Andy Munro reports on the delights of an afternoon at St Andrews in the company of Millwall.

Birmingham City Football Club - St Andrew's

Maybe the Police have introduced a Millwall mentoring scheme but walking up to the ground I was passed by half of the West Midlands Police force ferrying a similar number of opposition fans in the same direction. With Millwall scheduled to play their FA Cup Semi Final the next week, their fan turnout was paltry to say the least and, on the basis that nobody would want to risk getting hurt (did that include their supporters?), it seemed that this was the ideal opportunity to secure the three points realistically needed to secure Championship football for next season.

It was obviously a major blow for us to lose Fahy and Ferguson (apparently sick) yet we started off quite brightly. It was, of course, too good to be true as Millwall turned the screw and it was no surprise when they ‘scored’. The referee disallowed, then allowed it, then disallowed it again. It was like a scene from Carry On Ref but the sweetest thing was that the forward who ‘scored’ was trying to bait the Blues fans. This was because he had been unfairly booked for diving, to the derision of the Tilton Road when, to my mind, it was a clear penalty.

Interestingly it was Ziggy who insisted that the Blues team didn’t line up on the halfway line to seemingly accept the ‘goal’ and this might have helped sway the referee into what turned out to be the right decision. Unfortunately that’s all Ziggy contributed all game and to call him ponderous would be an understatement. I expect a statement soon confirming that he has been suffering from glandular fever or has ME. Luckily Wes Thomas has obviously sent his barn door for recycling and topped his general sharpness with an excellent turn and goal.

Unfortunately the rest of the team were patchy with the exception of Redmond who had another excellent game causing all sorts of mayhem. Elsewhere Robbo and Davies struggled manfully, Butland was generally superb and occasionally as shaky as his kicking, Caddis was fairly competent but the rest were woeful. Mitch Hancox perservered but had a rocky time, Wade Elliott was wasteful, Morrison was fleeting and Spector off the pace until his unfortunate injury. Even worse, Callum Reilly, whilst still young, appears to be heading for the Mr Average category whilst Koby Arthur, on the plus side, showed some dazzling skills but is still a bit lightweight.

A draw was probably a fair result although Millwall could have pinched it late on. With Leicester away a tough ask, we could face being dragged back into the relegation mire.

Food for thought:

  • Is Callum Reilly likely to turn out a mediocre youth product?
  • Should Jack Butland have prevented the Millwall equaliser?
  • Should Ziggy revert to being an impact sub with either Morrison or Redmond playing behind Thomas?

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