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What Happened to the Traditional Scoreboard?

Tonight I made the short trip from my house to watch Nottingham Forest v Blackburn in one of the Carling Cup games many had identified to have the potential for a cup upset, the game itself was patchy with one of two niggly injury periods of two or three minutes, during one of these breaks in play I looked up to check the time and confirm my count of the score ( I made it 0-0 after 20 minutes). After 5 minutes of waiting neither the time or score had been displayed much to my watchless frustration.

I am a simple man and to me the job of the scoreboard is simple, despite the proliferation of technologically advanced scoreboards the role of the scoreboard has not changed. A scoreboard should display the score, the time and if absolutely neccessary a display of the line-ups; unfortunately this mantra seems to have been forgotten at the City Ground, home of Nottingham Forest Football Club.

The scoreboard at the City Ground is of simple LED design and has not changed in decades, Nottingham Forest values itself for its community spirit and seems to think the scoreboard is the best place to spread warm fuzzy community messages. Tonight these included information on how to report racism and antisocial behaviour within the stadium, local advertising and birthday messages which were instantly followed by advice on how to get tested for the most commonly transmitted sexually transmitted disease in the UK. Someone trying to tell you something, Daniel (20) of the Trent End?

Public health is a serious issue however what happened to the old fashioned scoreboard? Surely there is no crime in showing old fashioned details such as the score  and current the time elapsed?  I am not a greedy man I do not require a live feed of the game, replays of key events or even a run through of the current line ups to satiate my thirst for sufficient digitally displayed information.

Communicable diseases aside the game itself was fairly disapointing, from a nostalgic perspective this game deserved a better result as the better team over 90 minutes lost.

Match Review

Nottingham Forest started well dominating the possession and looking the most likely to strike, however for all the final third posturing no clear cut chances were forthcoming  and towards the end of the first half Blackburn won a controversial free kick ten yards inside the touchline 35 yards from goal.

Much to the disdain of the crowd Benni Mcarthy stepped up and delivered a cross come shot arcing in towards the far right hand corner of the goal completely missing the vain efforts of both attack and defence to connect and creeping past a generally poor Paul Smith. The hardy 300 travelling Blackburn fans went crazy and the goal seemed to calm the nerves of  the Blackburn side who dominated the final minutes of the half, bar a Robert Earnshaw free kick that crashed against the bar.

The second half was much like the first with neither side creating clear cut chances but Nottingham Forest looking the more likely to do so, after one or two close penalty calls the pressure was rewarded as  Steven Reid handled to award Nottingham Forest a penalty, up stepped Dexter Blackstock to try and place the ball in the right hand corner only to see Jason Brown parry the ball to safety. 

Nottingham Forest however continued to press and with just 5 minutes remaining Robert Earnshaw cleared a goalward header off the Blackburn line as he deflected a goal bound over the bar for a goal kick to the frustration of the Nottingham fans.

Psychic Fans

As the ball dribbled away and was hoofed clear by the Blackburn defence I began to think that the Blackburn fans knew something that I didnt, throughout the first half Jason Brown received a heros reception from the travelling fans who spent a good 10 minutes chanting his name almost oblivious to the  events of the game.

Such praise seemed to suggest that the Blackburn fans had been taking tips from their no.32’s namesake Derren, as Jason Brown making only his 2nd start of the season made a confident penalty save at a comfortable height to his left, setting off the jubilant chants of Jason Brown’s name once more.

So lets put it this way, next time the Blackburn fans start chanting, I will be scribbling notes and heading to the bookies.