Oh dear. Within seconds of McCormack equalising with his side's first shot on target all afternoon, super sub Matt Derbyshire collected the ball 30 yards from goal, strode forward a couple of paces, looked up and let fly - and the ball travelled like a heat seeking missile into the top corner of Podgy Kenny's net. 2-1 just as I predicted, but 2-1 to the wrong bloody side!
Not that Leeds can complain. They were second best for most of the game and could have gone 2-0 behind moments before McCormack's equaliser, when Tubby Reid drilled a shot against the post, with Podgy beaten all bellies up. There would have been no coming back from that, and there was no coming back either from the body blow delivered by Derbyshire even as the travelling fans were celebrating McCormack's goal. Talk about the ecstasy and the agony!
That McCormack goal apart, the Forest defence rarely looked troubled, with McRoss invisible for most of the game and Smith being used as an all too predictable aerial target. The lad did his best but Forest defenders were doubling up on him each time the ball was lumped towards him and Leeds could not get enough players forward to support him, in part because of the decision to start Shit Brown. The midfield enforcer was belatedly withdrawn, but by starting him, Friar Brian betrayed anxiety and signalled a more defensive approach - and his team responded by playing conservatively when really they should have had the confidence to play the game in Forest's half given Billy Davies was trusting to make shift striker Halford up front.
The withdrawal of McCormack with Leeds 2-1 down and with 10 minutes still to play is worrying. True he had been quiet prior to his goal, but you don't take off your goal machine when you desperately need a goal, unless he is unfit. Maybe Friar Brian was saving him for the game on New Year's Day, but if so, it was a strange decision to make, as it as good as handed the 3 points to a major promotion rival. It was asking a lot of young Poleon to come on and rescue the game, whilst the even younger Ariyibi wasn't going to be shooting in a hurry after his first attempt on goal flew so wide that it went out for a throw in.
So the Leeds United McFeelgood Factor Sleeper Express to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity and Beyond has been temporarily derailed. Happily, however, many of the other results went in their favour. Yes Leeds have slipped out of the top six, but only on goals scored, and with Wigan and Burnley sharing the points as well as Watford and QPR, the damage done to McDermott's promotion aspirations is nowhere near as great as it could have been. The trouble is, the top 4 are that little bit further ahead, and the Play Off Place chasing pack have edged that crucial bit closer. Suddenly Ipswich and Brighton are right in the mix and level on points with Leeds.
But look at the positives. At the end of the game Leeds had Byram, Lees, Smith, Poleon, Ariyibi and Murphy on the pitch - young colts all, instead of Warnock's knackered old carthorses; so even if promotion is missed this season, the future looks bright under Friar Brian.