Date: 20th April 2009 at 1:16pm
Written by:

It very nearly happened. It was THAT close, really it was?

Forget Birmingham`s 1-0 win putting them on the brink of promotion or Watford`s chances of grabbing a point against the promotion chasers.

Oh no, both events pail significance given that, after 8 years and almost 250 games, the unthinkable almost became reality at Vicarage Road on Saturday. Doyley almost scored his first ever goal (and that even includes during training)!

There were 24 minutes, 26 seconds on the clock when time stood still, the earth stopped revolving and the Rookery held it`s collective breath in shock (and a little bit of awe) as the ball dropped at his feet amid cries of “shoot, shoot”.

And shoot he did after taking down a clearance on this chest, taking 1 gorgeous little steadying touch, weighed up his non-existent options and BANG!

Lloydinho`s curling, swirling 25 yard barnstormer, unleashed with such pinpoint accuracy, pace and power, had Birmingham keeper Colin Doyle sprawling like a madman across his line.

Yes, really.

Even at full stretch the Blues keeper was well and truly beaten all ends up. His gloved finger tips straining to get there but no such luck – desperation in his eyes, crying out not to be one who`d go down in history as “the man who”?

The Rookery, Rous & East Stand posh seats poised to celebrate as one. The street traders daydreaming the profit from the ‘I was there when Doyley scored` t-shirts.

Those with their home game ritual betting slips shaking with the excitement of it all – that their misplaced optimism, their unrelenting belief was finally gonna pay off?

16,100 fans thought it was in. Even Lloyd thought it was in?

And but for one selfish, heartbreaking gust of wind with other ideas – that caught the flight of the ball and carried it less than a foot wide of the right hand post – it was in.


The bench looked at each other and slumped back down. The Academy boys (suited and booted for the occasion) giggled at the nonsense of it all. Loachy held his hand in his hands – it really was that close.

And at 50-1 for first goalscorer – odds that have been steadily creeping north with every game – there was a huge sigh of relief breathed out in the local branches of Ladbrokes, Corals and William Hill right across Hertfordshire!

The bookies might have escaped this time but be assured it will happen one day.

Whether that day is soon we won`t bank on it? but hey, you just never know.