Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Battle Of The BCFCs

It’s rather enjoyable supporting Birmingham at the moment, isn’t it? Unbeaten in the last 6 games and five wins in a row, not to mention four of those wins coming away from home – having not won away since February. That really is something to be proud of.

Chris Hughton is doing a superb job, and all credit must go to him for managing to galvanise this team into the confident and persistent bunch of lads they are at the moment. Just days after winning away at Club Brugge they were at it again: this time bottom of the league Bristol City were put to the slaughter, but only after a scary second half in which Bristol, with new manager Derek McInnes at the helm, threatened to ruin the party.

The first half produced chance after chance for Blues, with Curtis Davies back from injury having a chance, along with Keith Fahey, Marlon King and Chris Burke getting a look in on the early goal-mouth action. Dominating the game, it was surely only a matter of time before Blues broke the deadlock, and it came ten minutes before half time courtesy of a Chris Burke tap in. Name-sake Chris Wood almost doubled the advantage just before the half time whistle, shooting just wide of the net.

The early stages of the second half produced a hairy moment for the Blues backline, with Stephen Carr and Boaz Myhill getting into all kinds of trouble, but the home side were unable to capitalise on the unfortunate slip made by the Blues number one. The game produced more of the same for Blues, who had to soak up Bristol City pressure and endure a very gritty game, much different to the free-flowing first forty five.

But with Bristol pressing Blues were able to catch them on the break, and with the last kick of the game Chris Burke wheeled away to score his second of the game and to ensure that all three points were brought back to Birmingham.

Another superb away victory which only adds to the confidence already installed into the Blues side. Hughton has excelled in bringing enjoyable, attacking football to the club on an exceedingly low budget – with money only being spent on deadline day signings Wade Elliott and Pablo Ibanez, and the rest of the summer singings all coming in on bosman free transfers. With that being said, some of the players brought in have been major coups, Chris Burke in particular (thanks for that one McLeish!) who I’m surprised is still standing after all the running up and down the wing he’s done so far this season!

Unlike Stoke City and Fulham, Blues haven’t suffered a European hangover so far, and there have been no Sunday blues as of yet; only routine performances from Hughton’s magnificent men, which have kept the unlikely dream of promotion alive. Long may it continue!

Full Time: Bristol City 0-2 BLUES
Goal Scorers: Burke (36)(95)
Star Man: Chris Burke; a brace and another refreshing performance on the wing
Next Up: Leeds United at home - Championship

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