Nottingham Forest beat Hull City 2-1 at the KC Stadium — Billy Davies’ side’s sixth win in a row — as they cemented a place in the play-off positions. ‘Steven the camel’ offers a fan’s eye view from the KC Stadium.
To put the seal on a pre-match pub discussion – Nicky Eaden was, without doubt, the worst player I’ve ever seen play for Forest. His attempts at sprinting used to have me in hysterics. Every time he approached the halfway line, a thick fog would seem to descend, thus seemingly impairing his vision and forcing him to turn around.
Now, before I state the obvious link with Mr Cyclops himself, there’s a pressing need to discuss Egyptians, dead comedians and undersized pies.
I had visited the KC once before. Our tactic on that day was to try and bore Hull City into submission. Looking at the team sheet at 2.15pm there was no way history would repeat itself. Not a chance in Hull. (Sorry, that was God awful pun. Even for a hungover camel)
Another attacking line-up, backed up by a strong-looking bench. We had come here to take the three points, no doubt about it.
So what of Hull? Well, their support had clearly embraced their plethora of Egyptian imports, with many sporting red fezzes. Either that or they are all huge Tommy Cooper fans. It’s probably a bit of both if truth be known. That got me thinking again – has any modern comedy made its way into the depths of Hull yet? I suspected not – and if the pre-match pub was anything to go by, neither has paint, light bulbs, 20th-century music or washing powder.
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And whilst I’m on a mini-rant – let’s talk about pies. Now I’m all for a healthy selection of pre-match snacks and canapés, but where pies are concerned it’s size that most definitely matters. Imagine my horror as I queued up for 15 minutes in the concourse, having not had any breakfast, and I’m presented with a ridiculous choice of hot dogs, sausage rolls, burgers, chips, crisps, wine gums, fish… I just want a pie!
Meat and potato. In a box? Who puts a pie in a box?
So anyway, I open the box and stare in horror – the pie is the size of a two pence piece! And there’s no meat or potato to speak ill of. Talk about false advertising. I’ve never felt as robbed since we spent actual real money on Matt Derbyshire.
Ridiculous. I’m angry. We have to beat these fez-wearing, one-eyed charlatans – if only for the sake of my sanity.
So the game starts and I’m still hungry. We soak up 20 minutes of pressure and begin to look dangerous ourselves. I’m stood on the back row which is handy. I’ve lost count of the amount of times some miserable woman behind me has mumbled ‘why do I always get the seat behind the tall lad with the spiky hair’. Tough. Suck it up woman.
Anyway, the first-half draws to a close and would you know it… old one-eye himself pops up with a nice little finish over Darlow. Cue the inevitable glasses celebrations in front of the travelling masses. Not to worry, camels have long memories. The next time Boyd visits the City Ground I shall personally replace his eye drops with sulphuric acid. That will teach him.
So the second-half starts and it’s end to end stuff. A lovely move down the left culminates in Coxy hitting the bar… but who’s there to tap home the rebound? None other than ‘The Defendant’ himself – Darius Henderson. Calm and composed finished, hardly befitting someone of his size and stature.
Now there’s 30 minutes to go. We are 1-1 away at the team standing second in the league. Do we stick or twist?
As I’m pondering what I would do if I was in Billy’s shoes – other than stop talking in the third person and inviting a certain BBC reporter into my home – I glanced around the stadium in search of fezzes. I couldn’t see any, but I did see Steve Bruce pacing up and down his technical box. I’d forgotten he was the manager here. How many clubs has he managed? I mean seriously. He’s probably Michael Appleton’s mentor. He a nomad. A transient. Roaming from club to club.
There’s just something about Steve Bruce I don’t like, other than his loyalty issues. And his face.
Anyway, 25 minutes to go. Many would have settled for the point, but not Billy. Not now.
He chucks on Sharp, McGugan and Dex in an attempt to nick the three points. Such decisions can make or break a promotion push, but one thing you cannot doubt was that this was a clear sign of intent from everyone’s favourite Glaswegian.
In true Tommy Cooper-style, all three substitutes magically combined to fashion out our winner – McGugan firing in from close range. Cue apocalyptic celebrations behind the goal.
The remaining 10-15 minutes was remarkable. Clearances off the line, open goals being missed – we were holding on for dear life. But hold on we did!
A massive three points. Make no mistake about that. The exuberant celebrations of the travelling 3,300, Billy, and the players at the final whistle said it all.
After my heart had returned to normal, I reflected on what had been a bizarre, yet exhilarating day.
Could we cement our play-off place in the coming weeks? Is automatic even out of the question? Does anyone actually believe that I am a camel called Steven? Will I ever be asked to write a fan’s eye view again after this appalling effort? How will the town of Hull react when they find out Tommy Cooper is dead? All of these questions will no doubt be answered in the coming weeks. As for now I’m off for some beans on toast. Adios.
You can follow Steven on Twitter: @CityGroundCamel
Image courtesy of nuttakit/FreeDigitalPhotos.net