Football generally, and Hull City specifically proves to be a capricious mistress.
Tuesday at Oakwell saw the Tigers plummet to the nadir of the season, and believe me, this was some achievement.
A supine and spineless capitulation against relegation haunted neighbours Barnsley produced talk of “defining moments”, and “crisis point reached”, all of which in retrospect was emotionally fuelled drivel, but then this is what sport does to otherwise sane and rational human beings.
A glorious jig of delight from the Prodigal Son Dean Windass seemed to epitomise the Vernal leap in every Tigers fan heart, and provided a complete contrast from the dread and sickening feeling that became many of us as we proceeded to our vantage points for the climax to the Month From Hell that had been February.
Beware the Ides of March. Et Tu Brutus Adam Pearson? Would Phil Brown see the end of the Equinoxal Month in the Hot Seat given the discrepant and volatile nature of the team‘s performances?
Today was Prince Hal to Tuesday’s Falstaff, full of verve, vim and courage allied to no shortage of skill, Parlour the catalyst for everything good emanating from City’s offensive and defensive efforts.
Confidence bordering on hubris rubbed off on his fellow midfield protagonists, and the previously hapless Livermore played out of his skin, ducking and diving, foraging and delving, to help provide the platform in the middle of the park so vexingly lacking due to the Manager’s dogmatic pursual of 4-3-3 against all the wisest counsel, from the terraces through to our esteemed Fourth Estate in the guise of Peter Swann.
Parkin’s passing impression of Shakespeare’s rotund Knight saw him dropped to the bench with Windass, seeking to fulfil his destiny as saviour in Chief from the position of target man rather than provider, Forster tasked with being the water carrier for the hometown hero.
Indeed it was bullock like run from the inside right channel that saw the former Blue Nose up ended, and Windass dispatched the resultant spot kick with cool aplomb, doubling City’s advantage.
The muse for the flip in Tiger fortunes came from the right boot of Ray Parlour, minimal exertion, maximal outcome which was epitomised by the opening strike. Muscular foot in to win the ball, pass to Ashbee, move languidly to the right flank, receive the ball and then place a cross of exactitude onto the boot of Windass whose first time finish exuded experience.
I fear Parkin, or indeed all the other strikers would have spurned such an opening with a snatched effort borne of minimal confidence, but the net billowed and we bellowed.
Whilst we played with a new found belief in the veracity of Brown’s protestations of survival being in our own hands, Birmingham were hapless and the sharp, freezing shower that greeted the entrance of the players seemed to wash their veneer of quality and superiority, clean away.
Brown’s insistence will face it’s stiffest test in the next home game, against Ipswich as it’s what you do against the artisan journeymen in this Division that determines your final position.
A certain devil may care attitude was appropriate in today’s game, but the pressure home games need to be won, when expectation, rather than seemingly vain hope is abroad.