January 12, 2013 by Made In Brum
Huddersfield 1 Blues 1.
Sixty seconds. That’s the length of time away from a deserved three points Blues were. But we should all know by now that we seldom keep clean sheets, so when Adam Hammill struck the hosts level deep into stoppage time, it was heartbreaking, but hardly surprising. The performance was very encouraging, but I’d rather the result be.
The positives definitely outweighed the negatives today. Blues controlled the game for large parts and really should have killed Huddersfield off. But this is why we are where we are in the league table, we have a habit of shooting ourselves in the foot. And this afternoon, we did exactly that.
Seeing three senior strikers on the bench was a welcome boost, so it was surprising somewhat when Nathan Redmond and Ravel Morrison were named as the front two. But we cannot criticise Blues or Lee Clark because they went about their business in impressive fashion. It was never a game to excite a neutral, but did you expect it to be?
The visitors mustered up a few half chances in the first half. Chris Burke skinned the full back and whistled a low drive past the post. Wade Elliott forced a save from the ‘keeper and then blazed over when the defence opened up.
Burke, in the first half, was similar to his old self (sod’s law that he starts finding form just as he looks to be on his way out) as he bombed past the full-back time and time again. His crossing wasn’t perfect, but he had a decent enough game. In the middle, Morgaro ‘Bomb Scare’ Gomis was the engine and Callum Reilly was pulling the strings. The two look very promising together as Clark seems to have taken a sudden liking to Gomis. The one frustrating thing though is that Gomis does give the ball away in silly situations at times.
When Burke’s cross was met by Reilly who thumped Blues in front right on the stroke of halftime, all seemed rosy. That was until our season was summed up minutes later as Reilly had to be replaced at the interval due to illness. Typical. But what a moment for the lifelong Bluenose, scoring his first senior goal.
Jonathan Spector took his place and in fairness, he didn’t do much wrong. But Spector will never be a player who runs past players and dinks little balls left, right and centre. Reilly was becoming a key figure in the centre of the park so it was a big blow.
Jack Butland, who was equal to most that the Terriers could throw at him, made a few splendid saves. Will this be his last game for the club? Or will it be the Brighton game? Who knows. But he will be a massive loss if today’s form was anything to go by.
The England stopper came out and gathered Neil Danns’ through ball under a tough challenge by Alan Lee which caused a momentary fracas in the area. Butland wasn’t arguing Lee’s entitlement to go for the ball, more the unnessecary angle of his studs.
The 1,000 strong Blues following that had made the journey were vociferous. The home fans, not so, other than one banging drum. Just like their team, Huddersfield’s supporters looked deflated. But they’ve got four points off us this season now.
Steven Caldwell headed a corner narrowly wide before Paul Caddis murdered the full back not once, but twice before being forced back and a good opportunity was wasted.
Redmond was played through for a one-on-one, but the ‘keeper Alex Smithies remained big and saved the shot. That was Redmond’s last involvement. Marlon King was bought on to a rousing verse of ‘he scores goals’. Despite not looking fit, his early contributions were threatening. He was slipped in by Morrison, but the inviting pull back was cleared. Gomis hesitated his run into the box, when all it needed was a whack.
Burke was threatening, but a couple of his crosses were over hit. You sensed that a second goal was needed. But clean sheets are not something this Blues team stumble upon easily. In fairness to them, Curtis Davies and Steven Caldwell were ok, but Clark could have Puyol and Marcelo at the back, and I still wouldn’t put money on us keeping the opposition out.
When Hammill controlled the ball and cut inside, you just knew that he was going to curl it in the top corner. You just knew it! And he did. Great finish from the ex-Wolves man, but a huge kick in the teeth for us.
With the FA Cup replay at home to Leeds and a vital home clash with Brighton forthcoming, the players have to dust themselves down and take heart from a good performance. Let’s hope the team, that have slowly started improving, aren’t ripped apart too much in Peter Pannu’s quest to drum up funds. He could start by reducing his £700k wages, don’t you think?
Blues ratings- Butland 7. Caddis 7. Caldwell 6. Davies 7. Robinson 6. *BURKE 7. Reilly 7. Gomis 6. Elliott 6. Morrison 6. Redmond 6… SUBS USED- Spector 6. King 6. Zigic n/a.
Match report by Rob Wildey.
@matthewperry9- left it too late to change Morrison and Redmond, the pair offered little up top all game.
@maccashane- I’m really beginning to like Clarky I think he’s doing a great job given all the bull sh*t Lee Clark’s Blue & white army
@Hodfather- you played well after first half hour and thoroughly deserved to beat us, we dominated early but you looked good later (Huddersfield fan)