Football

McCleary the toast as Forest thump sorry Leeds

Celebration time (©GettyImages)
Celebration time (©GettyImages).

The date is 29th November 2011 on a very cold Tuesday night, made colder for Nottingham Forest fans who have just witnessed their side slump to a 4-0 defeat to Leeds United at their very own City Ground.

It is the second time Forest had failed to find the net in two games, a barren run that would stretch to seven. Until January, Forest had only scored seven times on the road.

Fast forward three months and Steve Cotterill's side had a seven to celebrate. The seven scored at Elland Road - the first team to do so since the stadium was built in 1919.

The star of the show was Garath McCleary who netted four in the emphatic 7-3 victory over Leeds who were fifth in the league last time the sides met. Now, however, they sit 10th in the Championship licking their wounds after manager Neil Warnock claimed to be "quite embarrassed about the result."

United fans might remember McCleary from last year when he cut inside to put a curling consolation into the top corner as Forest fell 4-1 at Elland road.

The skilful winger told GMF what makes scoring against Leeds so good: "It's a big club and one of our derbies so it's a really important game! We played well yesterday and the team's performance helped me score those four."

The thrashing definitely atoned for the 4-0 loss back in November and McCleary reflected: "To be fair it [the previous loss] wasn't talked about once, but I think we all as players had that in the back of our minds.

"But the main thing is we got three points on the board which has taken us further away from the drop zone."

Leeds had taken the lead in an exciting game for the neutral, when Robert Snodgrass converted a penalty awarded against Adlene Guedioura. The fans soon forgave the man on loan from Wolves when he fired a stunning 35-yard strike into the top corner.

McCleary scored the first of his four before the Whites were booed off by the home fans at half-time. It only got worse after the break when Dexter Blackstock headed in to make it 3-1.

Leeds retaliated five minutes later with two goals in two minutes from Luciano Becchio and Michael Brown but that was like prodding an angry bear.

McCleary scored three within fifteen minutes to take his tally to nine for the season which is a marked improvement from the four he had notched in the previous three years at the club since joining from Bromley.

Blackstock added his second of the night to round off a memorable win for the Reds that lifts them seven points from safety and considerably boosts their poor goal difference.

Topics:
Football
Michael Brown
Championship
Dexter Blackstock
Nottingham Forest
Garath McCleary
Robert Snodgrass
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Leeds United
Luciano Becchio
Adlene Guedioura
Liverpool

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