All things come to those who wait. Technically and mathematically we are still waiting to be coronated as EFL Championship trophy winners but not for very much longer now, I feel.
I’m not sad enough to deny Watford their right to join us in the Premier League. They had more than a few dodgy moments against a typically stubborn Millwall outfit but got the win they needed. Their celebrations were very much akin to our own with a very popular manager joining in with everybody, including a seemingly crazed chairman.
It reminded me of events post-Bournemouth exactly a week ago. Almost a carbon copy, except that our yellow shirts have more style than their jungle camo ones [more on sartorial elegance later].
Regarding the QPR match itself, our players had obviously had a jolt from the Daniel Farke electrodes and produced a workmanlike performance, including a superb turnover goal from Emi Buendia from a perfect Kenny McLean cross and a wonderful volleyed finish at the far post from Max Aarons, once more from a cross courtesy of the Mayor.
Earlier Xavi Quintilla scored what might yet prove to be his only goal in English football with a speculative effort that Rangers’ keeper Seny Dieng misjudged and by the time it had slid through him it was too late for his frantic scoop away from behind the goal line. Glad to see that referee Linington’s *watch* was working. He did a good job in a very entertaining and never over-niggly game, did Mr Linington.
But did we have it all our own way? No, we most certainly did not, and QPR more than had their moments, most significantly when Grant Hanley clumsily brought down Joe Willock in the box. It looked like Hanley was anticipating a move forward from Willock that didn’t happen and a penalty was the only option.
Lyndon Dykes versus Tim Krul. There was only one winner in that contest of course as Krul’s trailing legs kept out the straight down the middle effort and Krul recovered to catch the rebound.
After Max’s master-finish dictated this was to be the first match in which both City full-backs had scored in something like 20 years it wasn’t that long until it was squeaky bum time.
Quintilla went completely missing in action and a decent cross led to a flick from Charlie Austin and there was Dykes all alone at the far post for the easiest finish he’ll ever enjoy.
However Emi’s third calmed any nerves and we saw out the game quite comfortably after that. Service normal, job done.
Nerve-toll rating? 6/10.
And so it’s the Royals of Reading up next at the Carra. They blew their last-remaining hopes of reaching the play-offs in yesterday’s early kick-off by drawing 2-2 with a fast faltering Swansea City. How much fight will the Biscuitmen put up against us at the weekend? Very little I would imagine and I foresee City taking another three points against a team in blue and white hoops.
MFW’s Samuel Seaman spoke of a new kit announcement early yesterday morning and I was in a state of mild suspense until I got the official NCFC email later on.
As for the *excusive fans focused kit* I’m in two minds about it. At my age, sporting the yellow one might be a bit too much mutton dressed as lamb for my liking, so for me, it’s got to be the black goalkeeper one as modelled by our resident penalty specialist, aka Timothy Michael Krul.
But whatever the colour of the shirt, I always feel the NCFC badge should be the traditional yellow and green one so I have a cunning plan involving buying said shirt tomorrow morning, visiting a charity shop to buy a beaten-up old Xara shirt for a couple of quid, surgically removing the badge and getting Mrs P to employ subtle stitching to transform the shirt with my choice of badge.
It will be ready in time for Reading on Saturday.
And so will we. The time for waiting ends at approximately 1657 on Saturday, May 1.