Automatic for the people..

Nottingham Forest – 3
Yeovil Town – 2

Cheltenham Town – 2
Doncaster Rovers – 1

How can I start to sum up today?  Particularly since I’m not staying long, I’m off to the pub for a well-earned pint or several.  

Firstly, my heartiest congratulations to Cheltenham Town who secured survival in League One as well as giving us the opportunity to nick second spot.  I’m genuinely thrilled for them, I reckon they rank officially as my second team now!  Commiserations to Doncaster and Carlisle who have been worthy challengers over the course of the season – we as Forest fans know what it’s like to have something nicked from you at the last minute, so I’d hope that you won’t find too much gloating around the place.

It was great to see so many Yeovil fans stick around to join our celebrations too, every encounter I’ve had with fans of the Glovers has been positive (even if the games haven’t been), so it was nice to see them entering into the spirit of the day and cheering along with us once the game was over, hats off to you – and to the team too, who contested the game as we started to come a bit unstuck in the second half.  It was a tense afternoon!

I will endeavour to pull a better match report out the bag tomorrow, because frankly I’m itching to get down the pub – but the final congratulations must go to Smoulds and the boys for maintaining their great end of season run, sure, it wasn’t always pretty – but they held their nerve and now can rightly celebrate avoiding the playoffs and have a well earned rest in preparation for next season.  It’s not been a classic season, but boy I’ve never felt like that at the City Ground in many a year.

The goals are about all I can think to sum up, the first was of course scored by fans player of the season, Julian Bennett (congratulations, Jules) – and frankly, whilst I poo-poo people generally when people compare him to Psycho, but this particular goal and build-up was worthy of the great man himself.  Bennett flattened Marvin Williams with a hard-but-fair challenge, before having the ball laid back to him by Tyson, which he proceeded to blast into the ‘net with the outside of his left foot.

Commons provided the second goal just five minutes later, the hard-working Ormerod picking him out perfectly with a weighted through-ball that put him clear of the defence and into a one-on-one chance with Steve Mildenhall, who was unable to prevent Commo slipping it through his legs and into the waiting goal.  At this point some bugger started a rumour that Cheltenham were winning, I seem to remember this happening last season too, and whoever it is, it’s really not funny!

Yeovil showed they had no intention of being pushed over, nicking a quick goal back as Peters made a great run through a half-asleep looking Forest defence; McGugan put in a challenge but it fell kindly for Stewart who played it back to Peters who gave Paul Smith no chance at all with a decent finish from close range.  Shortly after this news that Cheltenham really had scored filtered through, unleashing an elated roar from the Forest fans.

Shortly after this we regained our comfort zone, Cohen was fouled just outside the penalty area – I jokingly commented at the time we should let McGugan take it as Commons would spanner it into the wall, well fortunately McGugan did take it – and curled a beautiful and powerful strike into the top right hand corner giving Steve Mildenhall no hope in hell of keeping it out.  After this Forest piled on the pressure – Morgan was unlucky from two consecutive corners and Commons was putting in some fantastic crosses from the left (take note – that’s where he should play!!).

There was an arguable shout for a penalty when Wes was hauled to the deck by a couple of Yeovil defenders, and finally Yeovil showed they weren’t out of it when Williams was sent clear by Stewart who conspired to completely miss the target from around the penalty spot much to the relief of the home support who were convinced it was going to peg us back again.  And that was half time, realistically it could have been about 4 or 5 goals to Yeovils 1 (or 2, had Williams done better).

The other reassuring thing was that we were playing some nice one-touch football at times, in neat little triangles – putting in crosses and creating chances; it was with disbelief Forest fans contemplated the second half.  Cheltenham winning, Forest winning by a comfortableish margin and playing really well aside from a couple of defensive lapses – it all seemed a bit too perfect, a bit too alien to a group of fans so used to being the ones photographed crying at the end of the season.

The second half started as the first had ended, Forest dominated possession but seemed to struggle to have the cutting edge they’d found in the first half – and this let the visitors come back into the game.  Perch put in a fantastic block (having earlier made another superb tackle – his performance today is worthy of highlighting), but picked up a knock in the process – prompting Smoulds to throw Junior Agogo into the action – and odd move, considering their relative positions.

Agogo’s first action was to tee up a chance for Tyson, the pass was a very poor one but credit to Tyson who used his pace to get hold of it and around Mildenhall, but the shot from a tight angle was cleared from the line by Skiverton.  Seemingly all at the same time Doncaster equalised and then Yeovil scored again from a quickly taken corner – again the Forest defence was caught napping leaving Andy Kirk with the easy opportunity to head in from close range.  Of course, as results stood we were still in second, but it certainly set a few sphincters twitching.

From listening to the radio summary it transpires Doncaster were to throw the kitchen sink at Cheltenham – they even hit the post at one point, but at the time the first we knew of it was that Cheltenham had once again taken the lead.  The atmosphere, which had been excellent in the first half and more subdued in the second, lifted again – with the majority of the fans standing and singing (thank heavens for some reasonable stewarding today!) and it seemed to have an impact on the Reds players – particularly Tyson who characteristically worked his arse off.

Breckin replaced the injured Chambers, and immediately started to marshall the lads which was probably needed – Wilson switched to rightback, which didn’t fill me with comfort – but Yeovil had started to either tire or ease off.  Brett Ormerod was withdrawn for Arron Davies and received a deserved ovation as he left the field, as news filtered through to us that the Cheltenham game had finished with the home side winning.  It still felt tense awaiting the three minutes of stoppage time, but when that whistle went the ground literally erupted.

There was the inevitable pitch invasion, which can be frustrating when you’re in the upper tier, but after attempting to prevent it, the police and stewards gave up and allowed the pitch to fill with dancing Forest fans, who caught hold of numerous players including Junior Agogo and Chris Cohen.  After it had died down and everyone was off the team re-emerged for a deserved lap of honour, taking applause from all the Forest fans as well as the numerous Yeovil fans who had remained to take in the celebrations.

After attempting a hand-holding length-of-the-pitch run and Klinsmann-type dive, the excitement got the better of the fans again who encroached and almost collided with the players; but what a day, the like of which it seems so long since we’ve witnessed!  I found myself almost numb and disbelieving after the dancing and the singing had died down, I don’t think it’s going to sink in properly until some time in the middle of next week.  So I’ll write it down.  We finished second, we’re definitely promoted to the Championship, we don’t have to play in the playoffs, and we’re playing Derby next year!

My mission statement when I started this blog last season was that I hoped to be able to diarise the start of some kind of recovery for Forest; it’s come a year later than I’d hoped – but bloody hell it felt good despite the wait!  A huge well done to all the Forest coaching staff and players alike, you’ve really pulled this out the bag and we’re all so thrilled you probably wouldn’t believe it – even after the scenes you witnessed today.  I still can’t quite believe it’s real, but I’m going to go and sink a few pints now which will surely help confirm it!

This did actually turn into as comprehensive match report as I ever manage to garble together for you, so I probably won’t do another one – but I’m sure I’ll have more to say tomorrow once the hangover fades.  Thanks for those of you who’ve stuck with me this season through all my moodswings, and for Vassilis in particular, mate I’m going to try to take a leaf out of your optimistic book – because you were right all along, fella!


27 Responses

  1. Just got back from the match, I’ve no voice left and a splitting headache but my god what a day!!
    I’m babysitting my 3 boys this evening (luckily I managed to find them earlier, they had made it into the Trent End penalty area!), so our celebrations shall consist of a takeaway pizza, fizzy pop for them and a few cans of something stronger for myself.

    Enjoy your session tonight nffc!

    What a day!

  2. Well, not so sick this time……I also have a headache, no voice and a mood to lift anyone. Good game, and like any good movie, tension, a plot and a happy ending. Very good to hear Nigel D on the radio and his plans and support for next year. All I need now is for the Foxes to go down tomorrow and its been a perfect weekend.

    Keep up the blog, looking forward to reading them next season and during the build up.

  3. Awesome result. I couldn’t make it back up to Nottingham to watch today, listening to that atmosphere on the radio was bloody torture, I wanted to be there! I’m already getting excited about next season and have a good feeling that the summer transfer window might be a little busier than we’ve been used to in recent years.

    Well done you Reds!

  4. Awesome, absolutely blummin’ awesome.

  5. ahhhhhhhhhh what a day! get in there!

  6. MAGNIFICENT FOREST ! Well done and I’m happy to admit to being wrong and negative about their chances a few weeks ago.
    Nothing negative today – just happy !

    Final thank-you to nffc, this site has always been the first I’d look at and you’ve done a great job in sustaining us this season.

    Derby ~ hahahahahahaha !!

  7. Can you believe that this was the first time I have seen the Reds win this season?!?!

    Thanks for the blogging nffc, even when I disagree with you it is a pleasure to read your considered thoughts. I am off to write a piece on our blog now, and review my photos from today.


  8. Again me and the boys were there – what a display, what a result, what a promotion ! Well done to management & team – I too am off to the pub – sod the wife – she doesnt understand ! A question – why dont we play like this all the time – Yeovil were good but we were better, next season we will have to do it all the time otherwise…… I heard Nigel Doughty on the Radio – good for you mate – confirmed Forest will invest for next season and was spot on about finding it difficult to lure players to Div 3 ! He can now get off his B list and move to the A list to recruit…… I cant wait……… Here we come shaggers – be afraid – very afraid – we are going to shear you, dip you and turn you into a coat……. happy days…… you reds…… reds !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. See, I told you Cheltenham wouldn’t beat Doncaster!

    What a fantastic day! I haven’t seen such an ecstatic display from Reds fans since Ol’ Big Head’s last home game.

    Well done all at Forest! Smoulds – you’ve delivered, but PLEASE play the players in their right positions next year – I can’t stand it any longer. Well done the players, too. You all deserve a holiday.

  10. My dad and i couldnt make it to the game we stay in edinburgh life long forest fans my old man was with forest as a teenage player.UNBELIAVABLE IT ALL TURNED ROUND AT CARLISLE its time to get behind our beloved forest and turn up the volume.

    Well done nffc on all your good reporting THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWM.


  11. was at the game today upper brian clough so couldnt make it onto the pitch what a game though thought they played brilliant in the first half and 3 great goals still quite cant believe were in the championship bring on the derby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! U REDSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Well done to everyone here !!! we have shared bad times and a few good moments,but now we can all say it was worth it. Ah well I can’t get real ale here so it will have to be cubra libres. See if you want to make a few quid in the summer.It works,its easy and you don’t have to sell any thing.Lets get a Forest group together all making money so we can go to all the away games next year!!!!See You Soon !!! Alan

  13. I am still in a state of nirvana, you are right nffc, it’s probably gonna sink in in the next couple of days. Guess what fellas: Tomorrow I’m going to the fiesta of my Greek team Olympiakos for the capture of the 11th championship title in 12 years, proudly wearing a FOREST shirt! I’m almost disappointed I must wear red because of similar colours and cannot therefore wear my lucky-charm old 90s yellow splashed shirt which I have been wearing all the time from Tranmere onwards, and, of course, has won us the last four games! ABSOLUTE GENUINE MAGIC!

    My friend nffc, sometimes it’s so sweet to be optimistic and to believe in the power of the sentiment. Right from the start of this season, when we were something like 18th in the table and seemed unable to record our first win, I told myself that it just couldn’t be, Forest wouldn’t spend any more time in this crappy 5,000-attendance division. I don’t know what will become of Calderwood, I have already said I’m not the greatest fan of his (yet!), but hell, he is still learning his trade and in just five seasons of management he has achieved three play-off appearances and two promotions! I still believe he has got to be given a chance next season, I am sure he has learned from his mistakes (Agogo for Perch? who would have imagined?) and he was all business from top to bottom in crunch time, not risking players he felt he could need for the play-offs (like Clingan today or Agogo, Wilson, Bennett and Tyson before), and despite all criticism he never stopped believing we could achieve automatic and pass it on to his squad. He is probably feeling now as vindicated as myself. I think that Doughty will keep him. On his post-match comments he described him as a young man with potential, so good luck Colin, have a good and deserved rest and get back to the drawing board as soon as possible, because a big challenge is awaiting you.

    With regards now to our chairman: Whilst Mark Arthur was well carried away by a “poetic” (in CC’s words) and absolutely Clough-ish last-gasp promotion, did not try to hide his joy and even made some humour about how happy he was to scrap his plans for play-off preparations, ND was veeeeery serious and I will remember what he said for a long time: “When I took over, I wanted two things, to put the ‘Nottingham’ again beside the ‘Forest’ and to bring the club back to the Premiership where it belongs. So I’m letting everyone else celebrate now; me, I will keep on working until we achieve the second objective, and then I will celebrate too”. Mr Chairman, thanks from the bottom of my heart for remaining focused to the goal of everyone connected with and committed to Forest, to bring back the glory days. Reading behind your lines, the team will be strengthened during the summer, and that’s what I wanted to hear. I don’t want to just shear the sheep, I don’t want to just stay in the Championship, and no, Sick as a Tree, I don’t want the Foxes to go down, not after their move to let us score in the League Cup game to restore our advantage (here here, my sentimental self speaking again). All I want is Forest to excel, period. And hopefully history will repeat itself (promotion and winning the league in our first season) and bring the 1977-78 season back to the minds of all of us who have been so lucky to witness it.

    So I’m extending my best wishes to all Trickies all over the world, and I am already planning a trip to the City Ground in August, to stand again on the Trent End and watch my Reds full of pride. Wearing the yellow shirt, of course, which will always be associated to this day for me, and will from now on become something like my second skin.

    I swear to you all that my heart was pounding at 200 per while waiting for the final whistle to blow, and that I spent the next five minutes crying. But now, after some drinks, I feel already better, even though it has made me too “talkative” and I have taken over too much space and maybe I got you a little tired. Please forgive me. I love you all and wish you the best of summers.

    And a last one, the loudest of ’em all: UUUUUUUUUUUUUU REEEEEEEEEEEEEDS!

  14. I watched the game through gamecast on soccernet as i live in half way around the world (Malaysia). And I swear i heard you guys roar from here….

    It has been a nutty few years having to weather the stupid comments of fans from current premier sides asking “Where you guys in the league again?” So lets get back there asap.

    My heartiest thanks to all of you who went to the City Ground, I was there with you in all red spirit.

    YOU REDS!!!

  15. Me and my lad’s first year with a season ticket.

    Football doesnt get any better than today. Magic. Absolute heaven.

    If NFFC are smart they will release the season tickets for sale immediately – they will get lots of takers.

    The summer will be important – we need a 20 a season goalscorer to go with our “meanest in the football league” defence.

    But that is for another day. For now just savour the roar of a positive and packed city ground, and 3 exquisite finishes.


  16. Speechless, cryin` with joy & relief! You beautiful Reds, absolutely fabulous beautiful Reds! No more Johnston Paint matches they were cheering amongst others! UUUUUUUUUUUUUU REEEEEEDDDDDDDDSSSSSSSSSSS!!

  17. Now I got a proper k/b in front of me I can right more!! (Pls don’t ask!!) You beloved beautiful amazing reds, I still don’t believe it!! You done it, snatched promotion from nowhere & @ the same time scupper my plans again to come to see you & saving me money I was willing to spend! I spoke to my cousins who were @ the match, the noise after the game outside the ground was making me cry, I was @ work goig crazy & some people might wonder y I was acting like that!!! Do I csre, not 1 min. I’ve been wearing my Forest top, not a red one but a blue Pinnacle one with the badge in the middle.

    I was following the scores over the net (when I shouldn’t have!!) but I had to. None of the radios I tried to get the station were good enough to do it!! My mobile phone did a better job!!! When I heard over 5live going to Chel vs Donny game after saying the Forest latest score & inj time, the 1st thing he said was Forest have to worry no more…. Enough said I think, txtd my cousins in Notts & 1 said it wasn’t over yet – I said it was as Donny was FT & lost.

    We won, results went our way in the crunch matches & we r back in the Championship. Well done Forest. Well done, I am so ecstatic & still am crying when I read all these comments from here & other sites too. BBC 606 has non Forest fans congratulating us – a big txs to all those & the rest who will be doing it. As for a few fans who think they’l do the double over us & send us down – think again.

    Vassilis, keep up the positive work. You had the most positive thoughts than all of us.

    NFFC – txs for this pg, after EP made a mess of their site, we fans needed somewhere to speak out. I found this site by searching & newsnow & keep coming back. Don’t let it die now we’re back n the Championship.

    Commons – if you read this, or someone close to you does, go to CC’s or ND’s door & sign that new contract ASAP. Txs 4 sticking with us the last 2 seasons when u could have easily gone to any higher div. club. Now, u can play Chmpship ftbl next season where you & we all want. With Forest.

    I singled out Commons because, well we all know y but all these players should be given rewards for the season.

    I don’t want Leicster or Coventry to fall today. I believe there must be @ least 10 clubs in & around the Midlands in the Championship so we may well just as w ell call iit the Midland Championship!!! -))) lol.

    It’s late, I am ecstatic & still can’t believe we’re going up.

    We’re going up, we’re going up, we’re going, Forest are going up.

    Forest, I’ll follow u through the fire, through the snow, through the sky until the day we reach the promised land. Then, we wait for the days 2 c if we can repeat what BC did all those years ago…

    Goodnight all Forest fans, we sleep in the knowladge of PROMOTION!!!!


  18. I still can’t quite believe that the Division Three nightmare is over at last. Instead of Hartlepool, Cheltenham, Yeovil etc, we’ll be up againsst the likes of Derby, Sheff Utd, Sheff Wed, Wolves, Coventry, Ipswich, Norwich, Birmingham. It just feels so good to type out those teams.

    Congratulations to Nigel Doughty for sticking to his principles. I am beginning to think that I was wrong to criticse his continued backing of Colin Calderwood. Congratulations to him too, the staff and of course the players.

    Algis Kuliukas

  19. A fantastic end to a very stressful season! I live in Malaysia and supporting Forest has not been easy but through thick and thin, times like these makes it all worth it. I don’t really care about spending a season or 2 being in the Championship cause we do have a relatively young squad, I hope this is a start of better thngs to come. Well done! This is a great site btw 😉

  20. I’ve been a bit of a bit of a lurker here for a while now, but what a day. Couldn’t get tot the match (I was there on the last day of Championship football in 2005) but listened on the radio while I busied myself with jobs to pass the time.
    You don’t get many good days with your football team, especially Forest in the past five years, this is SO special.

    “When we get promoted, this is what we sing, WE ARE FOREST”

  21. Just to echo some of the comments above please keep up the work on the blog nffc. For those of us not able to make it to the city ground each week it’s a brilliant detailed and fair fan’s assessment of how the Reds are doing and I know personally I couldn’t do without it! Thanks mate!

  22. Feels so good. Can’t wait for derby games. So good to be back to a decent standard. Great fun yesterday, well worth the trip.

  23. Thank you Colin Calderwood for finally delivering success to the City Ground after so many years of downfall. I’m sorry I doubted CC when things looked bleak at certain stages, because on the last day he’s achieved what he needed to and we can now look forward to championship football with a bright young squad packed full of notts born players.

    Yesterday was such a special atmosphere and I’ve never experienced anything like it. I think that it was the combination of a complete lack of faith from the fans that the dream could be turned into reality because of the misfortune we’ve repeatedly suffered in recent years, and the complete desperation to finally claw our way out of this league. Also, it was great to have four ends of the ground packed with our fans – an incredible day.

    Contratualtions to Nigel Doughty (and his team) too and I hope that the promising interview he gave after the match about him wanting to regain and retain our premiership status is something we can look back at in a few years as a prophecy that has come true. Lets really get behind everybody at the club now for next season and lets take the world on together! No more negativity (from me included!)

    Finally, congratulations to all those fans that have trawled all over the country following Forest or remained glued to their laptops and radios, its finally happened, I just hope and hope and hope that this is just the beginning of the good times finally rolling again!!!

    U REDS!!!!!!!

  24. I’ve just got back from a rugby tournament with my son, obviously I was wearing the Garibaldi. Almost everyone who spoke to me (lots came over to me because of the shirt) congratulated the Reds and wished us luck. It was very emotional.
    Much as it was yesterday as we left the ground and the Yeovil fans stood in a line and applauded us out of the ground and through the car park. Absolutely mint. I am a grown man, father of 3. And I dont mind admitting I was choked and teary-eyed by their show of sportsmanship.
    I keep thinking back to the game yesterday and re-living the emotion. The noise as the Cheltenham goal went in was awesome, but to spend the last 10minutes of the game standing up and chanting as the realisation dawned on us all, and it sinking in that actually yes, we WERE going up. Not play-offs, automatic. Keep the ball lads, thats right boys, in the corner, come on ref, blow. Blow for crying out loud, I’ve lost my voice, we’re going up, come on…..YEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!

    Its been a pleasure talking to all you guys throughout the season.

    Keep blogging nffc, you’re posts are invaluble to us fans living outside nottingham. And I hope your head isnt pounding too much!

  25. “Lets really get behind everybody at the club now for next season and lets take the world on together! No more negativity (from me included!)”

    I think this is a big change we need to make as fans. Since we left the premiership we’ve been way to negative and too quick to get on the player’s and manager’s back. The positivity the fans showed yesterday obviously helped and we need to see more of it, even of the radio you can tell just how good an atmosphere it was! 🙂

  26. Completely agree Anti. Saturday was just a magnificent occasion. The last ten minutes were something truly special with the whole ground on their feet singing, chanting and clapping. I think the players were a little overawed tbh. The European game vs Bayern (when we lost 5-1) was the last time I remember an atmosphere remotely like that.

    Funny how we got our best performance of the season when the whole crowd got behind the team, coming back from 1-0 down with 10 men against Huddersfield.

  27. […] So I need to mark the promotion of the lower division English team I’ve adopted, Nottingham Forest.  Here’s the good folks at Through the Seasons Before Us celebrating Forest’s return to th…: […]

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