Millwall 0-0 Bristol City ~ Match Report

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Bristol City…Tuesday night…at home...after a thumping performance against Leeds on Saturday….who said “after the Lord Mayor’s show” then?

Probably most of you reading this, if truth be told, because as sure as night follows day and crunchers follow carrots, this game was a bit of a stinker.

The thoughts of the opening day drubbing could not (and should not) be contemplated even with Calamity James between the sticks and so it proved to be.

The omens were not too promising as my second eldest Grandson made his appearance at a match for the first time and just like his father before him, he witnessed a very dour affair indeed.

Frustrating, exasperating, infuriating and at times quite irksome are some of the terms levelled at this encounter and I suppose all of the above are more than apt to describe a match which failed to ignite from the off.

500 odd worzels turned up but they had clearly been on the cider all day as they barely made a peep, choosing instead to suck contentedly on their pieces of straw and murmur ooh ahhs at every turn.

There is not much to tell you about Bristolians that you don’t already know. All I can add is that they are all living proof that evolution can, indeed, go backwards…

Anyway, onto football matters and Mr Jackett set his stall out confidently enough and the team line up was more or less as expected with Forde in goal, Dunne, Ward, Robbo and Craig at the back, Henry, Trotter Mkandawire and Townsend in the middle leaving Morison up front with McQuoid, making his third attempt at starting his Millwall career.

Referee Stroud got us going and City were not too shy in having a go and they certainly started at a frantic pace, forcing a corner before a lot of fans had even sat sown and although nothing came of it, it still made us take note of the danger.

The visitors were clearly on a mission and e had to be on our metal throughout a fairly torturous first half that was more about defence than any semblance of attack.

A hairy moment ensued after Henry attempted a “Hollywood” pass across field to Dunne but the ball was easily intercepted by Adomah who powered into out half and unleashed a wicked looking cross that Maynard headed wide of the mark, much to our relief.

It took us all of twenty minutes to even have a proper sniff at Calamity’s goal, a misguided header from Morison after good wing work from Henry and then we had a nice little move when Morison made a clever pass into McQuoid’s path and he hit a crisp enough shot that brought some oooh’s from the home fans but was always drifting past the post.

Townsend, a shadow of the player who tormented Leeds on Saturday managed to send in a fierce free kick that Robbo got his head to but again it didn’t trouble James in the City goal.

Nearing half time we had a heart in mouth moment when for reasons known only to him, Tony Craig decided to head the ball back across the 18 yard line instead of clearing it and as the ball fell perfectly for Pittman we feared the worse but the shot never really materialise as instead he managed to gently tap the ball into the grateful arms of Forde.

The half ended soon after and even though it wasn’t exactly a barrel of laughs I thought it was a bit mean spirited for some sections to actually start booing.

The second half saw Mr Jackett make a swift change by taking of Craig and bringing on Barron and adding a little bit more purpose throughout the team and we finally started looking like play off candidates instead of mid table mediocrity.

Mkandawire had a fierce shot deflected for a corner, one of many for the Lions but all had the same result.

Forde was proving his worth yet again with another fine stop from a low, powerful drive from Woolford and thankfully Robbo was on hand to pick up the loose ball and get it away to safety.

Morison, getting more and more frustrated with poor refereeing decisions against him finally got a break from his marker and tried to emulate his recent lobbing successes but this time his accuracy left him and although he did get the ball up and over the out rushing ‘keeper, he missed the target.

James Henry found some room for a shot but the ball went just over the bar and that sort of summed up the evening for our endeavours.

Nearing the end now and we watched in horror as a through ball slipped through our back four to what looked like a four yard offside standing Maynard who swept up the ball and charged towards our goal. All eyes went to the lino who kept his flag down as he raced to keep up with the play.

But thankfully Forde was quite brilliant in spreading himself and blocking the effort comfortably.

Five minutes of injury time went up on the 4th officials board and even the most optimistic of us didn’t expect any late late show winner.

But what we also didn’t expect was to see Morison make a lunging tackle that had about as much finesse as a blind butcher and the inevitable red card that followed was met with howls of derision for referee Stroud but in all reality he really had no choice. It didn’t help with the small contingency of City fans all whooping and shouting and giving each other high sixes in celebration.

The game petered out after this and with the news coming through that Leeds had lost it made the loss of two points all the more painful.

So my Grandson kept up the traditional 0-0 for a first a game, just like his dad did but at least he enjoyed himself so it weren’t all doom and gloom!

Still, no time for moping and wondering what might have been, the games are dwindling and it is still all to play for as we head up to Coventry next to see if we can’t squeeze a little bit more out of this already memorable season

See you all there?
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