Hull 2 Forest 3 – Saturday 28th October 2017

I can’t have been alone amongst the 1,297 Forest fans tucked away in one corner of the KCOM Stadium to feel that there was the smallest of markers laid down in Hull. It might become a bigger moment somewhere down the line or it might, in true Forest fashion, be a red herring but there was a certain style to this victory. I referred to it in a jubilant Saturday night tweet as a ‘swagger and a shine’ that we possessed. Some Hull fans might think this is barmy, indeed so might some of you. Yet I saw progression, undoubtedly. The words we write as FG purposely try to steer clear of critiquing performances but this one dazzled me sufficiently to make it worthy of note I thought. It wasn’t just the brilliant build up and tempo or the magnificence of Osborn or Dowell in attack, it was combined with the determination to stubbornly defend our own goal too. Yes, we conceded two but I thought we looked good all over the pitch. As I make my way home from Reading late on Tuesday evening I might find myself wondering what went wrong since Saturday but this certainly felt like the click we’ve been looking for.

We’d arrived into a blustery Hull just before 2pm and (via a detour to another pub)eventually found our way to The William Gemmell where we had been invited by a group of Hull fans known as Hull City Action For Change. You can read a little more about them in the article directly below but, in brief, they have severe issues with their owner and had organised a day of activities to make this point. Along with a couple of the Bandy & Shinty chaps and one or two other Forest fans were made to feel very welcome. I had to laugh at the song as we walked in – the guitarist on stage was singing ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ by the Rolling Stones. Perhaps not the best choice for what was in essence a protest base! Still, it was a well attended and often lively place and it was enjoyable to be doing something a little different before an away game. I was eventually coerced into saying a few words on stage and repeated our often said mantra that maintaining support for the players on the pitch is vital.

The Hull fans set off on their march to the ground and we too advantage of the now empty pub to get another pint in! It was, after all, only half 4.

You’ll have seen the 19th minute yellow ball protest that occurred, stopping play for a few minutes. The stewards trundled on with all the effort of a dead badger to clear the offending objects. It was the Hull captain and Jordan Smith who did most of the work. Wheelie bins appeared at half-time to complete the process. We had acquired a couple of these balls pre-match. As simple souveniers, you understand. One female steward took it upon herself to confiscate these balls and a fairly good natured (us, not her) half-time confrontation ensued. The balls were referred to as ‘weapons’ by the steward and for a brief moment I thought there was a risk of one of the Bandy & Shinty lads being ejected as a burly steward made his way over. Instead a fragile peace was brokered and our balls remained in our trousers.

I’ll finish with a word for the away following…

It was a slightly bizarre set up. Three different price brackets meant that we were rather spread our across the entire corner with sizeable pockets of seats in between us all. It didn’t seem to hamper the noise though which was kept up throughout. I love away games like Saturday. Everyone singing up right through the game, keeping it up even as Hull crosses were launched into our box.  I was pleased that Warburton made a point of it in his post-match comments. It’s struggled a bit of late away from home but it was definitely back towards it best at Hull. Winning obviously helps no end!

See you at Reading. Onwards!