RAMBLE: Forest 1-2 Wednesday

RAMBLE: Forest 1-2 Wednesday

It felt like ages since we’d had a proper away and we always seem to have a good time in Nottingham, so James and I were looking forward to a good day out as we headed to the station.

I was also increasingly hungry as we’d planned breakfast in Nottingham when we got there.

Tom had arrived at the station at the same time and we headed to the platform that was already full of groups of Wednesday fans.

The train pulled in and only had two carriages, so it was clearly going to be a tight squeeze!

Thankfully we had booked seats but some lads had taken up the seats and I feared we’d have a fight to get them back. I approached, fearfully:

Me: “Sorry, lads, these are our seats.”

**awaits trouble**

The lads: “Oh yeah, it says Sheffield-Nottingham. Lets go.”

Oh, that was quite easy.

 

PRE-MATCH

 

The train remained very busy but thankfully we approached Nottingham without delay, which was good because I was now very very hungry.

I’d already plotted the route to the café for breakfast but for some reason the pointer on Google Maps had decided to point in the wrong direction.

This was confusing at the best of times but when hungry, it became very challenging.

Could Wednesday make it four wins from four?

It randomly took us through a pedestrian tunnel but didn’t say which turning to take and we ended up in the same place.

Eventually I got my bearings and we found the place where there was one spare table, which we quickly grabbed and ordered three breakfasts.

As we waited we started discussing what the team might be and James said how he’d had a dream that Abdi was going to start.

Tom went further and would drop Bannan, where James would rest Hutch.

Dropping Bannan would be very harsh and playing with Abdi and Bannan in the middle would be too lightweight, in my opinion.

Having said that, I think he’ll come good eventually.

The wait seemed to go on forever, which was either slow service or just my rumbling stomach making me inpatient.

In the mean time I found a good looking pub that was on the way to The Trip to Jerusalem (the Cave Pub to us) , where we’d been the last two adventures to Forest (both wins, lucky pub?).

Finally the food arrived and my hunger was sorted.

Time for beer! First all we had to find this other place so it was back to Google Maps, which wasn’t really needed as it was basically a straight line.

Time to rest certain players?

The place is called the Malt Cross and is in some old music hall venue and was really unique.

We also approved of the fact it’s a community owned  pub, where all the profits go to charitable causes. .

The beer was so good and the conversation was flowing again, with excellent looking  food being served around us, including the most impressive bowl of onion rings that I’ve ever seen. Tom was so excited that he split his pint over the floor and James’ shoes! His round next then.

As nice as this place was, it was time to hit The Cave Pub. Given my luck with Google Maps, James got directions off a local, who apparently call it “The Trip”.

It was clearly busy but a table in front of the bar suddenly became free so Tom and I went straight for it.

Soon enough we were joined by Mark, Jordan and Jordan’s dad. We’ve met Jordan’s dad on a number of away days and talked football and whatever else but we’ve managed to always to avoid his name. So we made proper introductions for the first time. Apparently his name is actually Craig!

Then team news confirmed James’ premonition that Abdi would start, but in a 4-5-1 with Hutch, Bannan and Abdi in the middle, with Reach and Fessi supporting Rhodes up front. Time flies when drinking and before long it was time to head to the City Ground in Mark’s car.

 

THE MATCH

 

We started well, the team looked balanced and looked threatening.

I’d also forgotten that Jamie bloody Ward had signed for them. He ALWAYS seems to score against us. There was a great atmosphere in the away end.

For some reason, the smaller the allocation, the better the atmosphere. The empty seats in the home end was also reason to question just an allocation.

Abdi: back in the side

Forest were coming back into it and Ward nearly cursed us again with a shot from distance but thankfully hit the bar.

And they were looking a better team than some of their results would suggest and the recruitment in January has clearly strengthened their team.

Ross McCormack was proving hard to handle and was shaping their attacks.

Then McCormack played Brereton though on goal. Shit.

Westwood sprinted towards him but missed the ball and took the player. SHIT.

Penalty.

Westwood was down for a long time. Thankfully, he was just playing for time and wasn’t injured and thankfully the referee deemed that he made a genuine attempt to play the ball and was only booked.

This was the right decision. He was rash and stupid but he there was a clear attempt at the ball – it was just a bad one.

We prepared for the net to bulge and the home end to erupt.

How would we cope from behind? Surely we’d need an equaliser before half time to have a chance at three points?

McCormack stepped up but Westwood went the right way and saved! AMAZING!

Big save

We cleared and suddenly had a free kick half way through our half.

The ball was launched forward and the ball seemed to go from head to head around their box and then it fell to Abdi and the ball flew into the net!

GET IN THERE!!!!!!!!!!

PANDEMONIUM.

We were falling over seats. It was a sensational goal.

Now, surely we can just seen the lead out to half time and half way to three points? But we kept attacking.

The 70 seconds between the save and the goal looked to have deflated a struggling side. Fessi had good looking shot that just went wide and we hoped for a game killing second.

It was also James’ turn to get half time beer so he went down only to find another away game where there’s no half time beer.

I swear there’s been more away games without half time beer than with.

With the small allocation, it’s like they don’t want revenue?

As half time approached with four minutes added on due to the penalty incident, the ball broke through for Fessi after a great ball from Hunt and it looked set for 2-0 but their keeper made a good save. We were sure that would kill it.

 

HALF TIME – Forest 0-1 Wednesday

 

One boring half time (it feels so slow when you don’t have a beer) and we were underway again.

We started to dominate again and a good attacking run by Reach forced a corner, which was a bit long but found its way to Fessi with his back to goal.

He seemed to hold the ball for an age and somehow hit the ball over his shoulder and into the net!!!!!!!!

TOTAL AND UTTER CHAOS ENSUED!!!

Yessssssssssss

Surely this was game over.

They looked completely beaten and we had total control of the game. Maybe this could be the mauling that we’ve been waiting to hand out?

At the very least, we should have kept a clean sheet and Sasso made a huge error in not seeing a ball out for a goal kick and Westwood again sprinted to the player but this just created an open goal and they scored.

This was a really stupid moment that could have cost us.

Forest huffed and puffed but we just looked to consolidate and get the three points, with results elsewhere going our way.

What’s also apparent from our  January recruitment is how much stronger our bench is.

It wasn’t very long ago that Nuhiu would have been coming on to see things out but now it’s Fletcher and Wallace.

Mad celebrations

Winnall was introduced and showed how well he can keep the ball, showing that there’s a lot more to his game than just goals.

From here the win was a forgone conclusion, although it didn’t feel like that and we saw the game out to take the three points and go seven points clear of 7th.

By the time we’d clapped the players off, the home end was dead and we went in search of celebratory beer. We decide to head back to where Mark was parked and hope we can get into a local pub.

Although Mark offered a lift back into the city centre but we didn’t want to sit in traffic when we could be drinking.

After we’d got lost down a dead end (my fault this time not Google’s) we found the main road and a pub. We said farewell to Mark and headed for a pub.

 

PUB number one

BOUNCER: Can I see your tickets, lads?

US: Err, we lost it.

BOUNCER: You Wednesday?

US: No, Forest.

BOUNCER: Where are you from?

US: Nottingham.

BOUNCER: Where in Nottingham.

US: errrr

BOUNCER: You’re not coming In.

 

We tried another. This time I said that I’d say we’re from Sandiacre (a village on the Derby-Nottingham border where my boyfriend is from).
PUB number two

SCARY BOUNCER: IDs please lads

Me: Oh sure, starts to go for my passport (aware that it says born in Sheffield on it)

SCARY BOUNCER: You’re away fans aren’t you. You can’t drink round here.

Ok, maybe sitting in traffic isn’t as bad as no beer at all. Thankfully Mark hadn’t left yet so we got the lift to the city centre, where before long we found beer.

The night ensued, first in a Castle Rock pub that we saw from the car and then a great pub called the Canal House, which goes across the canal and has a great selection of beer.

Four wins in four

I went to the toilet after about a pint and we were joined by some Carling drinking Wednesdayites who were claiming that we were lucky  not to have a man sent off.

This ignores the fact the referee following the law and not what he thinks the law should be. It was good refereeing.

Eventually it was a time for the train back and a day’s drinking was taking its toll.

As we sat down I was anti-social and needed to switch off so just put music on and closed my eyes.

By the time I came back to reality we’d been joined by a group of very drunk Irish Wednesday fans that James was talking to.

And suddenly we were arguing about where the English Champions League places should go.

It was heated but not OTT, which given the collective alcohol levels was impressive.

We got back to Sheffield and Tom vanished but James and I decided on one more in Tap, where we saw Michael who was not at the game but out with friends and their dog, so we joined them.

One more pint, turned into about three or four more.

Although Michael’s friends ridiculously got thrown out of having their dog with them (despite having a dog friendly policy).

Before long we were having really passionate arguments about coffee and tea. The important issues! Taxi and bed was needed.

This is now four wins in a row and the only game we’ve lost this year was Brighton defeat that was nearly so different. Teams who go on runs like this don’t play the best football in all those games.

They battle and get three points.

Today’s performance was good and importantly we won.

A win on Tuesday night and we’re 10 (ten) points clear of seventh!

OWLS ALIVE circliar yeller SPACE

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JP
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: admin@owlsalive.com
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive and @jpowls

Images: SWFC


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