A late penalty from Lewis Grabban broke Rotherham United’s stubborn resistance and gave Aitor Karanka’s Nottingham Forest seven points from the past three games. Steven the Camel witnessed something at the City Ground
Has anyone ever tried watching football through a funhouse mirror?
Intentionally distorting the visual spectacle to get at deeper truths. Truths about identity, culture, and how to make sense of all the chaos in front of you.
Innovative thinking such as this is often called for in games where teams sit 10 men behind the ball at all times. I couldn’t really blame Rotherham for their approach – they clearly understand the meaning of valuing the point, and if that means having everyone camped in their own half for almost the entire game then so be it. I applaud it.
Shots on goal in the first-half? You might as well ask to borrow 20 quid off Katie Hopkins.
So what actually happened in the first-half of note? Well, I did see a Kestrel fly by after about 20 minutes, its mouth full of what looked to be a small bird, or possibly a cat. Could have even been a small child — it’s difficult to tell when watching through the mirror.
Anyway, Forest — couple of changes from the Wednesday game with Watson and Cameron Dias coming in for Colback and Cash. I wasn’t averse to changing a winning side, as Dias looks the part to me and she was bloody brilliant in The Mask. That yellow dress resembles our third kit – the world is beginning to make sense to me. Remember the scene where the dog Milo accidently puts the mask on?! Hilarity prevailed.
I honestly can’t think of anything of note in the first-half. Rotherham fans sang about the miners’ strike and I had some half-time biscuits. Bourbons, not those cheap flaky ones you get from Co-op. Pretty standard stuff really. So let’s skip straight to the second-half.
A tad more urgency saw Cotton Eyed João Carvalho hit the outside of the post. That was more like it from Forest. Just that one move seemed to a wake the majority of the crowd up, and Forest began to slowly but surely up their intensity levels.
Pep was lucky not to be sent off for a second yellow, which almost immediately yielded a change from Karanka – pushing Benny into midfield and bringing on my boy Lollipop.
It’s at this point, however, that I want to mention our goalkeeper. Sprinting 15 yards to gobble up a long throw-in made me howl. I don’t know why, it just did. I was desperate for some sort of entertainment. Keeper comes and catches throw-in! Loved it. it was that kind of game.
Now was it just me or did we move to a back three with about 20 minutes to go? Made tactical sense I suppose, three marking none is just as risk averse as four marking none. Well, it seemed to work as, with four minutes to go, Benny got ‘assaulted’ in the box and the ref pointed to the spot.
A question to anyone reading this – so I’m talking to all three of you – can you remember a 90s wrestling character called The Repo Man? No? Google him. He used to repossess cars, houses and his opponent’s wrestling careers. Anyway, 20 years later he’s leading the line for Forest. Up he steps to cooly slot away his second goal in as many games. After the game Lewis Grabban came in the 1865 room for a post-match interview. He talked about going on a scoring run and the confidence the whole team is now playing with. I asked him whether he’d finally gotten over his defeat to Crush at Summerslam 92. He declined to comment. Such setbacks aren’t easy to get over, that much was obvious.
This was one of those games where you have to find a way to win, and Forest got over the line – just.
Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure it was a one of those tiny Singapura cats it had in its mouth. Many of these cats weigh less than 2kg, so anyone who thinks I’m lying – think again. They have a small muscular frame and are very agile, which means they are constantly getting into mischief.
I did see Graham (the kestrel) post-match. He told me they were just messing around cause the game was so boring.
No harm done then. All’s well that ends well.
I’m off to Katie Hopkins’ house to watch the box set of In Sickness and In Health – and to have a takeaway. Guess I’m paying.