Strikers who move … don't you just love 'em…
For in a season when the lithe and clever running of Arturo Lupoli was deemed unsuitable to the Championship by the man who brought him over here, and when the signing of a certain Alan Gow was ditched in order for old 'Arry Redknapp to off-load the raw without-that-much-talent OJ onto our squad of lightweight loanees, it seems somehow ironic that the introduction of three quick (in mind and feet…) front men provided us long-suffering City supporters with the best attacking display of the season.
With Jamie Cureton's age now over-taking him, and with the hardy but always immobile Cort too battered to make the starting XI, so Gunny was forced to seek new ways to ensure that we have at least a chance of surviving the drop into that still gaping abyss.
And it worked.
Either by luck or judgement, we suddenly had options up front: Wes was able to lay the ball off quickly and so pass and move; opposing defenders had to come out of position; and chances were created in ways other than from a corner or a hopeful flick on.
Just thank the Lord Drinkell, too, that the management team had seen enough of Killen not to give him the nod …
So, who were these potential saviours?
The man of the match, with only Marshall running him close with at least three world-class saves (one of which must be up there with the very, very best), was Alan Gow.
Stan saw him make a brief cameo at QPR, and was impressed with his close control and willingness to chase down defenders.
Last night, however, he showed signs of footballing intelligence so evidently lacking amongst our boys of the post-2004 vintage.
He linked up well with Wes, created space for his fellow strikers, ran the channels, and consistently pulled his marker out wide to create openings in the middle. He played a blinder.
Alongside Gow was David Mooney. Now, his signing was greeted with incredulity by some City fans.
Stan, however, thought the fact that he was brought in on the back of a hat-trick, albeit for Reading reserves, indicated something very important: Mooney knows where the goal is.
Given that our strikers have been so shot-shy and goal-shy this season, this meant that Gunny had at least targeted a player with some kind of goal-to-game ratio. He had the potential to hit the back of the net.
And he did.
Like Gow, Mooney showed willing to run the channels, displayed a good touch, and proved able read the play.
He was unlucky not to score in the first-half, dragging a shot from a fine move just inches past the post. But he demonstrated just how perseverance can pay off in the second, capitalising on a moment of hesitation in the Cardiff defence to nip in grab a well-deserved debut goal.
Not surprisingly, he received a standing ovation when he left the pitch, to be replaced by…
If Mooney had a dream debut, then Cody had a Boy's Own comic book start to his City career.
To come on and score a cracker (and nearly grab a Huckerby-like goal in addition to this) was just one of those magic moments that occasionally light up our footballing world.
Not only did he spring the off-side trap in a way so unfamiliar to a club that probably has to pay contributions into the linesmen's dislocated shoulder fund each Saturday, but he showed both a confidence and a purpose that suggested we have uncovered one of those great things in life: a natural footballing talent.
The boy has an attitude and an eye for goal – he could well become a City legend. Stan hopes so in any case.
But will any of this help City avoid the drop? We shall see.
The performances of Gow, Mooney and MacDonald at least give us some semblance of hope. We may just have some fresh ingredients to throw into the mix; we may just have found a line-up that can turn possession into chances and chances into goals. Who knows?
For what it's worth, Stan thoroughly enjoyed last night – an that is something he has not been able to say for far too long.