SEVENTEEN minutes to go; Nottingham Forest and Norwich were edging towards a 1-1 draw in the Saturday evening Championship match. And then came the moment that any journalist doing a live match report dreads.
Norwich midfielder Lee Croft delivered a cross from the right, towards striker Leroy Lita, who didn’t get anywhere near it. Instead, the ball dropped into a cluster of three Forest players, before rebounding into the net.
“Who scored it?” The question echoed around the press box, a mutual cry for help. We all knew it was an own goal, but none of us had a clue who had scored it. And because it was an own goal, the public address announcer stayed silent on the matter.
Missing the scorer of the winning goal out of your match report isn’t really an option. And even though the match was live on Sky, most of us were on such tight deadlines that we couldn’t wait until full-time and then nip down to the press room to watch a replay on television. We needed to know straight away.
The solution? A laptop. A couple of us did a quick search of a few websites carrying live score updates, in the hope that whoever was doing them had access to a television during the match – something we didn’t have.
Every website we checked had it down as a Chris Cohen own goal. With no time to think about it, we duly reported this and kept our fingers crossed.
Down in the press room afterwards, we gathered around the television as Peter Beagrie did his post-match analysis for Sky.
“I think it has to go down as a Luke Chambers own goal really,” he said, and at least half-a-dozen journalists skipped a heartbeat.
We watched a replay of the goal. Chambers tried to head the cross clear. It hit Cohen and rolled towards goal, then brushed off Chambers on its way in. Forest’s official website has since debited the goal to Chambers in its report on the game. Soccerbase has called it as a Cohen own goal, as have BBC and Sky’s online match reports. Norwich’s website puts it down to “a combination of Luke Chambers and Chris Cohen”.
I’m still not sure who actually scored it. Does this mean they get half an own goal each?