Andy Munro starts Blues’ (pre) season off in style.
Another decent win for the Lee Clark Makeover XI and , more importantly, a clean sheet and it wasn’t Barcelona but West Ham recently just scraped a draw with Stevenage so these friendlies against lower league opposition are veritable banana skins.
It was my first visit to carpet country but I arrived early enough to enjoy a pint with a typically rumbustious crowd of Bluenoses. As I walked into the bar and ordered a real pint of the amusingly named ‘That’, the next guy said ,”F the real ale, what’s the nearest thing to lager?” It was home from home.
I’d bought a ticket at St Andrews but once through the turnstiles, I couldn’t see a seat number on my counterfoil. I enquired, only to be told by the smirking steward that I could pick my own spot. No wonder, my ticket was for the terraces. Very street cred andI bagged a crush barrier but two hours later, I was glad of a seat back in my car! Old age is a terrible thing.
The match was typically feisty and it was a relief to see Wes Thomas open the scoring but then Randolph had to pull off a great save to keep us in the driving seat. The second half was a bit more like cruise control as our ‘class’ told and some further great finishing from Thomas and Clayton Donaldson saw us comfortably home.
So who was hot and who wasn’t? Of the survivors from last season, Randolph continues to impress and despite a couple of wayward crosses, Mitch Hancox had an excellent game as did Tom Adeymi who was a veritable powerhouse in the middle. Novak worked tirelessly if not pulling up trees and I was also impressed with the tricky Reece Brown when he came on, slightly less so with Demarai Gray, who looked a little lightweight. The only real downside was a peripheral Andrew Shinnie who looked like a genuine Scottish international.
Of the new boys, it was generally all good news with the defence looking a lot more solid and both wingers looking tricky with a feisty Cotterill the pick. Up front both Donaldson and Thomas showed admirable coolness in front of goal and a 21 year old Peter Lovenkrands, after a crate of Red Bull, could only dream of the pace that earnt Thomas his opener.
Overall a decent win but a word of praise for the outnumbered Kidder fans – they are what real football is all about and not the pampered kids living in Birmingham supporting Manchester City/United or Chelsea.