cEnough eulogy has been passed on the execution of that magnificent volley as the ball dropped from the stratosphere. Add a fine finish from Josh and then cue Wesley for a truly magnificent controlled belter from distance to catch Stephen Henderson off his line and the NCFC cruise control was fully deployed.
I’m right behind the Barclay goal so had the best possible view. Believe me, the Howson strike was something very special.
The unfortunate injury to Henderson and subsequent delay following the third goal took the sting out of it there and then. Our urgency had gone, but at 3-0 up, even after just 18 minutes, it really was game over. Forest were shell-shocked.
Alex Pritchard, who obviously can play successfully with Wes, got a well-deserved second-half brace. No blaming sub keeper Jordan Smith from me: if you don’t shoot you don’t score. Pritchard did – and he did. Twice.
Now I’m sure we all noticed that while we scored five, our striker didn’t feature on the scoresheet but let’s put this firmly into perspective. Nelson Oliviera worked his butt off, linked play superbly when he could and looked every inch the five million pound striker. We also had one Cameron Jerome on the bench.
Most interestingly, Forest featured three strikers we have been heavily linked with.
I have to start with the portly one who apparently couldn’t get across his own portals for training a while back.
Ross McCormack. He costs Villa £12million, comes off second best in a situation or two with Steve Bruce and is loaned to Forest, for whom he comes on around the hour mark looking like he’s eaten all the pies. The Lower Barclay reminded him… “You’re too fat to climb the gates”.
Actually he made a decent burst for his goal, neatly bisecting Timm Klose and Ryan Bennett in the process. He then gave us the Ssssh! How sweet that our Alex buried a fifth to send that gesture back to where it belonged.
The phrase “dodged a bullet” is overworked but never sounder than in this case. Well over 30, he made Gary Hooper look like the Thin White Duke. Half of Fleet Street had him coming here. I am grateful he didn’t.
Britt Assombolonga? A big old unit and hopefully recovered from an awful injury, he didn’t really get a look-in and seemed a bit surly in the second half. It’s hard to judge him in that collective performance admittedly, but he didn’t seem any better than what we’ve got.
And then there was Zac Clough. I only really remember a couple of nice touches from the boy from Bolton, not much else.
So, to all those who were clamouring for a striker in January I reiterate. No need. I am much happier with Nelson and CJ than anything Forest had to offer on Saturday.
I am assuming Mitchell Dijks was taken off as a precaution to ensure his fitness for Newcastle. Ivo Pinto looked a bit more worrying. Why Alex Neil delayed taking him off for so long after the initial twist I do not know. We’d won the game and were cruising.
Rumblings coming out of Carrow Road indicate he should be okay for Tuesday. I hope so. He’s hard to replace is our Ivo Pinto.
There’s a good quote from Alex Pritchard floating around the media just now: “If we don’t turn up, we’ll get turned over”.
Valentine’s or not, there won’t be much love lost on the pitch. And I’m sure we’ll turn up – we’re playing well and we owe the Geordies. Big Time!
One of our regular posters last week referred to a Canary Caller saying Jez Moxey left because Delia wouldn’t let him put up the price of pies as “one of the less-informed listeners” or something along those lines.
Well, if what I was told by a reliable sauce (sorry, source) on Saturday is true, that person might not be so far wrong after all.
Scurrilous rumour has it that a while ago the Moxey suggested that Auntie open up the equivalent of Yellows in either Riverside, the city proper or both. In order to increase revenue, and not just on match days.
The response from Auntie was allegedly frosty. The football club is supposed to have said he was trying to modernise it, an idea that did not appeal to Auntie in any respect. Modernisation? Good Lord No! We can’t have that.
And thus the working relationship continued to crumble (ouch!) – allegedly.