This game was huge for Sunderland, it seems a lot of the games I’ve been to this season have been huge for Sunderland and that’s because obviously we needed the points. Anyway after a absolutely class boxing day loss to Sheffield United, I can guarantee you the 2000 Sunderland fans who were going to Nottingham already were having second thoughts, I know I was.
With very little sleep, I and my mate were on the bus towards the train station at 7am. We arrived in Nottingham at 11 and quickly found a pub to go to. We got to the seats about 2:30 and noticed up front again was Maja, very promising youngster who I think will go far for Sunderland.
The match kicked off in typical Sunderland fashion, we were very nervy, Forest were all over us, I think it was Donald Love who kept getting exposed several times and their left winger was left unmarked several times.
They never really challenged the keeper however, and Ruiter wasn’t troubled one bit. The crowd got on edge a bit, they knew after the performance they saw on the tuseday that it was inevitable we’d implode and concede 2 or 3 goals.
At the 40th minute mark we hit them on the break, a cross from Matthews led to Mcgeady heading it in! Bedlam in the away end, we have actually scored! (for the record I’ve seen Sunderland score 7 goals in 18 months and seen them win twice). Question now on everyone’s mind was would we hold the lead?
Sunderland started off again I thought a bit nervy, this time however everytime they gave the ball away we were better defensively, Forest really didn’t look like scoring at all.
The atmosphere at the game was pretty tame up until the hour mark, I’m not sure what kicked it off but the forest fans started getting mouthy with the Sunderland fans. Thought after that the away end was absolutely brilliant.
The last 15 minutes or so were incredibly tense, Sunderland kept giving the ball away easily or making tiny mistakes. Then it was announced 4 minutes of extra time. Time seemed to slow down, everyone was checking their watches and phones. Then on the 94th minute, forest got the ball in the box, it went past Ruiter and smacked off the post!
Sunderland fans at this point including me had just aged 40 years from that shot.
Sunderland cleared it and the referee blew his whistle, Sunderland had won! The away end celebrating the final whistle like we had scored another goal!
Sunderland pulled themselves out of the relegation zone, it’s days like Saturday that make following Sunderland worthwhile.
I think Sunderland performed very well, big shout out to Gibson who’s been playing fantastic under Coleman, under Moyes and Grayson he was shocking. Hopefully he can recover quickly from his injury and come back onto the side. If we’re going to stop up, we’re going to need players like him.