When we were younger, I bet most of us went to the playground and enjoyed swings, roundabouts and what could become a big, scary seesaw if we overloaded it with three of us at each end – which we often did. Until the park keeper (we had them then) came along, kicked us off said seesaw and threatened to tell our parents of our bad behaviour.
He never carried out his threat – kids could have innocent fun back in the day. One of park keeper Jonesy’s boys used to be part of our little gang anyway so he could hardly complain to himself.
Saturday’s game took me back over fifty years by bringing back recollections of the seesaw. We pegged it back, thought we’d won it, then thought we’d lost it until we actually did win it.
Other commentators elsewhere have compared Timmu Pukki’s 97th-minute winner to Simeon Jackson’s last-gasp clincher against Derby (not then Frank Lampard’s Derby County™). I wouldn’t go that far but I get the feeling behind the sentiment.
If I were a Millwall fan, which I’m ostensibly not, I would be gutted. No other word for it.
But let’s not get too sympathetic towards the oppo. We were by far the better side throughout the ninety and thoroughly deserved the win that sends us “Top of the League”. Two chronic defensive cock-ups put the Lions 3-2 up with less than ten to go. Squeaky bum? Oh sure.
Tim Krul’s hurried bowl out was a “disaster, darling” and for once in his short but so far very successful career, Jamal Lewis was bullied into heading in the wrong direction by the once of this parish Steve Morison.
Millwall’s big lad Tom Elliott caused us problems throughout the game and why Neil Harris took him off I simply don’t know.
But how about that for character, resolve and belief?
Yes, there was a slight aroma of offside surrounding Jordan Rhodes’ strike that brought it back to 3-3. Being behind the Barclay goal as I am it is often hard to call. TV highlights were inconclusive. Mind you we in the Barclay thought Elliott’s opener was off as well – until Quest proved it wasn’t.
This could be the pivotal result of our season.
My “unsung hero” was Marco Steipermann who put in so much effort – not to say that any of the others didn’t. The exchanges between Max Aarons and Emi Buendia were exquisite at times. And as for Mario Vrancic’s thread-through for Pukki at the death, that really was OMG material.
There’s an extremely miserable older chap who never speaks to anybody and sits two seats along from me. On the Barclay stairs on the way out of the ground we were hugging each other like besties. I feel so sorry for the folks who left before the final whistle, they will never know what they missed.
Finally what an immaculate observation of the two-minute silence from Millwall and NCFC together. As I am sure happened across the nation at every single match at the weekend.
It brought back memories of my Dad, Len, who joined the Royal Engineers in 1942. At 16. He was on D-day plus two and as he had no fear he served as a Bren-gun carrier driver. He lost four gunners but never himself. He always said he was the luckiest man in WWII. Especially as the half-track never snapped on him.
Well done to all for showing such respect.
This should be an international break we can all enjoy – looking from the top to see who is on the bottom. Come back safe and fit for duty everybody!