Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Fleetwood Town 0 Nottingham Forest 1
Saturday night is spent troughing through a half price Chinese banquet from Marks & Spencer. It’s accompanied by half a bottle of Red and a Gold Medal for Mo Farah. Sticky junior crashes through the front door at 2.30am. It sounds like he’s been on the sauce.
I’d spotted that Nottingham Forest had been drawn away at newly-promoted Fleetwood Town in the Capital One Cup a few weeks back. Sticky junior is NFFC crazy and immediately gives me the green light. I’m trying to do ‘the 92’ and this will prove to be a handy tick-off. JK drove to Wycombe Wanderers last year in the same competition; it’s my turn to return the compliment.
I drive to the pet shop. Finley needs some sawdust and that idiot budgie (Murphy) wants a few treats. Murphy is squawking and flapping about the lounge. He starts dive-bombing. I wonder what is wrong with my feathered friend. He’s normally pretty chipper during the Jeremy Vine Show. Hang on a minute, this doesn’t sound like Jeremy. Poor Murphy is having to suffer Vanessa Feltz, who is standing in. I may have to book him an appointment with a budgie psychologist.
I pick JK up from his mansion in Tollerton at 3pm. His eldest lad, Josh, has missed the team bus, as he’s working in Scotland. His little brother, Lewis, snaps up his ticket. Sticky junior’s mate, ‘Sizzers’ is on board, but without a ticket.
The radio is bloody awful – Capital FM, Signal FM & Rock FM only seem to have six records in their collection. If I hear Ollie Murs one more time I swear the ‘Rolls Royce’ will career off the Thelwall Viaduct. We hit the town of Fleetwood at 5.30pm, passing the Fisherman’s Friend factory, heading towards the docks, where I’ve pencilled in a visit to ‘Richardson’s Fish Bar.’
Syd Little, one half of ‘comedy duo’ (?) Little & Large lives in the town, as does professional darts player Wes Newton. The actress Kelsey-Beth Crossley, who plays ‘Scarlett Nicholls’ in Emmerdale, was born in Fleetwood. The seaside town has often popped up during filming in the TV programmes: GBH, All Quiet on the Preston Front and Mrs P’s favourite, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates (yawn).
We all tuck into a hearty tea with a friendly service. Cod, chips, mushy peas, bread and butter and a pot of piping hot tea does not come cheap. JK very kindly settles the bill. We beat a hasty treat as Ollie Murs reappears on Rock FM. ‘The Auctioneer’ and ‘The Reaper’ have landed in Manchester where they are on a job. I arrange to meet them in ‘Jim’s Bar’ which is situated just outside the Highbury Stadium.
Forest are warming-up at our end, as we stroll past the toilets and onto the terrace. Fleetwood were originally found in 1908 but have reformed twice under different names. They are owned by Business Energy Solutions MD, Andy Pilley. Their record signing was ex Stocksbridge Steels striker Jamie Vardy, who they shelled out £150,000 from F.C. Halifax Town. Vardy recently left the Cod Army, joining Leicester City for over £1,000,000.
Frank Swift, the former Manchester City goalkeeper, used to play in the nets for Fleetwood. He later became a journalist for the News of the World. He was among the dead in the Munich Air Disaster in 1958.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is carrying out a shooting drill. It has to be said that he doesn’t look the most jovial of men. He throws a ball to the right foot of Republic of Ireland international Andy Reid. The Irishman scuffs his shot over the bar. He turns to remonstrate with the Dutchman.
Forest fans begin to file into the ‘Away End.’Supporters’ coaches have dropped into the seaside resort of Blackpool. There are an array of inflatables being tossed into the air and onto the pitch. The Fleetwood mascot, ‘Captain Cod’ is treated to a chorus of “get a proper job.”
The first half is dull and uninspiring. A Danny Collins hoofed clearance scatters a pair of dozing seagulls perched high on the roof of the old club offices.
The away following mock Cod Army forward Jon Parkin: “Get your tits out for the lads.” The boy can play though. He bulldozes his way through the NFFC rearguard. Brendan Moloney is easily brushed aside and is sent sprawling to the ground. Fortunately for NFFC Parkin has no composure or confidence in front of goal.
Forest begin to find some width and success, with Reid becoming more effective on the greasy surface caused by the deteriorating weather conditions. McGugan takes hold of the game by the scruff of the neck, he fizzes a shot just wide of the post and sees a Blackstock effort bounce back off the bar from his left wing cross.
The goal finally arrives on the hour. A delicious cross by Reid requires two bites at the cherry by Blackstock. He runs towards the crowd whooping with delight, but avoids Sticky junior’s outstretched high-five. The chances come thick and fast as NFFC try to kill the game off. Halford, McGugan and Tudgay all spurn good chances.
Attendance: 3611 (1060 visitors)
Man of the Match: Jon Parkin