Greatest Goal I Ever Saw: Blackstock's Volley For Nottingham Forest
The greatest goal I ever saw, came from Dexter Blackstock against Bristol City. Now I am of no illusion that most non-Forest fans won’t consider this a great goal, as although it is a well taken volley it is by no means a worldy.
I have seen my fair share of truly great goals in my time following Forest around the country, a lot technically better than this. None of them though can compete with how Dex’s first Forest goal made me feel, that’s what makes it special. I speak from a generation that is too young to have been at the City Ground for even Cloughs last few seasons. The season before I attended my first game we finished third in the Premier League behind Blackburn and Manchester United and then it all went downhill. This is a generation that doesn’t have cup finals, European football or England internationals. I’ve seen as many season in League 1 as the Prem. We get our kicks from your week in week out league football, promotion pushes, the odd cup game, derby days and relegation battles.
The latter being the situation that gives this goal the status of being great. We turned up at the City Ground having not won a game in a month and staring relegation in the face just a year after returning to the Championship. In the game we have to pull ourselves back onto level terms twice, through Earnshaw in the first half and Garner towards the end of the game the second really instilling belief in the stands that we can maybe, just maybe nick it. So to the 89th minute and a passage of some scrappy play out on the right flank that would be only a blur if not for replays in the days after, then McCleary puts a hopeful ball in on the turn, a few seconds of head tennis later and it falls to the left boot of Blackstock. He hits it first time on the volley in the direction of the far corner, the only place he could hit it where it wouldn’t be blocked or saved. I go absolutely mental just as Dex is throwing his shirt in the Trent End and running off to the corner to be lost in a crowd of fans, players and subs that have also ran to the corner. I’m jumping around on the steps next to my seat when I find myself in front of a mad surge forward, I am ten or so rows in front of mine when the surge comes into contact with stewards holding us back. I don’t have a clue who the people around me are but that doesn’t matter, we are all sharing a moment that actually feels like safety. Suddenly a whole ground believes we can stay up. I can feel the relief mixed with euphoria in the air a couple of minute later the whistle goes and the roof is lifted of the City Ground for the first time in months positivity is everywhere. I leave the ground still shaking from with the adrenaline pumping round me, crossing Trent Bridge I have that feeling where you just want to shout from the rooftops.
None of them though can compete with how Dex’s first Forest goal made me feel, that’s what makes it special.
Only a truly special moment makes you feel like that, only truly important goals make those special moments. We go unbeaten to the end of the season and stay up those feelings of relief and safety courtesy of Dex aren’t wasted. What a way to finish a generally poor season and a goal that I have replayed in my mind more than any other, one that still sends shivers down my spine and makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.
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