BORO AWAY – Image Gallery
I will confess. On Saturday night I did something I’ve never done before. I tuned in to see the EFL highlights on Quest. Such was the gleeful mood I was in.
There is an adage I fully subscribe to regarding not getting too low when you lose and not getting too high when you win. It was probably first said with Nottingham Forest Football Club in mind. Yet I found myself in a delirious state in the final minutes at the Riverside and for most of the evening. Away victories in 2018 (and for most of the last decade) are rare occurrences; when one comes along it should be savoured. How boring it must be to be one of the teams where away wins are common place!
Jubilant fans boarded coaches and drifted away from the ground; lots still singing their hearts out. Others like me had little or no voice left. It’s probably a sign of my own lack of fitness more than anything but I can’t ever remember being so absolutely knackered inside a football stadium. We sang and we sang and we sang, all of us in unison from minute one to the end. A joyous afternoon.
This was an all too rare feeling but it was perfectly timed, especially after some decided that a 2-2 draw with Millwall was reason enough to start knocking up ‘Repent, the end is nigh’ placards. It was fitting that the last player stood applauding the Forest support at Boro was Costel Pantillimon.
He was the inevitable focal point of Wednesday night but here you sensed how grateful he was for such affection. His name was sang constantly throughout, an unashamedly over the top show of support for our goalkeeper. He stood alone in front of our section gently tapping his badge. It was a world away from the Pantillimon bashing that has been seized upon online. Boro was a useful reminder that Twitter views don’t necessarily represent the feelings inside the ground.
Even more pleasing was the style of the victory. This was no smash and grab, it was a sturdy performance combined with attacking momentum and flashes of genuine brilliance. Take a bow Joe Lolley who burned particularly bright in the Teeside smog.
I’ll finish with another word for the support.
It’s easy to make a bit of noise when winning but from the very start the fans were magnificent. The home support, armed with drums and a megaphone, could not match us. We mocked them regularly although I have sympathy; we know too well how hard it is to maintain an atmosphere at home. Especially when your team is second best.
It’s not down to me to dedicate this victory to anyone but, if it was, I’d award it the away fans who have toiled over several months with very little joy. Yet who turned up in Middlesbrough 1,400 strong and backed their team every step of the way. We deserved that.
Hope to see you at the Bierkeller before our next game against Norwich.