Top Trumps - The Greatest Hits

OK, we all need some cheering up, yeah? Recently feeling jaded, found it hard to work up the enthusiasm to go to the game, current state of affairs getting you down? Well Dr. Rich jeffery has a remedy. Let’s relive some magic FCR moments.

All goals your team score are good. Some though are better than others, and some even go further and become ingrained into your supporting psyche. Recalling them gives you goosebumps and an involuntary smile plays across your face.

They’re the moments that no matter how bad things get, sit deep in our sub-conscience and still somehow drag us off the sofa and make us trudge down to FCR. Because you never know, right?

They are the moments when you go completely lala, reach for the sky and emit a primal scream. You grab your neighbour in a mid air bear hug, and the person next to them, and the one in front, and the one behind.  When the roof comes off FCR and you look around and the crowd has become a seething mass of humanity, almost one huge organism rolling around the old place.

They are transcendental moments where you totally lose yourself. You just react in a primitive and instinctive way, only noticing much later that you’ve left the skin of your shins on the seat in front.

Rules:

Many things make for one of these golden moments. Some or all of the following criteria though are vital, the more that are present the higher the level of loss of shittedness:

  • Lateness of the goal.
  • Comebackability factor.
  • Level of thunderbastardness of the goal.
  • Level of hate for the opposition.
  • Importance of the game.

So here for your viewing pleasure is a list, far from exhaustive and in no particular order, of some of my moments of great moment at FCR.

Rosario vs Southampton 

1 Golden Moment Criteria Star (GMCS). Lateness: 1/10. Thunderbastardness: 10/10 with a 5.9 for artistic impression. Hate rating: 2/10. Game importance: 3/10. Comebackability: 1/10.

Big Rob didn’t score that many for a striker, but he was very important to how we played at that time. He was a big tall lad, and sometimes ungainly, but not here. Oh no. It was a crazy game which ended 4-4. The goal wasn’t late, it was a standard early season league game of little importance against a pretty likeable Southampton side. I was in the Barclay middle pen that day as was usual by then, about halfway up to the left hand side of the goal as I looked, which meant I saw this one coming.  From the moment he made his perfect contact with perfect technique with his left foot I watched it all the way. A stunning volley. He scored another volley that day to complete the scoring, but this is the one I remember. A quite extraordinary goal. Just look at the jumping, clapping, joyous just a man in a jacket, he knew.

Bradley vs Ipshit

3 GMCS. Lateness: 2/10. Thunderbastardness: 10/10. Hate rating: 11/10. Game importance: 9/10. Comebackability: 0/10.

We’d renewed acquaintance with our nearest and dearest after our three season sojourn in the Premier League and had already beaten them that season at Piss Poortman Road. We were on a roll in a bid for automatic promotion which ended in failure, though the playoffs turned out OK more about that and them in a bit. We were the better team this day, but hadn’t really looked like breaking the deadlock, until Wes played in Grabban down the right, he played the ball across the box and Bradders coming from off screen on the highlights met it with a dream of a shot which nearly broke the net. Who put the ball in the Ipswich net?

Redderz vs Scum 

3 GMCS. Lateness: 5/10. Thunderbastardness: 5/10. Hate rating: 11/10. Game importance: 11/10. Comebackability: 7/10.

Just a couple of months after Brad’s howitzer, we entertained you know who again in the second leg of the play off semi-final. I don’t know why, but Jerome's clinching goal wasn’t as intense for me, this was the one. I think mainly as it was so soon after they’d equalised with a hopeful hoof into our box, it shut them up for a start. We were the better side, of course, and this goal was the least we deserved to get back in front. Yellow shirts resplendent in the spring sunshine top it off. That photo of Nathan’s leaping celebration is still my pooters wallpaper.

Olsson vs Newcastle 

3 GMCS. Lateness: 10.5/10. Thunderbastardness: 4/10. Hate rating: 4/10. Game importance: 11/10. Comebackability 10/10.

A regulation relegation 6 pointer. We were lucky not to be behind, Newcastle having levelled twice at 1-1 and 2-2, and with Mitrovic causing havoc in our defence. It looked like we’d done enough to hold out for a draw, when up stepped Olsson to thread a shot into the bottom corner of the net, it couldn’t have been placed better. I won’t mention what happened subsequently that season as this is supposed to be a feel good piece.

Youssef vs Newcastle 

2 GMCS. Lateness: 4/10. Thunderbastardness: 11/10. Hate rating: 4/10. Game importance: 8.5/10. Comebackability: 0/10.

The thunderbastard’s thunderbastard. Against all odds and after signing Dean Ashton in the January, we’d woken up and were having a decent stab at survival. We’d beaten Manchester United a week or so previously (nearly included Leon’s goal from that game in this piece) and Newcastle rocked up to FCR for an evening game. With the score at 0-0 midway through the second half, Youssef Safri picked the ball up in an unthreatening position way out from goal and shaped to shoot. ‘Don’t’, we all thought, before a split second later screaming ‘YES!’ Till our eyes popped out. Moroccan all over the Toon. We went on to win 2-1. I won’t mention what happened subsequently that season as this is supposed to be a feel good piece.

Tettey vs Sunderland 

2 GMCS. Lateness: 5/10. Thunderbastardness: 10/10. Hate rating: 3/10. Game importance: 9/10. Comebackability: 0/10.

Son of the thunderbastard’s thunderbastard. A home game against relegation rivals, ended in a comfortable win, after which we all thought we were safe. The goal wasn’t early, it’s hard to dislike Sunderland (or at least it was, the gits) but the game was important and the goal, oh the goal. A screaming volley. The ball looped out to Tettey and he took it first time, and how. Have it! I won’t mention what happened subsequently that season as this is supposed to be a feel good piece.

Sutton vs Southampton 

3 GMCS. Lateness: 10.5/10. Thunderbastardness: 2/10. Hate rating: 4/10. Game importance: 10/10. Comebackability: 10/10.

Not the greatest goal, but what a game, what a night. FA Cup quarter final replay, under lights at Carrow Road. Breathless. Filthy dirty (both the pitch and the play). Chances galore at both ends. Amazing. The game felt like it was a living thing it was so intense. We’d taken part in a totally unmemorable goalless draw at the lovely old Dell, but what that game lacked (i.e. everything) was made up for in the replay. Southampton, with an *ahem* uncompromising approach took the lead through a Ruddock header from a Le Tissier corner towards the end of the first half. We came out scrapping in the second half though. Fleck wound up Le Tissier to the point that Le Tissier kicked out at him rightly receiving a red card for his indiscretion. We equalised shortly afterwards through Newman, but after that couldn't break down a stubborn 10 man Southampton in normal time. Extra time came and with it another sending off. Horne kicked out at Woodthorpe early in the first period, Southampton down to 9 men now. It was one way traffic from then on, the Alamo had nothing on this, but it seemed Southampton would battle through to the very end and get to penalties, surely their only hope now. Until, 5 minutes from the end of extra time, and with us peppering their goal from every angle, Goss hit a shot into the ground which was going well wide, but luckily bounced up to Sutton, who instinctively looped a header over Flowers and into the goal. Cue the mayhem. Utterly brilliant and I’m smiling as I type this.

Bruce vs Scum 

4 GMCS. Lateness: 9/10. Thunderbastardness: 4/10. Hate rating: 11/10. Game importance: 11/10. Comebackability: 11/10.

As a 13 year old lad stood in the river end this was the first time I’d really, properly lost my shit at a goal. 1-0 down from the away leg, we needed two to progress to Wembley. Deehan got the first, then we waited and hoped.  It’s a shame that the old Main Stand had been gutted by fire so we only had a crowd on three sides of the ground. I remember looking at the scoreboard as Barham prepared to take the corner, 87 minutes it read. Bruce unmarked, strolled in with perfect timing and headed it into the roof of the net. On the pitch!

Goss vs Bayern. (Not that one, this one)

2 GMCS. Lateness: 5/10. Thunderbastardness: 3/10. Hate rating: 4/10. Game importance: 11/10. Comebackability: 8/10.

We went into this game with a surprise 2-1 lead from the away leg. You may have heard that mentioned. Surely the mighty Bayern would wake up and despatch us to progress. Well they came out like a steam train and scored through Valencia after 5 minutes. Cue lots of sphincter tightening from the faithful. But cometh (just under) the hour, cometh the man. Jerry Goss, fittingly after his goal in the first game, arrived in the box to tap the ball home to level things up on the night and see us through 3-2 on aggregate. It went off. That was the loudest I’d ever heard FCR until…

Jackson vs Derby

4 GMCS. Lateness: 12/10. Thunderbastardness: -1/10. Hate rating: 7/10 (well it grew as the game went on, Robbie Savage anyone?). Game importance: 9/10. Comebackability: 11/10.

You don’t need me to describe this one, I’ll leave that to the inestimable Chris Goreham. Complete and utter pandemonium. It’s gonna go in!

So there you go. I’ve not included any goals where I couldn’t find clips, as I want you all to bask in the glory of these moments. That’s meant missing some notable ones out such as Polston vs Villa, Goss vs Ipswich, Fleck vs United and Drury vs Middlesbrough. I missed out a couple of others too for reasons of space. You’ll have your own favourites, so let’s have them in the comments or tweets.

These moments are why we still turn up. These moments are what it’s all about. Magic moments.

They will return. They will.