Sunday, April 14, 2013

City 3 - 0 Forest: The fat lady is gargling and reaching for her mike.....

And so, we're almost there.If we hadn't conceded that goal against Barnsley four seconds from the end of added time last Tuesday we would be there. But we did, and that's history. But it doesn't matter now...

This was another huge game for the Bluebirds and us, their long suffering and very nervous fans. Forest, under the diminutive Billy Davies hadn't lost in 10, and were on their own charge of sorts into the play-offs. City simply had to beat them to re-assert their long time tag as Champions elect and put the disappointment from the match against the Tykes behind them.

I was very nervous about this game, and with both Hull in 2nd and Watford in 3rd rarely of late looking like losing, I think I had some reason to be.

A purported maximum crowd had turned up for this one including significant Forest support. I'm not going to report on the game in detail - there are lots of other people who blog and report on that sort of thing much better than me. I will though mention some key moments.

Heidar's opening goal was a beautifully cushioned header from an equally exquisite Bellamy cross that settled the nerves. Darius Henderson's slip when he stepped on the ball and Marshall's quick reaction to smother it was another - had that gone in with the game at 1-1 and 22 men on the pitch who knows where it could have gone? But it didn't, and shortly afterwards Henderson's dismissal for a flapping arm that caught Helguson had a huge effect on the game.

City at times have been shaky defending a 1-0 lead (cue recall to Barnsley on Tuesday where they sank deeper and deeper, Dave Jones like, until the inevitable happened), but this day they did what we expect of a side chasing promotion. They took the game to Forest. They made superb use of the extra space against the 10 men, and how. They dominated the 2nd period, and Rudy's introduction for Helguson at the break, whether tactical or because of injury, tuned into a brilliant decision, as the gangly youngster powered two headers past the Forest keeper in a spell where the CCS was rocking. How we didn't put a few more on the board is anyone's guess. Kim in particualr was outstanding, and is perhaps one of the best, if not the best midfield player in this division. This was City near their best. Yes, with a man advantage, but it was how they kept pressuring and how they kept control which was so impressive. They didn't really give Forest another sniff

The afternoon was made so much better by the news filtering through from London Road that Watford, the only team that could catch us apart from Hull being beaten 3-0 by lowly Peterborough. In the end that finished a nervy 3-2 to Posh, but that now means that Watford can only draw level on points with us providing they win their remaining 4 games and we lose all 4 of ours. Possible, but unlikely.

And so we move to next Tuesday and a home game against Charlton. A point or better for us, or anything but a Watford win away at Millwall, and promotion to the top flight is assured for the first time in 51 years.

Cardiff City in the Premiership? Yes please, I'll have some of that!


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