A 2-1 win over League Two’s York City saw another experimental Nottingham Forest side tick off the penultimate pre-season game, as the opening match against Blackpool approaches. Steven the Camel offers a fan’s eye view from Bootham Crescent…


On 5th November 1605 a York man, Guy Fawkes, was discovered about to ignite 36 barrels of gunpowder underneath the Houses of Parliament. His aim was to spark a Catholic revolution.

Some 409 years later, the camel entered York with equally explosive consequences.

In what turned out to be the proverbial ‘game of four quarters’, Forest embarked upon the latest leg of their pre-season campaign. With the help of his faithful assistant Wiggles, Stuart Pearce plotted and conspired to bring about York’s downfall.

Ok, enough of the rubbish Guy Fawkes references. Let’s talk about important matters. Sweets.

Prior to the game, I was handed a bag of cough candy twists. Purchased from York’s official old school sweet shop, these CCT’s were of high quality. Tangy on the tongue, filling, yet leaving the sucker wanting more. I devoured the whole bag in the first half.

Oh right, football…

Forest’s official Twitter account managed to tweet the wrong team not once, but three times. That, to be honest, was the highlight of what was a garbage first 45 minutes.

Mackie missed his usual one-on-one. Leigertwood looked like he’d never kicked a football in his life. Seriously, if he’s not good enough for Reading then he’s certainly not good enough for us. Evtimov made a couple of smart saves – let’s hope they re-apply for his Wrexham loan move, some first-team action will do him the world of good. Everyone else was bang average at best.

I spent half-time glaring upon the ‘executive seating’. This consisted of two people – one of which looked like she’d escaped from the local psychiatric ward – waving her arms constantly in distressed bird-like fashion. I contemplated walking over there, or at least popping up to the Main Stand where McGovern and Fawaz were seated, but I was quickly reprehended. I’m not sure John’s talking to me anymore since I locked myself in his toilet.

Talking of toilets, I was also informed that the ladies one at the back of the stand had no lock. Nice try officer. I’m not falling for that one again…

OK, onto the second-half.

Numerous changes saw an upturn in performance levels and excitement. Mackie and Cox cancelled out a nicely worked York opener. Young Walker did his finest impression of his dad and missed from two yards, but he looked lively. Much more like it from Forest.

I love it when we play like that. In fact, I call it the three P’s – ‘Purpose, Power and something else’. I haven’t thought of the third P yet.

Anyway, York has 365 pubs. I had two hours after the game. Now I’m good, but I’m no Andy Reid. I need to plan these away trips better. I feel my standards are slipping as I get older. Maybe I should take a leaf out of my mate Dave the Owl’s book. He will often have one shot of whisky for every shot on goal we have in the game. Sometimes he has up to three whiskies in an evening. Madness.

Well, in summary, I was quietly satisfied with the performance. The one thing that worries me – other than climate change – is our defence. We don’t really have one. It’s made up of old timers, trialists and loanees. The sooner Cohen, The Stove (Hobbs), and Kelvin get back, the better.

Passing! That can be the third P.

Right, I should be off. These Persian rugs don’t wash themselves. See you all when the real action starts. I hope Pearce starts with an experimental 2-3-5 formation – with Greg Halford playing a deep-line utility role behind the front man. That’s what I’d do.



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