The season ends with a whimper..

Nottingham Forest – 0
Crewe Alexandra – 0

Perhaps all too predictably, Forest ended their season-proper with a dull thud, rather than a bang.  A point against Crewe whilst Bristol City and Blackpool United won gives us a fourth place finish – certainly an improvement on last season’s seventh – but nonetheless, a disappointing one considering how much of the season we have spent in the automatic promotion spots.

But still, congratulations to Bristol City who celebrate automatic promotion, and deservedly so – they had a wobble over Easter but recovered, and we were never able to take advantage of it.  Also of course congratulations should go to Dario Gradi who ended his seemingly timeless career as a first team coach yesterday – it’s a shame he didn’t feel the need to spend a bit more time applauding the Crewe fans at the end, I would have liked to join in the applause for him.

So anyway, the game – I’m not going to write much, because frankly it was mostly rubbish!  Smith had the first save of the game to make – from Maynard.  Soon after this news started to filter through that Rotherham were already behind to Bristol City.  We did have chances, but it was clear it was in vain – that said, once again some complete bastard made half the Upper Bridgford believe that Rotherham had equalised. Whoever you are, you’re a fool!  Fortunately I was sat near a chap with a radio who I asked to confirm it, after the Carlisle nonsense a couple of weeks back.

I remember Prutton getting the ball from a corner with so much time and space it was hard to believe – and he skied it.  I sometimes use the official match report to jog my memory (particularly today, my alcohol-addled memory), it describes the shot as going ‘just over the crossbar’ – I’d had a few pints by this point, but it was quite considerably over the crossbar, thankyousoverymuch!

Ultimately, all I can really remember about the game was Alan Wright impressing me for his use of the ball, Paul Smith made two or three decent saves to save us the embarrassment of losing, Jones had Commons in his pocket until he was substituted, and then presumably Kris was frustrated as he didn’t really do much then either.  Dobie came on and hit the post.  Holt (Gary) came on, and passed forwards, to a Forest player (nobody else would have seen that!), and Bastians came on and looked eager.  Oh aye, we had a couple cleared off the line as well.

The inevitable attempted pitch-invasion happened by a few older chaps and some random chavs.  I like pitch invasions, I’ve participated in a fair few – although not for a while – but really only see the point when there’s something to celebrate.  I particularly enjoyed one loon dancing around infront of the A Block before turning around to see the slavering jaws of a snarling Alsation, at which point he raised his hands in ‘surrender’ and was duly arrested.  Silly people.  If we’d gone up automatically, fair do’s – but really with so much still to be done, there’s nowt to celebrate just yet.

The same logic fits for the lap of honour we were subjected to – this season isn’t a success until we’re promoted, and there’s a considerable chance we won’t be.  I did remain to massage the fragile ego’s of our players, and consoled myself that this was their opportunity to applaud the support they’ve had over what has been a disappointing season, as much as our chance to applaud them.  I hope to see a lap of honour at Wembley on 27th – and for all the right reasons!

And so, we finish fourth and face Yeovil Town in the playoffs over two legs.  Huish Park on Friday, and then back to the City Ground a week later.  Not at easy prospect – but of the three opponents available in the playoffs, they would be the ones I would pick.  We have beaten them twice, the first time at their place was fortunate to be sure, the game at our place was well deserved.

Whilst Oldham have had poor form, the 7-0 aggregate scoreline they already enjoy against us made me want to avoid them.  I don’t for a minute think, as some seem to, that we drew on purpose to affect who we play next, I think we were just a bit rubbish yesterday.  If I had to stick my neck out and make a prediction, I think we will limp past Yeovil, not easily, and reach Wembley where we will meet Blackpool.

That’s where my prediction ends!