24’ - Yak finds space in the box but rushes his shot. Another slow start to a game...
34’ - A flurry of chances but nobody in the 6yard rectangle to put this away. Who wants it...?
⚽️ 41’ - Out of nowhere a nightmare deflection and Rafael stood no chance. Haven’t really threatened all game.
⚽️ 45’ - Pele corner expertly slotted home by the Yak. Timing is everything. See you for the second half eh?
51’ - Blues come close, shot pulled wide. Atmosphere needs to pick up a bit here...
53’ - Blues hit the bar. the gaps in the midfield are terrifying, acres of space in which to manoeuvre.
55’ - Blues shot from the edge of the 18, great block from Moore as he tries to get the crowd going with a couple of fist pumps to the 1871. (Love that man).
58’ - ⚽️ Stunning free kick. Tired tackle from McCleary that gave it away but nobody’s stopping that. Away fans go mad in a sprint to the front row... Royals fans go silent... feeling a little too sorry for themselves and the Mad Stad loses its vigour once again.
75’ - Charlie Adam stunning crossfield ball, into the penalty spot and Joao smashes it over the bar. Adam already making an impact
87’ - ⚽️ On the break, Royals taking too many touches, falls to Blues, strike at Rafael one on one, rebound right back to the forward who slots home. That’ll do it. Not good enough today. Not even close.
90’ - Adam involved again as he whips one in for Joao to stab home. Too little, too late.
FT - Royals 2-3 Birmingham City
Brian McDermott Appreciation Player of the Game
Charlie Adam. This one was a real struggle until Adam came on. Instantly made an impact and could hear him trying to get the players going again. This is valuable experience that Royals need to make the best of this season on and off the pitch...the lack of genuine leadership within this squad is a concern.
Mark Bowen celebrated the day of his birth today, unfortunately his side couldn’t grab the all-important three points he so desperately wanted.
For the first time in a long time, the players looked very tired today. And that translated into a flat atmosphere for one of the most important statement games of the season so far.
Next up, two games on the road against lower-end-of-the-table Stoke and Barnsley... You have to think anything less than six points from both games would be desperately disappointing.
Sentiment among the fans has drastically changed today since the Wigan Miracle. Sitting in the hotel lobby writing this, the comments are bleak. Bleak at best.
Onwards and upwards.