Monday, 23 April 2012

Success On The South Coast

Saturday saw Chris Hughton’s team surpass expectations set at the start of the season when they finally secured a play-off place with a 1-1 draw against Brighton at the Amex Stadium. They almost collected all three points but a late equaliser for the home side meant Blues went back to The Midlands with just the solitary point, but still smiling as they finally booked their place in the end of season lottery that is the play-offs.

After drawing mid-week the home side had blown their chances of getting into the play-offs and therefore the game was more important to Blues, who ideally needed at least a point. In a game that lacked clinical finishing and some questionable refereeing decisions, it was Brighton who just about edged the ninety minutes, but it was Blues who took the lead. Minutes after Andros Townsend came close with a shot that flashed across goal and went just wide of the post, substitute Nathan Redmond managed to find the back of the net, firing a shot past Peter Brezovan to put his side on course to victory with just twenty minutes remaining.

But in the 83rd minute after some serious pressure on Colin Doyle’s goal, Brighton finally got the goal they had been searching for when Ashley Barnes fired home from close range to put a slight dent Blues’ hopes of finishing fourth. Nevertheless, a point was enough to seal a play-off place with just one game of the season remaining against the Championship Champions Reading.

Blackpool also secured a place in the play-offs with an emphatic 4-0 win against Burnley, leaving them fourth place and just one point ahead of Blues, and a tough away fixture at Milwall left to play. Cardiff’s 1-1 draw with Leeds leaves them one point behind Blues and in fifth place, in need of a result against Crystal Palace at the weekend who may be looking to avenge the Carling Cup semi-finals when Cardiff defeated them. After Middlesbrough’s 2-1 win over Southampton they are left with an outsider’s chance of getting into the play-offs; needing to better Cardiff’s result to finish in the top six.

Blues can’t rest on their laurels as they now play for positions in the play-offs; bettering Blackpool’s result will mean they take fourth spot and have the advantage of being at home in the second leg. However we all know Reading will prove tough to beat, and will want to finish their incredible season on a high before leaving for their Premier League adventure, which Blues will hope to be part of.


  1. great article as always...and a nice one to round up the season as a whole! bright future ahead of yourself KRO