Andy Munro enjoys a Friday night at St Andrews.
A lot of us had misgivings about this match given our recent mediocre showings and Boro’s boys having designs on winning football’s very own lotto. Yet, it was a pleasant surprise to see Blues building up a boisterous following in the lead up to the match. This was further enhanced by an away following approaching 5,000 -or was that actually the ridiculous number of police on overtime…. sorry ‘duty’?
Perhaps that was because it was obvious that street drinking in the North East is de rigeur although in fairness, the Boro fans seemed a fairly good natured lot, just intent on enjoying the atmosphere.
Gary Rowett opted to pack his midfield with Kleftenbeld and Davies as the enforcers with Fabrini and Gleeson as the creatives. In truth the first 15 minutes was fairly uneventful until the game exploded into life. First Gleeson hammered Blues into the lead only for Legdizis to Sprake- like make two wonderful saves in Lord Mayor’s Show style for the dustcart to follow as he fumbled an innocuous ball to give Rhodes one of his simpler goals.
Worse was to follow as, in the second half Boro’ scrambled in a second yet Blues most unlikely scorer Davies scored a subliminal goal on the half volley to equalise. Cue mayhem in a lively Tilton. From then on both sides could have stolen all three points although Boro had perhaps the biggest shout when the lino got his angles wrong and a perfectly good goal from the visitors was disallowed.
Cue the Channel 5 Football League Show muppets and Radio 5 pundit Claridge to home in on the ‘misjustice’ (how many times have WE suffered this season?) to forget how superb the Blues played and how deserving they were of sharing the points in a match that was an advertisement for British football that the continental game, or it’s poor shadow the Premier League, can never match for pace and excitement.