minimal contact if any was nothing short of disgraceful.
Up would step Bendtner to try an slot home the resultant penalty on 33 mins, only to find former Forest and now top Newcastle stopper unbeatable in the Newcastle net. Still 0-0 then, but the Mags down to 10 men.
With Shelvey missing it would be easy to think that Newcastle would now be under the cosh, instead the visitors kept their shape and on the stroke of half time they had the breakthrough, as when Forest failed to clear their own box Matt Ritchie would be on hand to smash home from 10 yards for his 5th of the season.
No sooner had the games restarted however Newcastle would find themselves down to 9 men. Again Lansbury would be the villain, this time starting his dive inside the box before Dummett was even near him. The resultant brush of our lads groin was then deemed enough to the referee to ignore the ‘double jeopardy’ ruling (even if it had been a penalty) and send him off with a straight red too. Crazy!
With Darlow then booked for having had enough of the referees abject performance the stopper would then need to face another penalty, this time from Lansbury himself. Again the penalty would be on target. Again our man would not be beaten, this time saving low to his right. A cracking save.
But with Newcastle now down to 9 men it was always going to be a big ask. And whilst it would take an ‘offside’ goal from Bendtner to level things the cruelest blow of all would be an own goal on 86 minutes that would send our lads home with nothing. Cruel indeed although Lascelles could do nothing about this one to be fair.
The lads should take much heart from the performance. Forest and the officials should take a long hard look at themselves. A game those were at will not forget in a hurry.
UPDATE: On Tuesday 6th December the FA overturned both red cards produced in this game. Small comfort indeed!