Wed 29th May and Forest away in the League Cups current guise.  Banks of the Trent, on a lovely night for football so what could possibly go wrong!

Great turnout from the Mags of around 2500 for a midweek cup tie in a competition where we’ve generally failed to impress. No doubt boosted by the odd holiday maker and also the very decent pricing. £1 for the bairns, so what better way to show them what life has in store for them eh.

The expected changes rung by Rafa, though the side still looked capable on paper.  Ki and Longstaff in the middle, a fairly experienced back 4, 2 wingers in Kenedy and Atsu with Mutu playing off Joselu.  I was looking forward to seeing the Japanese lad to see what he had to offer.

So, expectations generally high and the fans seemingly up for it.

Front row seat near the corner flag so bring it on.

Cue meltdown.

2 minutes in, their lad given the freedom of the right flank by Kenedy and Murphy afforded similar freedom in the box. Back post header, 1-0.  I got the feeling Clark didn’t know whether he was left back of CH so played neither.  We had reasonable spells of possession but never threatened to score, whereas Forest had numerous chances that all came and went without adding to their single goal.  Our 2 wingers both looked abysmal where we just didn’t have the Ki (sorry) to unlock the centre of the pitch.

The second half went pretty much the same. Little of note from us, counter attacks and misses from the hosts.  Rafa shuffled the pack, bringing on Perez, Rondon and Murphy. All 3 looking far more interested than those who’d started.  Too little too late though as the clocked ticked out.

However, in true NUFC fashion there was still massive drama to come.  6 minutes added time and a buzz in the now quiet away end.  2 of those minutes pass and Rondon bursts the net. Delirium in the away contingent whilst some attempted to reenact the ’74 pitch invasion. Idiots.

So it’s looking like penalties.

Forest had other ideas. More space down their left and they were in to make it 2-1. we couldn’t even hold out for penalties.  Their fans in the upper Bridgeford deciding to throw missiles in to the away end to celebrate. Scabs like their forefathers.

More drama. Deep cross to Perez, he gets himself to the ball just ahead of their keeper who proceeds to flatten the Newcastle striker. Amazingly, no penalty.  They break up field, Kenedy gifts them an opportunity and it’s 3-1.Goodnight.

Champions of Europe they sang. Premier league we sang. On this evidence they have more chance of their former glories than we have of staying in the EPL.  They allowed kids to design the match programme. We looked as though we’d allowed kids to play the game for us.

Mutu looked a poor mans Perez. Really disappointed in him as I was looking forward to him offering us something different.

One can only hope that Lee Charnley managed to squeeze the date in to his diary last night to see the fruits of his puppet masters “investment”

Steve Wallwork

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