Andy Munro on Blues’ draw at Middlesbrough.
Blues were travelling to a ground where they haven’t the best of records with the Boro having a decent home record in what has otherwise been a disappointing season for them. Yet the team rose to the challenge and were robbed of a deserved victory thanks to a strange refereeing decision.
Pep elected to bring back his enforcers in the shape of Gardner and Davies and this worked well in a fairly impressive first half. It was good to see Bela, who grows with every game, put in the cross to see the Juke (who else) head home.
However, it was obvious that Woodgate would read the riot act at half time a la Neil Harris so it was no surprise when Boro came out of their corner fighting. Yet Blues kept their shape and despite the Boro equaliser could have won the game through the Juke who headed home at the moment the referee bizarrely called the play back. Strangely enough the Boro player who was lying prone made a miracle recovery of biblical proportions soon after the stoppage. This seems to be another case when the referee has done BCFC no favours.
Pep now has the conundrum of whether he keeps the winning midfield combo or plays tinker man on the basis of horses for courses. Mind you, if Villablanca leaves, hopefully giving us a 50% profit of around £800,000, this will still leave us with a surfeit of players in the midfield department and it is therefore a mystery that all the transfer talk is about new players in that category rather than the desperately needed striker.
Finally, a shout out to the much-maligned Lee Camp for an excellent penalty save and maybe now the home crowd will cut some slack for this admittedly no more than decent keeper. It does, of course, help that we now have our top central defence partnership back together again.