The Stags reverted to 4-4-2 in this first step on the way to the First Round of the FA Cup. Chris Cashman made his return to the defence, Paul Armand started in midfield and Ugur Kardal was back in the striker role.
Ramblers tried to take the game to the Stags from the outset winning two corners in the first five minutes but even with that pressure it was evident that they would have a deal of trouble to beat the visiting defence.
Stages began to take control and started to use the wings much more effectively than in previous matches, with Solomon Henry causing problems down the right often being able to get a telling pass into Tariq Nabil or Marvin Walker who both found more space going forward.
The first shot to trouble either defence was by Nabil on 8 minutes but was blocked on the line. The game then settled down in midfield with the Stags having more possession and playing most of their game in Ramblers’ half of the field without getting past the home defence.
By halfway through the first half Forest were managing to get to the goal line much more and get crosses over to the attack. On one occasion, Kardal lost his defender on the left and swung a ball in for Dewayne Clarke who was clearly pushed in the back causing him to head over the bar.
It was on 28 minutes when Ramblers had their first real chance when Perry received a high ball in from midfield and was able to force Simon Tickner (who had another excellent game) to head off for the corner. The resulting cross was headed out by Ian Barnes but