Nottingham Forest heap more pressure on Sam Allardyce
Republic of Ireland midfielder Andy Reid rounds off the scoring in the last minute
Andy Reid celebrates scoring Forest’s fifth goal at the City Ground yesterday. Photograph: John walton/PA.
Nottingham Forest 5 West Ham 0
Sam Allardyce faces fresh questions over his future as West Ham manager as an unrecognisable side were routed by second-tier Nottingham Forest.
The Championship side’s emphatic 5-0 win – courtesy of Djamel Abdoun’s cheeky penalty, Jamie Paterson’s second-half hat-trick and Andy Reid’s late finish – might go down in some quarters as a cup upset but once the team-sheets were announced the bookmakers had already installed the hosts as favourites.
Allardyce, with injury and suspension problems and a League Cup semi-final in midweek, handed out a total of five debuts, three from the start and two more off the bench, among nine changes to his team.
It was a gamble that backfired horribly as the relegation-battling Hammers simply had their confidence further assaulted by lower-league opposition.
The young rookies – Seb Lletget, Danny Whitehead, Callum Driver, Reece Burke and Blair Turgott — can hardly be blamed for the humbling result, but Allardyce may not be as lucky.
Three fine goals
His future may detract slightly from Paterson’s efforts, but it should not – with the winger winning his side’s spot-kick and then converting three fine goals of his own.
The opener came after just 12 minutes as Paterson beat George Moncur with some neat footwork before being tripped by the midfielder.
Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot but when Abdoun reached for the ball, Forest fans appeared to groan in unison. They need not have worried, though, as the Algerian dinked the ball down the middle with a supreme confidence not usually associated with a player who had never previously scored for the club.
Most experienced players
West Ham’s most experienced players were stationed on either wing, with captain-for-the-day Stewart Downing left and Matt Jarvis right.
Their response to the goal was to look for the pair with every attack and in the 23rd minute, the Hammers went close to levelling.
Reid’s foul gave Ravel Morrison a chance to test his free-kick skills from 20 yards out and his bending shot would have crept under the crossbar had Karl Darlow not responded with a fine save.
But game ended as a contest on 65 minutes when Halford held the ball up well before teeing up Paterson. He opened his body and found the bottom corner. Paterson’s second came just six minutes later when he stroked home confidently with a first-time effort.
Paterson’s hat-trick wasn’t far away. With 11 minutes to go he raced into the area, shuffled into a shooting position as defenders stood off and deposited neatly into the bottom corner.
There was one final insult when Reid smashed home Abdoun’s lay-off in injury time, leaving West Ham thoroughly humbled and with plenty to ponder.
Republic of Ireland midfielder and Forest captain Andy Reid expressed his delight at reaching the fourth round. “It was important to keep the momentum going, we have been on a really good run in the league and to keep it going was fantastic.”