The Stags met their second “bogey” side in two matches but this time did not fare as well as against Tilbury the preceding Saturday.
Forest, once again playing three across the back set out their new attacking formation right from the start but were pegged back within five minutes by Uxbridge’s Jermain Beckford who sprung the home side’s off side trap to cut in from the right wing and loop the ball over Gavin King’s head into the open net.
Forest went onto the attack and could have scored six or seven times before the end of the first half. Within 30 seconds of the goal Marvin Walker had an excellent shot saved by the imposing Ray Francis in the Uxbridge goal. Then Dewayne Clarke met an excellent right wing cross only to see his header just miss the right side upright.
Clarke changed sides and both he and Bastian managed to either win corners or get crosses in but the far post ball was always just that inch beyond the reach of Simon Tickner who joined the attack for set pieces.
Unhappily, throughout the first half, the home forwards wasted the many chances created by the excellent midfield play of Marvin Walker and Tariq Nabil.
Forest were in the position of being able to kill off the game but, instead, the gaps left behind the defence allowed Uxbridge the odd chance. On one occasion after 40 minutes, Beckford managed to break through, again on the right, draw King out of his goal and cross the ball for the experienced Mick Swaysland to thump the ball skywards from all of six yards when it would have been easier to score.
Uxbridge changed their system in the second half and pushed Forest back onto the half way line for long periods during which they could have increased the lead on a number of occasions had forward Mick Swaysland not hoofed the ball over the bar every time it came to him.
Forest’s greatest problem during this period was having enough guile to break through the offside trap but they had little to offer when Beckford again proved the undoing of the home defence when he cut in from the right wing on 55 minutes to slot home a simple goal whilst the defence was rather open.
Uxbridge kept the pressure on for the next twenty minutes but it was Forest who ended more strongly after pulling back a goal with ten minutes to go. Some excellent attacking down the left ended with David Bastian’s shot being sived by the right hand post then Francis’ quick reaction save the second shot from Clarke. However, he could not hold onto the ball and Sosthene was quickest to react to slam the ball home from ten yards.
Ten minutes of attack from the Stags ended without adding further to the score.
Once again, Manager Hakan Hayrettin was left fuming over missed chance and vowing to get a talented striker before too many days are over.