Town 0-0 Birmingham
Not the most enthralling match ever. Town started brightly though. We dominated the opening 15 minutes moving the ball quickly and looking to get City facing their own goal with balls in behind. As the passes began to go astray and City were closing down the spaces we struggled to create anything. Players began dropping deep and wide to find space in which to operate which then meant that when they lifted their head up there was nobody in the box to find. City obviously came for the point and did their homework well. They slowed the pace down in the first half, taking an age over set-pieces and feigning injuries all over the pitch. Their only avenue of attack was the long ball up to Jutkiewicz then Deeney late on, despite having the enterprising Chong in their side who must have been frustrated watching the ball go over his head all game. A draw always looked likely as we failed to really create much until late on when Campbell hit the woodwork twice. Disappointing when 3 points were there for the taking.
Another confident display from the keeper who had very little to deal with. He is consistent and does not make mistakes which gives the whole defence confidence.
Settled into the side very well and I always expected him to do well in this one as he is strong in the air and in a physical battle. He did stpe out of the defence on a few occassions as well and did not give the ball away, my MOM.
Steady game again which was expected. A little slow at times but read things well and coped with what little he had to.
Defensively did well and started the game finding space and stepping forward, but after a couple of poor passes straight to their keeper and a run with the ball straight into a see of City players he went quiet and did not offer himself up for the ball as much.
Fairly quiet game again. Defensively was sound but struggled to inspire the side offensively and play was too slow and predictable.
A shadow of the player against Hull. O’Brien strugled to get on the ball and affect the game at all one of his quietest games for a long time. Did have a volley on the turn in the second period which flew just wide though.
Had a reasonably bright game but did drift too wide to receive the ball which then meant that there were even less bodies in the box when it mattered. Playing with a bit of confidence which is good to see.
Quiet game from Toffolo who was very predictable when on the ball. He cut in from the left most of the time and being left footed the ball was then always played back to the defence. He did get on teh end of a couple of set plays but needs to be a little less predictable.
Struggled to influence the game and drifted all over to try and find space but was then not in the key areas where he needed to be. He did in fairness have a good shot on the turn in the first period which was on target and the keeper did well to turn over.
Started well but then disappeared in the game as it all became stop/start. He got frustrated in the second period with the shocking refereeing, but did always remain a threat but far too often had nobody to pick out.
Worked hard and dropped deep to link up play but with nobody running beyond him it was all to no avail. Did have a strong claim for a penalty turned down in the second period, but had little support all game.
Koroma came on for Sinani but was inaffective and Turton for Holmes at the end of the match. Campbell cam on for Ward on 76 minutes and the fresh legs certainly helped as Campbell hit the woodwork twice in his short stint.
The referee deserves a special mention. Really bad and contributed to the dour display. Failed to play advantage on too many occasions, which made it easier for both defences. If someone was tackled and went to ground play was stopped. Too many times a defender would put the ball into touch to halt play and with the other side ready to take the throw Mr Woolmer and his linesman would look at each other and guess which way to give it. The only think that was consistent was how bad the decisions were for both teams.
Set up well for a start and took the game to Birmingham, but should have changed it around as the first half progressed. With the personnel on the pitch it was difficult but we needed to move it from back to front quicker. Stretch the opposition with some balls in behind, but we would have needed the quicker players such as Thomas then to play higher up the pitch. The lads needed to be braver on the ball and deliver the quick long range pass to open them up. It was too predictable with the ball always played infront of the City defence. In the second half we should have brought Campbell on sooner and possibly High, who although perhaps lacking the physical presence would have delivered the searching balls. Good to get a clean sheet again and a point in the right direction but could have and should have been so much better.