To Hull and back – with a draw

Blues get a 1-1 draw at Hull in the FA Cup. Andy Munro watches.

Blues started to get their pre-Rooney mojo back with a solid draw which would have been a win if it hadn’t been for Neil Etheridge’s late spill. It seems that it’s the custom to play your reserve keeper in FA Cup matches these days but it will be good to see John Ruddy back, especially as he won’t be expected to play like Lionel Messi on the ground now Rooney has left the building.

The no-nonsense and very effective George Long was recalled now thankfully no nonsense is expected of Blues’ defenders and Dion Sanderson looked all the better for it. Both full backs were excellent against very decent wingers whilst in front of them Gary Gardner, despite looking rusty, worked hard and Krystian Beilik played like a man facing the gallows then hearing news of his reprieve.

Blues stand-in manager Steve Spooner opted for the almost forgotten flair of Koji Miyoshi and Siriki Dembele alongside Jay Stansfield, who instead of being a lonely figure up front could benefit as the battering ram that is the Juke took the knocks. However, it was also good to see the Juke superbly head home after a run and cross from Cody Drameh.

So, plenty of reasons to be cheerful and apparently even Ashley Cole could be heard shouting instructions from the touchline after apparently losing his voice under Rooney!