I’m sure a number of us had the same, worrying feeling in the back of our heads. Even with O’Neil not being in charge of the match, it would give Sunderland that boost that they needed. That they would nick something at the end of the day. That they would see us, down on the floor, give us a helping hand then stab us in the heart with the knife they are holding in their other hand.
Apart from the other obvious reasons, this is why this win meant alot. Aside from the excellent performances from Berra, Edwards, Jarvis and Fletcher, the win meant alot because, for once, lady luck was smiling on us.
It didn’t look that way at first. The penalty decision gave us all horrible flashbacks of that Newcastle game. Our own Vietnam flashback. Then I saw the replay, and it hurt. It really hurt. I saw us staring straight at defeat once again. I thought it was going to be another week of heartbreak. Even a reassuring shoulder pat from my friend couldn’t help.
Then that wonderful minute happened.
It was like the world’s best surprise party where all your favourite people came along with the presents you wanted, and gave you that reassuring hug you’ve wanted for weeks. ’It’ll all be fine Matt, I told you it would be’.
And then, lady luck decided to come round to our house, wearing a secretary’s outfit and gave us a right smooch, right on the lips.
And it all came via Jamie O Hara’s shoulder.
I saw it straight away, I’m pretty sure more of us did. Steven Fletcher certainly did, looking about, almost waiting for the inevitable whistle…that never came.
When I realised the shriek wasn’t coming, I laughed, really loudly. And then started celebrating.
Granted, it meant that we all had to endure 10 minutes of tapping our feet, trying not to bite our nails just so people don’t mention is as ‘nail-biting’ and instead just repeatedly shouting ‘shit…shit…shit…fuck off sunderland…fuck off…thank god;
But at the end of the day, its wins like these that could be a turning point. Wins that puts smiles on our faces, the players’ faces, and Mick’s face.
And at the end of the day, that is the only thing we’ve all been looking for.