There are times when football surprises you and then there are times when football takes every single emotion you have, throws them around a few times for good measure and then throws them back out for you to enjoy the elation. Swansea City are play off bound.
I am not sure that any words I can commit to this article right now will do justice to the footballing evening that just unfolded in front of my eyes. To watch us turn around not the marginal hope of going above Cardiff but a five goal swing on Nottingham Forest is something that I don’t think I even dared dream would happen this evening let alone to do it with an extra goal to spare as well.
Let us also put this into a second perspective that with 25 minutes to go in both games, Forest were three points and five goals ahead of us. I think I may have just witnessed one of the most bizarre 25 minutes of football I have ever seen.
It seems a lifetime ago that Rhian Brewster scored a sensational goal from 30 yards out to put us 1-0 up, shortly before Forest fell behind for the first time this evening. That was to ignite the hope as Cardiff were quietly going about their business. And when Reading went down to ten men before half time then hopes were higher than at any point they have been today. Until of course we ensured it wasn’t to be simple by giving away a penalty and going in at half time level.
Surely now it was too much for us to think we could swing that around in the second half, even more so when news came through that Forest had equalised. Surely that was going to be it and there was just pride to play for?
It is moments like this though that call for an old head and in Wayne Routledge, Swansea have that old head. His finish for the Swans second was sublime and there are very few in our squad who have the first touch and the awareness to finish the way that he did. We were winning. Stoke scored. Stoke scored again and hopes were high.
Cooper introduced Cullen. Cullen scored. All of a sudden we were within a goal of the play offs. Either for us or Stoke, let’s be fair here none of us were bothered which way that was going to go. And it was that old head that stepped up again to deliver when it most mattered. An absolutely perfect header back across the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. The Swans were 4-1 up, Forest were 3-1 down the impossible dream was almost reality.
It has been a long time since my nerves took such a battering watching football. With a phone in one hand watching the clock ticking down at Forest and applauding every time Connor Roberts, Ayew and Brewster kept the ball in the corner my elation exploded as Stoke got a 4th and we could start planning a double header against Brentford who have been beaten twice in four days after so many winning games on the trot.
Steve Cooper and his young side have pulled off the almost impossible task of going into the play offs when it all looked impossible as we twice let a lead slip this time last week at Forest themselves.
The end of a night where two 4-1 away wins have been enough to take us into the play offs you wouldn’t right now bet against us for promotion because with things like this happening to start to wonder whether it could just be our year once again. Next up – Brentford.