Watching all those Bradford City and Middlesbrough fans party like it’s 1999 provokes pangs of jealousy. When it comes to the FA Cup, it seems to be the way of the Forest fan these days to be pressed up against a glass window like one of those slow walking zombies from George Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’, gawping impassively as those inside rock on mercilessly, scoffing up all the best crisps, twiglets and other such sophisticated nibbles while busting a move to 'Sabotage’.
Watching Patrick Bamford scuff Boro’s opening goal in at Manchester City in front of the packed away end took me back to that freezing cold January afternoon when that was us. Like most, I didn’t really expect much and saw it as an opportunity to tick off a new ground, especially with John Pemberton taking the reins while keeping the seat warm for a certain Billy Davies.
…and then Nathan Tyson beautifully arched the ball into the net…
Looking back at the team line-ups, City put out a decent team, and I’m assuming that the ‘Clayton’ on the bench warming his feet on that specially designed heating strip was the craft-loving, cereal-eating, bearded-wonder Adam Clayton who played a pivotal role in Boro’s victory.
Images of that day come back to me like rushes from a film set or small frozen tableaus: City parading new signing Wayne Bridge prior to kick-off, Matt Thornhill scuffing a shot that fell kindly at Robert Earnshaw’s feet for the second goal, Richard Dunne marauding forward in the second half as City got desperate, fitness trainer Julian Darby fist pumping right in front of us as Joe Garner crashed in the third goal after making Dietmar Hamann look like a bit of a wally but most of all, Chris Cohen leaving Pablo Zabaleta eating grass (42 seconds in). Simply glorious.
Us Forest fans never need an excuse to look back on the good times and this morning seems like as good a time as any. So sit back and enjoy:
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Dunne, Ball, Elano, Fernandes (Hamann 60), Kompany, Wright-Phillips (Vassell 24), Caicedo (Jo 70), Sturridge.
Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Garrido, Clayton, Berti.
Nottm Forest: Smith, Morgan, Breckin, Perch (Wilson 17), Chambers, Anderson, McGugan, Cohen, Thornhill, Tyson (Davies 81), Earnshaw (Garner 73).
Subs Not Used: Richardson, Byrne, Heath, Reid.
Goals: Tyson 38, Earnshaw 42, Garner 75.
Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).