FairweatherFan

Birmingham 3-0 Millwall ~ Match Report

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Driving into Birmingham offers empirical evidence that the third world is alive and kicking and in good shape north of Watford gap. But, intrepid travellers that we are, me and MrsB, joined by Del and Lin set off at a ridiculously early time to set sail in the Bonemobile to the erstwhile premiership stadium of St Andrew’s.

You do realise, of course, that J R R Tolkien was dragged up in Birmingham and he drew inspiration for middle earth from this very neck of the woods…I rest my case

No major dramas getting there or parking (surprisingly easy hovel parking right next to the ground) and even traversing the rigid line of statue-like cozzers (motto: we move for no one) wasn’t too difficult and we even got let in without the customary search by stewards that we have come to expect.

All pretty low key stuff and all pretty mundane and very diluted. Yet more evidence that the soul has been ripped out of yet another football club was clearly in evidence all around us as the home fans made their painted faced, jester hat wearing way into their sections with not even one gesticulation aimed our way.

Even a plaintive cry of “hey Carrott, they’m got no Bovreel” would have generated some sort of atmosphere but alas the place was as dead as Les Dennis’ career.

Just over a thousand Millwall fans were in the ground as kick off loomed and the team Mr Jackett had chosen had a couple of significant changes. The line up was as follows; Forde in goal, Craig, Robbo, Ward and Dunne across the back with the midfield consisting of Bouazza, Mkandawire, Trotter and new signing Feeney, which meant Henderson was partnered up front by new loan signing Simpson.

So as referee got us under way we watched in mild trepidation to see if the new line up would deliver the goods.

It was a promising start.

We attacked them with a certain amount of gusto and we definitely had them on the back foot with Bouazza and Feeney making a couple of decent forays within the first five minutes or so that had them scrambling all over the place.

We won a free kick well with Bouazza range after Henderson got dragged back and the resulting shot from Bouazza was brilliantly saved by ‘keeper Myhill.
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We had a bit of a heart stopping moment shortly after when Dunne was guilty of trying to see the ball out but he slipped arse over head and let their man get the ball a send a cross right through the six yard area but beyond any contact.

Simpson was working well in tandem with Henderson and new boy Feeney certainly looked the part and it was Feeney who showed us what he is capable of when he collected the ball just inside their half and danced his way into a shooting position. He steadied himself and hit a blistering drive that smacked the upright and to Birmingham’s relief, bounced to safety.


We still kept up the pressure and next up it was Trotter who benefitted from yet another Henderson flick on but his shot went just over the bar for a goal kick.

For nearly half an hour we had dominated the game and we were looking untroubled but as is usually the case in situations like this, disaster, inevitably, struck.

Dunne lost his footing on a foray forward and they broke extremely quickly. Poor Dunney couldn’t catch up and as they raced towards our bye line we watched in horror and disbelief, as the low cross was simply side footed home by Wood. 1-0.

Totally against the run of play and thoroughly undeserved we were simply stunned.

The lads rallied pretty quickly but the home side were buoyed by the lucky break and nearly grabbed a second when Davies headed a cross from a corner downwards instead of straight in and the ball bounced harmlessly out for a goal kick.

Trotter found some space on the right side and with more time than he needed he tried to pick out the unmarked Simpson of the far post but his clipped ball in was just over hit and the chance had gone begging.

The half time whistle went soon after and we were left wondering what had happened.


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No one saw the writing on the wall for the second half, that’s for sure. We came out with our quick fire tempo and within the first minute Feeney collected the ball and slipped a neat pass through to Simpson who shot a fraction too quickly and Myhill managed to block the shot.
It was Feeney again providing the ammo as this time he picked out Bouazza but yet again a bloody goalkeeper in good form thwarted us.

Even when they had a couple of half chances it never seemed like a lost cause but everything took a turn for the worse when Mr Jackett made his substitutions.

He opted for a double swap with 30 minutes left to play and he took off Feeney and Bouazza, probably our two most inspirational players on the day, and replaced them with James Henry and Dany N’Guessen.

These two had barely time to get their studs dirty when we got caught cold as Wood bought himself some space and fired low past the despairing dive of Forde. 2-0. Buggeration.

It is with heavy heart that I have to report that we went to pieces after tis. We lost our composure and our rhythm and just ended up chasing shadows around the pitch.

The home side were suddenly enjoying themselves at our expense and with 20 minutes to go Mr Jackett threw his last dice by taking off Simpson and bringing on Johnny Marquis but it made no odds.

We looked a beaten side and the clock ran down alarmingly quickly and when Myhill saved a well taken shot by Trotter after good work from Marquis with a few minutes left it just about summed up our fortunes.

We as fans did our best to lift the lads and even poking fun at Marlon “let your yes be yes and your no be yes as well” King did not really ease the suffering and just to cap off the day we had to watch Wood bag his hat trick in the last seconds of the game as we went looking for a consolation, he had the simplest of headers as he out jumped Forde and nodded the ball into an empty net. 3-0. Game well and truly over.

I don’t know if I am alone in this but I thought they were never 3 goals better than us and on another day, with a ounce or two of luck, we would have had something out of this game.

Feeney impressed me, Simpson looked keen but loathe as I am to criticise Mr Jackett, I fear he cocked up the substitutions this time round and if Feeney and Bouazza stayed on we may well have seen a different result.

Did the defence let us down? Maybe they did this time but the back five don’t usually let three ship past them do they?

I don’t think alarm bells need to be ringing just yet but we need to up our game for the next match as it is at home and I am led to believe there is a sell out crowd due in for it.

I wish I could remember whom we are playing though?

See all of you there
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Comments

    Good report, agree the main worry is our finishing rather than leaking goals.
    Good write up, couldn't go on Sunday due to Mrs' birthday so good to read a more indepth report. The chances will start going in soon, hopefully about 12.35 on saturday!