October 23, 2012 by Made In Brum
Millwall 3 Blues 3
From one extreme to another. If there is a difficult way to do something, Blues will find it. You can throw all the cliché’s in the world at me, but nobody would have predicted a point at half time.
Blues’ performance in the opening 20 minutes was horrendous, horrible, abysmal. Call it what you like. The passing was sloppy, defence was all over the place, midfield, what midfield? Millwall looked like Real Madrid in the early stages. Ex-Blues loanee Chris Wood put the hosts ahead after 11 minutes, before Chris Taylor doubled the advantage two minutes later. Could Blues have got off to a worse start? Answer, yes. Wood netting his second and Millwall’s third before the clock ticked to 20 minutes.
Lee Clark, normally animated on the sideline, looked like a lost boy. The travelling fans looked tired and frustrated, it all looked very grim. Jack Butland, who has been excellent this season thus far, was mis-kicking everything that came near him, and flapping at crosses. Steven Caldwell and Curtis Davies were given the run-around by two physical strikers in the mould of Wood and Darius Henderson. Lacklustre Blues, wearing pink, were like a bad car crash. Hayden Mullins and Ravel Morrison didn’t gel, Wade Elliott looked clueless and Nathan Redmond, was poor. It would have to be one hell of a team talk from Clark.
Right on the stroke of half time, Marlon King pulled one back. Was this the turning point?
Whatever was said to the players at the break must have sunk in. I could imagine the paint coming off the wall of the away dressing room, and rightly so. Just four minutes into the second half, King scored his second. You could sense the home fans were becoming edgy now, their manager Kenny Jackett lambasting his side for allowing Blues back in it.
On 69 minutes, David Murphy’s low cross was met by…Marlon King who blasted home his hat-trick. How on earth have Blues got back in this? Could they win it? Redmond came close with but his shot just deceived the on-running Morrison and King hit a speculative effort wide.
A number of corners for the hosts were, for once, dealt with well by Blues, it was anyone’s games.
Late on, Chris Burke was introduced in place of the ineffective Redmond. He didn’t really get time to stamp his authority on the game, arguably he could have been bought on earlier to give Blues a real chance of snatching the winner.
Does this result ask or answer questions? On the positive side of the coin, a great comeback, better second half performance, probably the best 45 minutes of the season. On the negative, Blues shouldn’t have been three behind so early on, and the first half was utter garbage.
Does Clark deserve credit for the comeback? Well he took the flack for the terrible start, so I suppose he does. Is he the right man for the job? Could coming from behind be a huge turning point in the season? Or was the opening twenty minutes a more accurate reflection of where we are? So many question still to be answered.
Blues ratings- Butland 5. Robinson 6. Davies 6. Caldwell 5. Murphy 6. Redmond 5. Mullins 5. Morrison 7. Elliott 6. *KING 9. Lita 5…SUBS USED- Burke 5.
Match report by Rob Wildey.