Battered but not Brugged

Andy Munro’s account of Blues’ latest European escapade.

As a time-served Bluenose I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but, to be frank, even the most pessimistic fan wouldn’t have expected us to be two nil down by half-time. Mind you, maybe we should have given more credence to the fact that Brugges are second in the Belgian league and (even though they lost) they were 4-1 up in a recent game against Genk, who gave Chelsea a decent Champions League argument.

They certainly brought some commendable support with many of them apparently converging on Broad St to try and find some decent beer… sadly they were likely to be disappointed!  It made for a red hot atmosphere with an almost sell-out crowd especially noisy with the Brugges fans singing and chanting most of the time (bizarrely) in English.

The Blues team had suffered a lot of changed personnel and, much as I’m a fan of Krissy H, I still fail to see the logic in playing Ziggy without the width. Beausejour apart, there was no-one to provide any consistency of supply. I’ve also said before that playing the raw Rooney with Ziggy isn’t exactly a marriage made in footballing heaven.

Typically Blues started slowly again and, although they had a fair share of play, it was painfully slow and laboured and, in truth, it looked as if they couldn’t punch their way out of  a paper bag. Despite the Smurf (who had a very good game) hitting the bar with a great free kick the only thing worth clapping was the 23rd minute. I suppose that it was no real surprise when Brugges took the lead and then scored a second one soon afterwards although it looked clearly offside. At that stage it seemed as if there was no way back.

Krissy H allowed the same side to come out for the second period and they certainly looked far more lively.

After a typical awkward Ziggy goal attempt, Beausejour pounced to hammer the ball home and the crowd went crazy sensing an unlikely turnaround. (It was interesting to hear Jonathan Spector being interviewed on Radio 5 and lauding to the skies the support of the Blues  fans). With KRO echoing around the stadium, Blues brought on all three subs which helped turn the screws.

A rejuvenated Beausejour was brought down in the area and Marlon K, cool as a cucumber, stepped up to slot the ball home. N’Daw had already hit the woodwork and we could have snatched all three points but a draw overall was probably a fair result.

We probably now need four points from the last two games – difficult but not impossible. Whatever happens BCFC have made themselves a decent name in Europe with their energetic second half play against the opposition.

In the words of Dad’s Army, they don’t like it up ‘em.