Andy Munro reports on another successful Saturday at St Andrews.
It’s getting to the stage when there is a worry that complacency will set in; at the very least among the supporters, if not the players.
I heard many a cheerful Bluenose debating the score by which we were going to beat the West Countrymen. This neglected to take into account that Bristol City’s transfer budget dwarfed the one available to the boys in blue and that the Robins were being encouraged by an impressive contingent of boisterous Bristolians.
However, Blues started off the more purposeful with both Cotterill and Gray causing problems which gave both Toral and Donaldson plenty of room for manoeuvre. Blues two opening goals involved firstly some tricky footwork from Gray with a simple finish by Donaldson also being reflected in the second goal following a superb ball from Toral. Bristol pulled one back but, once again, Toral was instrumental in the third Blues goal when he earned a penalty for Donaldson to claim the match ball.
Second half saw a goal from either side which included an act of celebratory provocation by the Robins scorer, Kodja, in front of the Tilton. Needless to say, every time he went down injured, a cheer went up at a similar level of volume to the boos ringing out every time a highly unimpressive Nathan Baker touched the ball.
Grounds then sealed the game with a towering header in the closing stages and although our first half penalty was dubious, there was certainly both a penalty and a goal denied in the second period by a referee who pleased neither sets of fans. These factors didn’t seem on the radar of that quintessential West Country whiner and oft sacked manager, Steve Cotterill, in his post match interview.
In some ways. apart from Donaldson’s magnificent hat-trick, it was a day for the unsung heroes. Spector was magnificent and, in saying that, my humble pie must be of Desperate Dan proportions. Grounds, even header apart, was excellent and this included some uncharacteristic surges forward.
The maligned Kuscak also played soundly catching, rather than punching the ball, more often than not. Almost implicit was another masterly display by the calming figure of ‘Dutch Mike’ as he has been nicknamed by many tongue tied Bluenoses.
We are going to lose at some stage but meanwhile let’s keep it coming!