May 2, 2016 by notjustpumpkinbread
That large, predominantly white inflatable ball pretty much summed up our season, don’t you think?
We’d come to the City Ground for one last huzzah, brought along something inflatable – just in case the stuff on the pitch didn’t captivate us for a whole 90 minutes – and someone from the club took our fun away.
Look, I’m not here to slag anybody off. The endemic pervasion of Health and Safety into everyday life is sucking the very marrow from our bones; so the confiscation of a large inflatable object was the act of someone “only doing their job.“
I get that. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I get it. Of course, having a couple of stewards down at the front of the Lower Bridgford, batting the damn thing back, would have been much better. Something so insignificant as that would say to the fans,
“We know you’re only having some fun, just try to keep it off the pitch, eh? Thanks.“
And what would that do? It would bring us just that little bit closer to the club. Something the current regime seem to be trying so hard not to do. It’s the little things.
Like making a big thing about a 25% discount on shirts in the shop, which still means you have to pay £33.75 for a shirt we know full well will be changed in the summer. And for those Season Ticket holders that get a 10% discount in the shop anyway? Well, the small print on the screens in the shop told us any further discounts were not available. Cheers for that.
It’s not rocket science is it?
Am I missing something?
Well, apart from what went on in the game of course. I hadn’t forgotten about that. Here goes:
There were bits in between, obviously. And bits before and after. I’m really not trying to be flippant.
My personal highlights included Dorus winning Player of the Season and well deserved the award is too.
Another was the quizzical looks on our faces when Danny Fox won the Community Player of the Year award. “Eh?” Further post-match investigation – which means looking on his Twitter account – showed me he has/ had done a great deal of fundraising for cystic fibrosis through the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Well done Mr Fox. Don’t try looking for any information about it on the Official Forest website though, there isn’t any, which is highly disappointing. There’s stuff about Dorus, but nothing about Danny Fox winning an award.
He’d be my April player of the month by the way. He’s been, consistently, our best player since his return to the side in the centre of defence. If we were able to sign Jokic and have two very good left backs in the squad, Fox could be utilised as a centre half and would be ahead of Kelvin Wilson in the pecking order. In fact, I think Wilson’s contract is up in the summer anyway and I wouldn’t be renewing it.
Oh and his beard has been and always shall be magnificent! I make zero apologies for that!
What else? Oh, yes, the actual game.
An unchanged side from the one that played so well at Craven Cottage filled us with a sense of hope and (slight) expectation. But Fulham weren’t really very good to be honest – they did get beaten heavily by Brentford as well, so that gave us a bit of perspective. 0-0 at half time was fair. We looked comfortable, while Wolves’ performance was perfunctory at best. Young Benny was covering most of the field as usual (as well as losing the ball occasionally) and Fox was doing what he has done for the last few games – looking like the best centre half on the pitch. No joke!
It wasn’t until Wolves went ahead on 58 minutes that we decided to change things up a bit, with the introduction of Oliver Burke into the fray at the expense of Chris Cohen. That was a shame, though, because the dashing Mr Cohen was looking better than Robert Tesche in every sense of the word. Anyway, that was done and after the young whipper-snapper took his first speedy run at the Wolves left back, I suspect said left back asked for a change of underwear.
And that’s what Oliver brings to the party. Raw pace and uncertainty in the opposition defence. He’d won 3 corners in the space of 5 minutes and it was definitely game-on. We were awarded a free kick in an invitingly central area – about 5 yards outside the box – with Messrs. Lansbury and Gardner in attendance. The disappearing white stuff was applied, the wall retreated a cursory 10 yards and BANG Gardner hit it and buried it. He wasn’t mucking about. Neither was the Wolves shot-stopper, who decided that that part of his job description didn’t apply at that particular moment and just put on his lead boots to watch it sail past him. Perhaps he didn’t fancy diving onto the pristine playing surface. Who knows?
We had a 6 or 7 minutes period after we scored when Wolves looked there for the taking, but as has been so familiar this season, it wasn’t to be. Britt came on to replace Dex and played a further 25 minutes on his road back to full fitness. He looked like he’d lost a yard or two of pace, but that’s to be expected really, at this stage of his rehabilitation. I’d have preferred to see Tesche go off and Dex stay on to have two up top, but there you go. Would I give Tesche a new contract? Probably not. Gary Rowett was in the comfy seats behind me. Perhaps he was eyeing him up with a view to signing him in the summer.
So, the final whistle blew, we didn’t lose and the players stayed on the pitch looking at each other, wondering what to do next. The red and white tape was out, so I’m sure they were safe. The dashing Chris was looking like he wanted someone from the coaching staff to tell them what to do, but in fairness that only lasted for about 10 seconds before he took things into his own hands and indicated to the lads to follow him around the pitch. Which they did. Even departing loaness Lord Nelson of Oliviera and Ryan Mendes were there, as too was the walking-without-crutches-and-smiling Dani Pinillos. We clapped, they clapped, it was all very mutual.
And that was that. The City Ground will see no further first team Garibaldi action until 6th August 2016. We’ve just got the final game of the season at MK Dons to go, which I shall be going to. Hopefully we’ll get a nice send off and a performance similar to the one at Craven Cottage. Here’s hoping.
COME ON YOU REDS!!!