Frank Nouble may have just scored the two most important goals of his journeyman career to date.
New Year’s Eve 2011. What was I doing that day? I imagine I was working in a woman’s clothes shop giving bad fashion advice during the day before getting drunk and dreaming of a better year to come in the evening. I remember now; sitting on a brick wall at the countdown with whiskey breath.
That was another lifetime and it must have been a similar feeling to what Frank Nouble felt about scoring goals in the league; it must have felt a life-time ago.
Because up until last night the previous time the former Chelsea prodigy had struck a goal in anger in league football was on the very day I probably couldn’t tell a kaftan from a camisole; New Year’s Eve 2011.
On that day Nouble seemed to grab a fairly inconsequential consolation strike against Derby County for West Ham at Pride Park in a 2-1 Championship defeat. But his goals last night may prove to be anything but without consequence.
Last night Ipswich Town put a final nail in the coffin of Crystal Palace’s automatic promotion hopes and in doing so went a long way toward ensuring their own safety in the battle for survival in the second tier of English football.
Now Mick McCarthy’s men sit five points clear of Huddersfield in the final relegation spot and can begin to believe they are going to be one of the many teams that escape this seasons mammoth relegation battle.
And it was Nouble who stole the show at Portman Road last night by grabbing his first and second goal for the club within ten minutes of each other.
The goals were his first in any competition since he grabbed a Carling Cup tie goal against Northampton Town in August 2012 while playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The former England under-19 striker may have never lived up to his promise as a youngster but one thing is for sure; if he can fire Ipswich to safety he will always be a hero to the Tractor Boys for years to come.
image: © martinrp