Robbie Earnshaw has took time to reflect on Nottingham Forest’s “special” 5-1 victory over Leicester City in 2009/10.
It was shaping up to be a massive game on Trentside between two local rivals both gunning for automatic promotion to the Premier League, after making impressive starts to the season.
Forest, managed by Billy Davies, came into the game sitting 4th in the Championship table, on the back of a fantastic 4-1 win over Doncaster Rovers the week before.
Leicester sat third in the table and were flying high under Nigel Pearson, but they were absolutely thrashed by the Reds on that cold day in December.
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An Earnshaw hat-trick sent Forest on their way, before goals from Paul Anderson and Dele Adebola rounded off an excellent afternoon for the Reds, despite Martyn Waghorn’s late consolation between both goals.
Earnshaw went to score 17 goals in all competitions that season, as Forest lost in the play-off semi-finals to Blackpool across two legs.
Speaking to Forest’s official club website, Earnshaw reflected on that massive win over the Foxes, saying: “It was a huge game at the time and perhaps the biggest thing was the local rivalry between us and Leicester. We understood how important the game was to the fans. The second factor was the league positions, they were third and we were fourth, and both teams had good players on their side with plenty of experience who were chasing the same game.
“We were the underdogs going into the game because Leicester had made some really good signings and we were this fearless team coming from nowhere. We approached the game with good tactics, understanding and energy and we were all really excited for it to begin.
“Getting two goals in the first half just set the game up for us and to seal a hat-trick just after half-time was incredible. I knew after the first goal went in that we’d get more chances and as soon as it did, I was chasing the second and the third. It was just about putting my foot down from there and putting the ball in the back of the net.
“It was never a case of instinct, it was about allowing what I’d practised so hard every day to come out. The third goal was almost slow-motion for me because I felt like I had so much time to pick a finish and claim a hat-trick.
“To win the game in that manner, by five goals to one, was incredible. We played some good football with fantastic movement and we were ruthless so I still remember it to this day. I remember celebrating one of the goals in front of the soldiers who had come along that afternoon to support us so that was an amazing moment for me.”
It was a fantastic, fiery afternoon at the City Ground that day, and Forest were at their very best under Davies that day.
All three of Earnshaw’s finishes were exquisite, especially the second goal, where he beat the offside trap from a set piece and chipped the keeper with such calmness.
He is one of the best strikers ever to pull on a Garibaldi shirt and he scored so many important goals for the Reds, especially in the big 5-2 win against Derby…
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