November 6, 2012 by Made In Brum
Blues 2 Bristol City 0
This evening, Blues needed a performance and more importantly, three points at home. We got both. Although Bristol City were one of the poorest sides you’ll see all season, that meant nothing, we all said similar things about Barnsley and Ipswich.
Lee Clark has spoke all week about starting games on the front foot. Blues are the slow starters in games, but tonight, they controlled virtually the entire 90 minutes. Goals from Chris Burke and Marlon King eventually sealed the victory.
Early on, Blues played with aplomb and urgency. Their passing was finding blue shirts, the complete opposite to Saturday. With Ravel Morrison pulling the strings, the visitors were chasing shadows for long periods. Curtis Davies almost latched onto Nikola Zigic’s flick, but the ball ran away from him at the last second and Hayden Mullins saw his effort whiz past the post.
Burke, who was lively all night, was unlucky not to open the scoring in the 18th minute, his curler was sliced off the line by Liam Fontaine and the ball fell kindly into the arms of a grateful Dean Gerken.
You sensed that for all their good play, the home side were getting a bit restless and nervy. They needed a goal to keep the butterflies at bay.
Jack Butland, who won’t have a quieter game, was called into action for the first time. He tipped Fontaine’s header over the bar. That was about it from Bristol City other than a few corners. Jon Stead was running down blind alley’s all evening and in fairness to him, he didn’t stop battling. One sour note was the ankle injury that forced Curtis Davies off before half time.
When the referee blew up at half time, you couldn’t see it ending goalless. Lee Clark’s team talk would have been ‘more of the same’. Blues came flying out the traps again, Wade Elliott blazed over early in the second half before a long stoppage in play for the treatment of Carl Skuse, who was forced off.
After the delay, it remained all Blues. Morrison was pulling off some intricate passing play and was linking up with Elliott and Burke well. Mullins was keeping it sensible in the centre of the park, if only Blues could put a chance away. Cue, Chris Burke. After a mazy run and one-two with King, the Scot smashed his shot in from the right hand side of the area. Jubilation, or relief?
‘Go for the jugular’ Clark said last night. There was no sitting back, just the desire to get a second. King’s pin-point cross from the left was headed over by Zigic. The goal that did win the game was almost route one style. Butland’s punt was nodded down by Zigic. King controlled it and put away his eighth goal of the season. Surely, the game was won.
Richard Foster tried his luck with a low shot that Butland easily saved. Stephen McManus was stretchered off to a sympathetic applause from both sets of fans, he appears to have picked up a bad leg injury.
Peter Lovenkrands played Morrison in, you felt this his overall performance deserved a goal, but he was kept out by Gerken then after Martyn Woolford bought down Burke, the referee pointed to the spot. Lovenkrands hit it low, but Gerken saved. Fortunately, the game was already in the bag, and the penalty miss, although it would have added gloss, didn’t affect the outcome. Blackburn away next!
Blues ratings- Butland 7. Robinson 6. Davies 7. Caldwell 7. Murphy 6. Burke 7. Mullins 7. *MORRISON 8. Elliott 7. King 7. Zigic 7…SUBS USED- Spector 6. Lovenkrands 6.
Match report by Rob Wildey.