Nottingham Forest fans seemingly spend a lot of their time reminding Leicester City fans that ‘we only hate Derby County’.
Try as they might, plenty of Forest fans don’t really view the Foxes as overly fierce rivals and it’s clear that they hate us far more than we do them.
Despite that, we’ve had some cracking battles over the years and during the Billy Davies era Forest against Leicester was a big game in context of our fortunes that particular year.
I confess that as a Forest fan I rooted for the East Midlands club in their quest to win the Premier League in 2015.
What a story! A team who came up from the Championship challenging for the title just two seasons after promotion is remarkable. The fact Wes Morgan was leading their charge to glory, probably added to my desire to see them win the trophy.
Their triumph for me sits up there with the greatest sporting shocks in history; although I don’t think it eclipses our back-to-back European Cup wins in the late seventies and early eighties.
Anyway, back to the games we’ve had with the club and one sticks in my mind in particular and it was on Good Friday of 2011.
I remember this game for all the wrong reasons really. It was the first Easter after my dear great grandmother has passed and being close to her, it proved an emotional day, given we’d typically spend the Easter holidays today.
The Sky cameras being in town meant that kick-off was pushed back to 5:30 and that allowed me enough time to remember absent loved ones on the morning and be in position in the Trent End in time for kick-off.
I remember speaking with my grandad prior to the game and he informed me that ‘Forest will beat Leicester today and I think the score will be 3-2’, he was completely convinced at such a scoreline.
‘No chance’, I told him. With both clubs challenging for a play-off place, I anticipated a cagey affair. How wrong could I be.
Had my grandad been a betting man, he’d have been rolling in it that afternoon as Forest, as predicted over lunch, beat Leicester 3-2.
The winning goal is the one I’ve chosen for this piece and it’s for sheer comedic value. Paul McKenna scoring it and goalkeeper Chris Weale wanting the ground to swallow him up.
Forest started on the front foot and took the lead through Marcus Tudgay who met a Lewis McGugan cross to head home.
The lead lasted just five minutes though with Matt Oakley, who seemingly loved scoring against us, restoring parity.
Robert Earnshaw typified his brilliance in the second half when he tucked home a rebound after Weale had saved a stinging McGugan effort.
This time, however, Forest’s lead was even shorter. Straight from the kick off, Leicester broke and Darius Vassell fired Leicester level with the City Ground crowd practically celebrating Earnie’s goal.
The Reds weren’t to be denied though and it was thanks to a superb stroke of misfortune that Forest ensured victory.
A Chris Cohen cross was headed clear but only as far as McKenna. He didn’t score many goals but, on this occasion, he decided to just chance his right foot and volleyed towards goal.
He connected all wrong and the ball just meandered towards Weale between the posts in an effort that would have proved meat and drink for most Sunday League keepers.
Not Weale though. He got his feet all wrong and, in the end, tried to stop the ball by diving on top of it.
As a result, the ball squirmed into the net right in front of the Leicester supporters and the roof came off the City Ground.
There’s something about a bit of fortune that football supporters love and it really is a special feeling when you get a rub of the green in a massive game in the context of a season.
Forest made the play-off by three points that season and that goal gave us the platform to finish the season strongly.
McKenna proved a really good player for the Reds during his two seasons at the club, epitomising what Davies’ teams were all about.
His goal against the Foxes is one Easter goal that I always think fondly of around this time of year.