First of all, may I say to all regular readers of the drivel regularly put out by yours truly, that I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that the turkey dinner is not still sitting too heavily in the stomach and that the sprouts are not, you know, just not!
This is the first game that I had managed to get to in a while. I missed the Bristol match (just as well by all accounts) there was no way I could get up to Wigan just before the festivities and family commitments put paid to travelling up for the Stoke game despite a kind offer from Tim of a lift. My son Jonny and I did get to watch it on the box and naturally was delighted with both the performance and the result. What was very pleasing was Omar Bogle’s first goal for the club. I hope this will be the spur for him to notch a few more because a few more goals from other areas of the squad are needed if we are to continue the present momentum.
Will called up the day after Boxing Day to make arrangements for the journey up. We were working out the logistics for the train when he called me back later to say that Chris needed a lift from Baginton because he was to be staying on in Birmingham in the evening with Gayle, his wife; on that basis and the fact that industrial action was rendering our local trains unreliable, the car it was.
Will and little Will picked me up just after 10.00 and having traversed the couple of miles from my house to the M3, little Will announced that he needed the toilet; kids eh? Veering away from the motorway slip road and back around the roundabout it was a quick trip to a local Sainsbury’s for the said comfort break. It could have been worse; we could have actually been on the motorway with an eight year old with a full bladder!
We arrived at Baginton at about 12.00 and a convivial couple of pints was consumed by Chris and I whilst little Will was fed and watered. That done we picked up little Jack and the five of us set off for St Andrews and arrived in reasonable time and a visit to the George was in order. However, Will was in a particularly disagreeable mood and decided he didn’t want to walk that far so we all decided to just go into the ground and grab something to eat and another pint. The Cookhouse came up trumps with an excellent beef rendang with sticky rice and it was soon time to take our seats. Will suggested that we should have a bet on the game and we put in a couple of quid for a spread bet only to find when he got back that he’d placed all the scores in favour of Brentford not Blues! He was promptly returned to the kiosk at his expense to roight a wrung! 😀
The game is one that is best forgotten and quickly. Brentford started the brighter against a leggy looking Blues and for the first 25 minutes or so the visitors enjoyed the better of the exchanges without really threatening in truth. Blues grew into the game as the half wore on and in the second period were without doubt the team in the ascendency. Brentford stifled the home side’s direct approach and defended with obduracy and stubborn determination that Blues simply lacked the guile, energy or craft to break down. Brentford therefore got what they came for which was a clean sheet and a draw. No doubt if they could have caught us on the break, they would have happily have accepted a smash and grab win but they only managed two tame efforts on target all afternoon which were easily fielded by Camp compared to a single derisory attempt by Blues. The rest of the time chances were blocked snatched at or retrieved from the crowds behind the goals at each end. The closest either side came to scoring was when Konsa Ngoyo nearly sliced the ball into his own goal’s top corner when attempting to clear half way through the first half. The result was a corner which came to naught. It made for a poor spectacle and at least it only lasted just over an hour and a half.
Happy New Year everyone! 😀
The Good: A clean sheet and another point. Considering how tiring and compacted the festive period schedule is, seven points out of the last nine and three clean sheets is a good return. On to the next one at Hillsborough.
The Bad: The match; it wasn’t great; the referee lost control of the game at the end of the first half and it meant the game became unnecessarily bad tempered and feisty.
The Ugly: A challenge made by Neal Maupay in the second half for which he was booked. The feeling was that it was a clear elbow to the face and therefore warranted a red. He was up to his usual antics throwing himself to the ground and trying to get other players cautioned or dismissed. His manager substituted him three minutes later before he did get the walk of shame.
Birmingham City: Lee Camp 6, Maxime Colin 6, Michael Morrison 6, Harlee Dean 7, Wes Harding 6, Jota 6 (Conor Mahoney 82, N/A) Jacques Maghoma 7, Mikael Kieftenbeld 6, Gary Gardner 6, Lukas Jutkiewicz 5 (Omar Bogle 83, N/A) Che Adams 5 (Omar Bogle 79, 5)
Subs not used: Connal Trueman, Josh Dacres-Cogley, Dan Scarr, Craig Gardner, Charlie Lakin.
Yellow cards: None
Brentford: Daniel Bentley 6, Ezri Konsa Ngoyo 7, Julian Jeanvier 7, Yoann Barbet 6, Moses Odubajo 7, Romaine Sawyers 6, Josh McEachran 6 (Nico Yennaris 79, 5) Rico Henry 6, Ollie Wilkins 5, Neal Maupay 5 (Said Benrahma 67, 5) Sergi Canos 6 (Alan Judge 82, N/A)
Subs not used: Luke Daniels, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Josh da Silva, Henriksen Dalsgaard.
Yellow cards: Sawyers 26, Jeanvier 52, Maupay 64, Barbet 75, Yennaris 90+3,
Referee: Peter Bankes 4: Mr Bankes had a poor game by the standards I’ve seen from him in the past. He seemed to lose control of a highly physical game and sometimes when that happens the officials have to abandon keeping the game flowing, give everything, dish out some cautions and stop repeatedly trying to talk the offenders down. He lost assertiveness at vital times and players will take liberties. This leads to histrionics, time wasting and a game littered with pettiness. How Bentley in the Brentford goal failed to pick up a yellow card for taking an age over free kicks and goal kicks is anybody’s guess. There was little of note in this game and that is not the referee’s fault but I thought Maupay should have gone off for the elbow on Harlee Dean and it is arguable that Kieftenbeld should have been awarded a penalty in the second half for a clear foul. However, had we snatched a goal in that fashion it would have been harsh on Brentford; a draw was a fair outcome.