After a muted start, the Stags found their way to an emphatic win over Aveley to record their first double of the season. Late team changes saw Bail Mass Lette Jallow come in for Alan Cox, Simon Tickner replaced Dave Bastian, who’d been injured refereeing a school match and Wesley Thomas started on the bench.
Aveley were faster out of the blocks and had their first try on goal after only two minutes, they then went on to frustrate the home side for a good twenty minutes, however, the early signs were that Jermain Hughes had the beating of defenders on both sides so the Forest midfield and defence began to find him with their out balls.
Aveley’s attitude to the game was certainly positive and they began to pressure the Stags in their own half.
As the game settled, it was Forest who really should have gone ahead after 22 mins when, using both wings, the ball was sent to Richard Georgiou on the right, he cut in and sent over a pinpoint cross which Leon Belton McKenzie rose to but headed over.
Then Aveley’s Simon Thomas had a golden opportunity to score when left unmarked momentarily in the box: he hurried his shot and sent the ball wildly over the crossbar.
The complexion of the game changed on 36 minutes when Jallow latched on to a loose ball 35 yards out from the Aveley goal. His grasscutter of a shot found the back of the net low to the left of ‘keeper Stuart Crumpen.
Up until that moment, the game had become very “bitty” with lots of off sides and free kicks but the goal was the signal for the Stags to start work. Within two minutes they were two ahead when Richard Georgiou scored from the most impossible of angles after cutting at the right of the Aveley goal.
Aveley were not going to lay down and pulled a goal back on 40 minutes when a combination of Simon Thomas and Steve Jones caught the Stags napping and Thomas slotted home from close range.
This could have spelt a revival for Aveley but instead they allowed two ex Aveley men, McKenzie and Hughes to combine to for McKenzie to score on 45 minutes from Hughes’ cross. This was an important goal as Aveley felt themselves back in the game at only one goal down.
Forest’s fourth goal was scored in a somewhat debateable manner. Jallow was through in the centre of the field and was taken down just outside the penalty area. To all intents and purposes, as in Carlos Brown’s cast last week, the defender was the last man and Jallow was on a scoring chance. The referee did not see things in the same way and awarded only a free kick. Poetic justice was levied when Darren Duporte made sure of all the points by slamming home the free kick from 30 yards, through Aveley’s crumbling wall.
Paul Armand came on as sub and lashed the ball home from the edge of the area for number five and, after 88 minutes Marc Ward got number six heading in from a corner with the Aveley defence reeling. Thomas scored a late consolation for Aveley from a free kick on 89 mins but by then the game was over.