The last game of the season arrived, Sunday 7th May; it was Bristol City away. It only seemed like five minutes ago we were looking at the fixtures being released, fans thought it was going to be a nothing game before the season started, but it was the opposite when it got down to it. Blackburn, Nottingham Forest or us were going to be relegated with Wigan and Rotherham, but a win against Huddersfield last week gave us the advantage on points going into the match. Blackburn faced Brentford and Forest faced Ipswich Town.
A pretty much unchanged side from the one which beat Huddersfield 2-0 last Saturday. Che Adams was back in the side after his red card was appealed. Bristol City’s talisman striker Tammy Abraham was in the side and was a real threat first off for the home team. Blues didn’t really get into the game until the first 10 minutes, although when we did, we controlled. Adams had a few attempts on goal, but shortly after Blues got on the front foot.
There were a lot of free-kicks and corners, but we were looking the more likely to score. Harry Redknapp was animated throughout on the touchline; he really needed to be. Jutkiewicz missed an opportunity but it fell to Che Adams and he turned the defender, and with a deflection off the keeper, Blues went 0-1 up!
The tactic must have been to park the bus and defend as soon as the goal was scored, any type of win would have done. Blues slacked a bit in defence after that, a foul in the 23rd minute by Shotton gave the home team a golden chance from a free-kick, but they couldn’t take it. An attack from Bristol City quickly came to a holt, but as Blues used to do under ex manager Gary Rowett; they countered from the punt by Kusczcak. David Davis played a ball through to goal scorer Adams, but he was offside. Craig Gardner then had a chance, it was all going Blues’ way.
Blackburn, by half time, were 0-2 up at Brentford and Forest led 1-0. This meant that Blackburn were going down, on goal difference as them and Notts forest were on equal points. Brentford during the second half made it 1-2, Blackburn were worried I would have guessed and so were Forest. Blues just knew they had to not take their foot off the gas.
It was more Bristol City in the second half, Abraham and Korey Smith had chances but the bus in royal Blue held firm. It was then Josh Brownhill’s turn to test keeper Kusczcak. Grounds & Maghoma were shown yellow cards in the 55th minute. The game then went quiet, the news going round the away stands was that Forest had made it 3-0 and Blackburn has made it 1-3, but because those matches were 5 minutes ahead, Bristol had time to equalise and it was boosted by the fact they were on top in the second 45.
Blues held on for a survival win. All three teams won, but it was Blackburn who took the killer blow and were sent down to league one; even after winning their final match! Let’s hope now we can re-build and have a stable, promising season under Harry Redknapp. Fingers crossed anyway…
RB: Little , CB: Flint , CB: Wright , LB: Bryan
RM: Brownhill , CM: Smith , CM: Pack , LM: Paterson
RS: Abraham , LS: Taylor
RB: Nsue , CB: Morrison , CB: Shotton , LB: Grounds
RM: Davis , CM: Gardner , CM: Kieftenbeld , LM: Maghoma
RS: Adams , LS: Jutkiewitz
Possession – Bristol City; 60% , Blues; 40%
Shots – Bristol City; 20 , Blues; 14
Shots on target – Bristol City; 1 , Blues; 7
Corners – Bristol City; 7 , Blues; 6
Fouls – Bristol City; 18 , Blues; 14