Posted: 14:08 GMT, Jan.. November 2020 | Updated: 14:36 GMT, Jan.. November 2020
Ameobi comes out at six feet four inches on the higher side. Roberts comes in with a more modest five feet nine. There are no excuses for Ameobi to lose a header in this match. None.
And yet he did it quite convincingly in his own box at halftime. Maybe his mind had wandered into the break. Maybe he underestimated Roberts. Maybe it was a complete absence of thought that did it.
Andre Ayew recycled an attack by hooking the ball back into the woods more hopefully than anything. Scott McKenna got under the header and spiraled it toward the back post.
Roberts huddled and then jumped up, far higher than the larger ameobi. It smelled of need, the clatter of determination – which it did.
Roberts fell in a heap and clutched his face as teammates ran to celebrate. His bravery would not be questioned.
Brice Samba in the forest gate stood motionless as the Welsh international planted his header in the farthest corner. Samba could avoid guilt, Ameobi couldn’t.
Cameras quickly panned to Forest boss Chris Hughton. His jaw tightened, his gum was trained thoroughly, and it didn’t take an expert to predict a few chosen words in Ameobi’s direction in the locker room.
Hughton took over from Sabri Lamouchi back in October and spoke about what he thinks could be his greatest management job.
The rangers Brice Samba (center) and Sammy Ameobi (right) argue with the referee together with Andre Ayew (left) from Swansea
Nottingham Forest: Christie, Figueiredo, McKenna, Ribeiro, Samba; Colback (Arter 36), Yates; Knockaert, Guerrero (Lolley 53), Ameobi (Swan 76); Taylor.
Swansea City: Woodman; Naughton, Bennett, Guehi; Roberts, Smith, Fulton, Grimes (C), Bidwell; Ayew, Lowe (Routledge 80).
His references speak for themselves. Both Newcastle and Brighton were promoted to the Premier League on his watch.
That’s what Forest wants, some of that magical dust that rubs off the city grounds. Since 1998/99 fans have not been treated with football in the Premier League. Patience is a little thin.
Forest came after two losses – both on the streets – and while disappointment with the government’s release of the coronavirus tier system has kept fans out here for a while, the City Ground is something of home comfort of late.
Swansea last won here in 2006, without a win on their last seven visits, and yet, as the fog rolled in from the River Trent, they played with a clarity that at least in their eyes suggested that result was never in doubt was pulled.
Steve Cooper’s squad is well trained – the best defense in the championship gives it away – but they’re also creative and determined, as Roberts has shown with the goal.
Here were two teams that were fighting for promotion last season. Forest missed the play-offs on the final day while Swansea lost to Brentford in the semi-finals.
Lyle Taylor of Nottingham Forest is challenged by Jay Fulton in the first half of the competition.
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Swansea City A. . F.. . C.. . , Nottingham Forest F. . C.. . , EFL Championship, André Ayew, Chris Hughton, Connor Roberts, Steve Cooper
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