DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!
For you youngsters, here's a grisly tale of rising hopes and broken dreams. Sleep well...
Championship (1st division) - 2002/3 - Paul Hart - 6th.
Semi-final first leg: Forest 1 Undead 1, second leg: Undead 4 Forest 3. Still hurts.
League 1 - 2006/7- Colin Colinwood - 4th.
Semi-final first leg: Yevoli 0 Forest 2, second leg: Forest 2 Yivelo 5. This was the tragic culmination of the Big Red Train season. It hurt so much we wrote a book about it. Some people didn't pay for their copy.
Championship - 2009/10 - Oor Billeh - 3rd.
Semi-final first leg: Blackpoo 2 Forest 1, second leg: Forest 3 Blackpoo 4. Absolute bloody chaos of a football match, thanks to Hologram's chancers. We've never forgiven the old fraud.
Championship - 2010/11 - Oor Billeh - 6th.
Semi-final first leg: Forest 0 Abertawe 0, second leg: Abertawe 3 Forest 1. Doesn't hurt as much as the others. Maybe we just got used to it...
FOREST'S FA CUP FINAL
We went to Old Trafford last night, and quite enjoyed watching the youngsters in their blood and custard kit do themselves proud against the odds.
Yes, against the odds. God knows who decided that the venue for the final should be Old Trafford. Why not a stadium they knew would be neutral, like, say, Wembley? As it was, Man Ure turned the whole evening into a Man Ure promotion, parading their past heroes and kit men and kids' teams and ball boys and God knows what else, as if their Forest opponents were just some awkward side note to their evening of self love.
And there was something wrong with the stadium. It was the first time I had been to Old Trafford, but Stress had told me how cramped it was, and he was right. It seemed to have been designed for short people by an architect who was striving for a badly made metal cake effect. Also, the Man Ure kit looked suspiciously like it had been retrieved from Saturday's washbasket. Also, the Man Ure supporters had no distinguishable chants or songs, but simply contributed to a uniform lowing noise like an enormous herd of cloned cattle.
What else? Ah yes, the football. Well, Forest were the equal of their hosts for most of the game. Man Ure's first goal came from a twice taken free kick, after the ref decided that their first effort, a quickly taken punt into our goalkeeper's arms, wasn't good enough. Then Forest equalised by the clever expedient of shooting straight at their goalie until he missed one. Man Ure's second came from a mistakenly awarded penalty, after a sustained period of Forest pressure, and in their attempt to save the match, Forest over-committed and allowed some tricky little sod to break for Man Ure's third.
It must be repeated that the Forest youngsters had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. They matched their opponents, even bettered them at times, played some lovely football, and they could be proud of their efforts. We would also ask the question of the Man Ure coaches as to why they would teach 18 year olds to dive, feign injury, foul cynically, time waste, and generally behave like the bunch of arrogant brats they obviously and embarrassingly were. Perhaps it's a club thing. I think the Forest club thing, the down-to-earth, humble, dignified stuff, is a better bet in the long run.
Well done lads. We're proud of you.