Andy Munro endures a frustrating afternoon at St Andrews.
If Blues had a motto other than ‘Keep Right On’, it certainly wouldn’t be ‘Home Sweet Home’. However, some of the after-match criticism seemed a bit harsh as the Blues definitely deserved something out of the game and the team could not be faulted for the unstinting efforts that they made to secure a result. Mind you, one begins to wonder whether the 3 -5 -2 formation is going to become another tactical albatross as the good ship BCFC sinks into ever stormier waters.
Incidentally the crowd size was quite frankly disappointing although Brighton, as usual, had a more than decent contingent. Blues’ starting line up was slightly changed with the talented Scot Allen playing just behind Lee Novak otherwise it was business and formation as usual.
Early exchanges were fairly even with both sides playing neat football although Brighton looked the more penetrating. One save from Randolph following a free Brighton header was quite frankly Banks-like. Whilst Blues looked very comfortable on the ball – a real plus – they never really threatened in the first half, devoid of pace (no Matt Green) and lacking both width and penetrating wing play(no Burke). Ferguson again looked uncomfortable and constrained as a wing back whilst Eardley isn’t a natural going forward. Unlike his predecessor he hasn’t got the skill or pace to take on opposition players.
The second half was a definite improvement and both Shinnie and Allen at times displayed some mesmerising skills without delivering on the final ball. The fact also remains that trying to squeeze them both into the same line-up doesn’t give the team a good balance. Wade Elliott had one of his iffy games although credit to Adeymi who got stuck in despite an early booking hanging over his head. Lee Novak continued to labour and although he has been described in some quarters as a “prodigious workhorse” unfortunately the horse is patently of the Shire variety in terms of mobility and speed off the mark. In fairness,we were desperately unlucky to hit the bar twice with the Brighton keeper completely adrift but were then undone by a momentary lapse of concentration in defence, a shame because the three central defenders were generally excellent.
Lee Clark then brought on the combined and not insigniifcant talents of Burke, Arthur and Green but by then it was too little too late.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
– Is Mitch Hancox worth a punt?
– Would you play Callum Reilly or Tom Adeymi as the midfield grafter?
– Should Matt Green (pace) start instead of Novak (control) as the lone central forward.