Our Blues correspondent Andy Munro has something to cheer for a change.
It’s a funny old game even though it rarely gets even a smile from a Bluenose but, for once, this was one of those rare occasions. As a frequent critic of Lee Clark, it’s only fair to acknowledge when he’s proven right and while I would have kept faith with young Burn, his decision to give the previously unimpressive Bartley a whirl alongside Robbo paid off. Maybe it’s a case of just never playing the two young central defenders together?
Either way, it also gave the energetic birthday boy Hancox a chance to celebrate his big day in some style. With the trauma of his brother bravely soldiering in foreign climes, the pre-match Remembrance ritual could only have further inspired young Mitch.
Otherwise, predictably and rightly, young Jesse was added to the mix to give our forwards a pace option. Sensibly or accidentally, not sure which, Novak tended to graft out wide giving cover when needed to the marauding Hancox whilst Jesse paired up with a man who was as tall as he is quick. Blues started in lively fashion and it’s a truism that teams usually start as they mean to go on! Unsurprisingly then, they took the lead when the gawky, unco-ordinated kid in the playground annoyingly (for Huddersfield) poked the ball home from close range. Huddersfield then somewhat undeservedly pegged it back when the poor man’s Gerrard scored.
In some of their previous games Blues would have then dissolved into a state of Titanic-style panic but the lads showed an admirable resolution and continued to hold sway. Whatever was said in the dressing room at half time was effective as it was more of the same and it was no surprise when Bartley powered home from a Lingard set piece. A goal from a set piece? The times they are a-changing!
Slightly worryingly, Burke went off with what was reported as an Achilles injury so let’s hope it’s a slight pull and not a tear. In fairness, Shinnie came on and did himself no harm at all and maybe he might one day justify the optimistic ‘Shinniesta ‘ shirt printing that can often be seen. Following a foul on the same player, the Lingard/Bartley combo finally put the game to bed.
Okay, so a swallow doesn’t make a summer but it certainly makes a change from a vulture.