Andy Munro spends a wet and windy afternoon at St Andrews.

I’m not quite sure what the opposite of ‘barnstorming’ is but certainly if the Blackburn game was the Lord Mayor’s Show then this was the dustcart.

A New Year’s Day match in appalling weather with no ticket offers meant an equally appalling crowd although credit to a small but hardy band of Barnsley fans who made plenty of noise as the Blues fans generally suffered in almost total silence.

Early on, we started promisingly with Ziggy on the spot after some good work down the left. However that was as good as it got with Barnsley embarrassingly passing us off the park. Luckily their finishing didn’t match the quality of their passing and reflected their bottom of the league position, otherwise they would have been out of sight by half-time.

The second period was really more of the same and an extra worrying sight was Bartley limping off. Barnsley’s equaliser came from a stunning free-kick which was the result of Blues giving the ball away in midfield too cheaply. As usual, we staged a late rally but couldn’t force what would have been a grossly undeserved winner.

What went wrong? Yet again, Ferguson was left to stew on the bench so we lacked overall balance and pace with Shinnie having a particularly ineffective game. His passing was little short of shocking and if he was a recent Scottish Player of the Year then the state of football north of the border has to be pitied. This imbalance meant that Barnsley knew they could double up on Chris Burke and thereby nullify their opponents’ main attacking threat. It also needs to be said that Caddis and Burke ran the same channels too often, crowding each other out. Some clear management instructions are needed here.

The youthful centre of midfield didn’t work, with some diabolical distribution after initially promising work from Lee. In fairness to Reilly, his tackling was generally superb; if only his passing was as good. When Wade Elliott came on he added a bit more quality but it was too little too late and as for bringing on Lovengrans (who incidentally nearly scored) for the last five minutes…..

Perhaps the only bright spots were outstanding performances from Robbo and Novak but we need to do better in terms of creativity. The table doesn’t lie because we are currently a lower-middle outfit. Mind you, given the current circumstances perhaps we should be grateful.

One thought on “Unbarnstorming

  1. No reference to Burn hitting the bar and Nurke having a ‘one on one’ saved in the first half? From where I was sat we could easily have had 3 in that first half ourselves; although we were off the pace somewhat.

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