Getting out of a posh jail

Andy Munro on Blues’ game at Peterborough.

How fitting it was that Marlon King was the man to get us out of jail in the dying stage of the match against Posh, although it reminded me of opportunities (and penalties) missed against Braga.

To be truthful, I didn’t realise Blues had got an equaliser having switched off the radio in frustration after  90 minutes.

The stats show that Blues had twenty shots to Posh’s five and if it had been a boxing match it would have been stopped, except our powers of punch and penetration were similar to an off form Audley Harrison.

This, of course, is no real consolation and my original report was to question the away form, on the basis of what is the big problem of playing away when you’ve got a fairly vociferous  following? The pitches can’t be much worse than Stans but maybe once a home team sets up to attack we can’t cope. Tellingly, top teams like the Mancs (and the Hammers in our division) seem to get as many results away from home as when they play on their own gaffe.

However, to concede a goal so early was disappointing, especially when our defence is supposed to be a strong point. In fairness we then battled away but made hard work of getting an equaliser. Making the substitutions helped and one wonders what might have been accomplished if we had brought them on earlier.

Either way the penalty was an unexpected bonus and set me thinking about the pressure of taking penalties generally, particularly following the pundits’ hero worship of Wigan’s Ben Watson, whose first kick as sub was to net a penalty. So to indulge myself, I used to player-manage a side in the (now sadly defunct) Mercian League. My side was made up of mostly black players at a time when Suarez and Terry would have looked like Guardian readers.

We were playing away in Northfield against a team called Northcross, who were made up of the ‘cream’ of Northfield numpties, and a rumbustious match ensued.

We found ourselves 3-1 down at half-time in a gale force wind on a pitch with a waterlogged surface like a ploughed field. We pulled it back to 3-3 and were awarded a penalty. Normally only a squad player, I brought myself on with a penalty record of 40 penalties taken and scored with none missed. The ball kept rolling off the spot in the wind, not helped by a steep slope, and my run up was accompanied by a running commentary of abuse and threats but I’m pleased to say I slotted home, signalling the surrounding of the ref to point out the unfairness of the affair ie “Ref, a substitute can’t just come on to take a penalty.” Luckily the goal stood so, Ben Watson, respect… but only a little bit!