Month: January 2017

31.01.2017… Birm v Reading…

Birmingham City 0 Reading 1

St. Andrew’s… Tuesday January 31st… 7.45pm

Attendance: 16,672

Ticket: £15 – Programme: £3

A barely deserved win for Reading, on a damp evening at St. Andrew’s…

But we’re getting to the stage of the season we’re it’s all about the result, the performance being secondary. So, from that perspective, a great night for Reading…

birmingham v reading...

First Half Action: Birmingham on the Attack…

And following our 2-2 draw with QPR twenty four hours later, the gap is closing…

Late winners, late equalisers, tight margins…

birmingham v reading...

Second Half: Birmingham Press For An Equaliser…

Birmingham City; Kuszczak, Dacres-Cogley, Shotton (Morrison 45), Robinson, Grounds, Gleeson, Gardner, Davis (Stewart 82), Frei, Adams, Jutkiewicz

Not Used; Legzdins, Nsue, Kieftenbeld, Tesche, Keita

Goals; None

Reading; Al Habsi, Gunter, Moore, Blackett; Williams, Swift, Kelly, Evans, Obita, Beerens (Mendes 82), McCleary (Meite 71)

Not Used; Jaakkola, Wieser, Popa, Watson

Goals; Swift (77)

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

21.01.2017… Rotherham (h)…

Newcastle United 4 Rotherham United 0

St. James’ Park… Saturday January 21st… 3pm

Attendance: 52,208

Ticket: £26 – Programme: £3

An edgy first half, nerves calmed by Daryl Murphy’s goal in first half stoppage time…

But once Matt Ritchie extended it to 2-0 early in the second half, it was game over…

newcastle v rotherham...

Friday 17:17… Birmingham New Street Station…

This league just keeps getting tougher, and this was a far harder game than the scoreline suggests. Had Rotherham scored first (which they very nearly did), during a cagy first half, then the outcome may have been very different. It’s a massive cliche, but I’m guessing that it became one for a reason, there are no easy games in this league…

So… Oxford United away in the FA Cup next Saturday, where we really don’t need a replay. This is followed by QPR and Derby County at home in the league in the space of three days, two sides that have improved dramatically since the last time that we faced them, neither of which is anything approaching a formality…

No one should be taking anything for granted…

newcastle v rotherham...

Saturday 16.10… Matt RItchie Reacts Quickest… 2-0…

Newcastle United; Darlow, Yedlin (Sterry 79), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden, Shelvey, Gouffran (Ameobi 63), Perez, Murphy (Lazaar 74)

Not Used; Barlaser, Hanley, Haidara, Sels

Goals; Murphy (45+3), Ritchie (49,77), Perez (59)

Rotherham United; O’Donnell, Fisher, Wood, Belaid, Mattock, Smallwood (YC), Forde (Kelly 86), Vaulks, Adeyemi, Taylor (Allan 74), Yates (Ward 60)

Not Used; Wilson, Warren, Bilboe

Goals; None

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

14.01.2017… Birm v Forest…

Birmingham City 0 Nottingham Forest 0nottsforest

St. Andrew’s… Saturday January 14th… 3pm

Attendance: 18,041

Ticket: £30 – Programme: £3

Another Saturday, and no tickets for Brentford (to be expected with a 1,633 allocation), so another trip to St. Andrew’s…

Not much of a game, if I’m being honest. A goalless draw, on a very cold day, with very little that could be described as action at either end of the field. Craig Gardner’s return to Birmingham, and the subsequent sacking of Forest manager Philippe Montanier, being the only events that could most likely be remembered…

Anyway, that’s the game covered, and I feel like a bit of an off topic ramble. So, if you’re easily bored, look away…

birmingham v forest...

Pre Match: Warming Up…

It’s been a strange old season for me. I’ve got used to getting to a few aways over the last three years, but this season (at least since September) that just hasn’t really been an option. I ducked out of Bristol City as it clashed with the T20 Blast Final Day at Edgbaston (call myself a fan), and managed to get tickets for Derby and Villa but nothing (Birmingham in the cup excepted) since. The current Loyalty Scheme strikes me as being somewhat flawed but as fair as any, although it’s impossible to have a sensible debate about it online without being shouted down.  Anyway, I’ll be lucky to see an away game from the Newcastle end for the reminder of the season…

My interest in Nuneaton Town has wained more than a little. An awful start to the season, followed by numerous non-football related problems at the club have made it feel like a Level 6 version of the last few years in the Premier League at Newcastle, i.e. no fun. The situation isn’t helped by the ground, which has all of the atmosphere you’d expect of what is, essentially, a couple of terraces and some Portakabins on the edge of an industrial estate. To be fair, they’ve turned their season around a little since the sacking of Kevin Wilson, and are currently on a run of eight consecutive wins in league and cup. So, maybe when the weather warms up, and the lighter nights return. Such a fair weather…

And Gateshead…? Well, they’re still Gateshead. Drifting around in the middle of the National League, in desperate need of a new ground. They’ve lost any momentum that may have been built following the 2014 Play Offs, and attendances are now back to averaging around 800. I still go when I can, Newcastle United permitting…

Carlisle trips have dried up too. But they’re doing well, up there in the automatic promotion places even if their form has dipped a little in recent weeks. I’m sure that I’ll get back up to Brunton Park before the end of the season but the problem is that, when I do travel home, I really want to get to St. James’…

birmingham v forest...

Second Half: Drifting Towards a 0-0 Draw…

So the wanderlust has abated more than a little, particularly since my dad died last October. The current approach appears to be that, if it’s a longish trip, and it doesn’t involve Newcastle, it’s not going to happen. As a result, I’ve been enjoying quite a few trips to Birmingham City. I get a regular visit to civilisation to stock up on music and films, whilst keeping an eye on the rest of the Championship. It also saves me from pacing the floor when Newcastle are playing…

Fortunately, one thing hasn’t changed, I still get a buzz out of seeing a live game each weekend. The thought of watching football through the HD cameras of Sky and BT really doesn’t appeal. Being force fed Opta stats and patronised regarding the alleged brilliance of the Premier League, no thanks…

As long as I’m young enough, and fit enough, I’d rather be out in the fresh air watching my football as nature intended…

Birmingham City; Kuszczak, Spector, Morrison, Shotton, Grounds, Gleeson, Kieftenbeld (Gardner 54), Davis; Fabbrini (Cotterill 63), Jutkiewicz, Adams

Not Used; Legzdins, Robinson, Tesche, Solomon-Otabor, Dacres-Cogley

Goals; None

Nottingham Forest; Henderson; Mancienne, Mills, Hobbs, Lichaj, Lam, Cash, Lica (Pinillos 71), Pereira (Vaughan 82), Osborn, Assombalonga

Not Used; Stojkovic, Bendtner, Perquis, Brereton, Edser

Goals; None

As usual, more pictures on flickr…

07.01.2017… Birmingham (a)…

Birmingham City 1 Newcastle United 1

St. Andrew’s… Saturday January 7th… 3pm

Attendance: 13,171 (4,671 away fans)

Ticket: £18 – Programme: £2

A barely deserved draw, and a replay to follow at St. James’ next week…

We started well, with Daryl Murphy giving us an early lead, Mitrovic being injured during the goalmouth scramble in the build up. Mitro was subsequently stretchered off in obvious discomfort, with what (fortunately) turned out to be a very deep cut, rather than a break. We never really seemed to recover…

birmingham v newcastle...

First Half: An Early Chance for Newcastle…

Birmingham gradually imposed themselves on the game, and Lukas Jutkiewicz deservedly equalised just before half time. It was a goal that came about as we slept following a a quickly taken free kick…

The second half was pretty much a non-event, although Birmingham missed two gilt edged chances to win it in the dying minutes…

As a result of the replay, Brentford away reverts to (next) Saturday, Brighton away to be rearranged following their win over MK Dons…

birmingham v newcastle...

Second Half: There was a Second Half, Not a Lot Happened…

At least we have the rare novelty of a place in the fourth round draw…

Birmingham City; Legzdins, Spector (Cogley 44), Shotton, Robinson, Grounds, Kieftenbeld, Gleeson, Davis, Che Adams, Fabbrini (Stewart 79), Jutkiewicz

Not Used; Tesche, Cotterill, Brown, Dacres-Morrison, Kuszczak

Goals; Jutkiewicz (42)

Newcastle United: Sels, Yedlin, Lascelles, Hanley, Haidara (Ritchie 69), Anita, Colback, Tiote (Hayden 65 (YC)), Lazaar, Murphy, Mitrovic (Gouffran 10)

Not Used; Clark, Dummett, Gayle, Darlow.

Goals; Murphy (5)

As usual, more pictures on flickr…