With Bazza not being able to make the game this evening, I thought I would do my own version of a View From the South, living in Devon – West needs to be added.
So with Bazza’s proforma, I have created my own version.
I set out from Okehampton with my son Jordan at 4.30pm. Bristol is notorious for heavy motorway traffic so, I left a bit earlier. After a brief stop for fuel, including a snickers and some pop – we headed Avon way. The intention was to park at the cricket ground as usual, however we were both hungry. Unlike Bazza’s usual eating haunts – we were stuck with Gordano services. Jordan had a BK and I had a KFC. A couple of other Blues fans appeared and after a brief chat, we headed off.
I did take a wrong turning, but the sat nav got us to the cricket ground in good time. Unfortunately, there was no spaces left. We were now stuffed. It was getting on for 7.15 and parking was an issue. I tried a small road just round the corner from the cricket ground, but there were two parking attendants and they confirmed it was restricted. They explained where we could park, so I asked a guy if I could turn around in his drive. He allowed me to, and then said why don’t you park here! I offered to pay, but he refused. He then explained his business sponsored the club’s shirt! We were then in the ground in good time. Just before the game started, the couple we spoke to in Gordanos, took their seats just in front of us!
The game kicked off and we had good possession right from the off. We had a decent chance early on from Juke I think it was – but on 12 minutes, Bristol broke and won a free kick, a soft one – and a decently taken kick from Pack hit the net. It was a disappointment especially as we had been enjoying most of the possession. Personally I was also disappointed in Stockdale’s attempt to save it too.
After the goal, we continued to have the lion’s share of the ball. A weak Boga shot on target, but easily saved and then a fizzing cross by Boga going just wide – were the start of a regular pattern. Blues possession, create a chance, not finish it. So it was inevitable that 15 minutes later, against the run of play, Bristol broke on the counter-attack, and thanks to poor defending, went 2-0 up with Reid getting the final touch. This spurred the Blues on, and we then had a period of sustained pressure and 15 minutes later deservedly pulled a goal back through Juke, a decent shot after a good move.
At 2-1, we were right back in the game. We finished the half strongly, there was a good long range shot from Harding and plenty of possession, but the half finished with the home side ahead.
The 2nd half didn’t start well, we seemed to struggle to get the ball and the officials had clearly decided that anyone in a blue shirt could be fouled, have their shirt pulled and generally be man-handled without punishment! I suspect the Bristol players were told to be more physical, and it worked. It completely broke our play – and we struggled for much of the 2nd.
However we did have chances. After a great run from Mags, Juke got another shot on target which was saved for a corner. Juke also had a header go agonisingly just the wrong side of the post. Bristol created some as well. They hit the bar after a long throw before it was cleared away and threatened us more in the 2nd. As we stretched to try and get an equaliser, they hit us on the break again and then scored with Taylor putting the Robins 3-1 with 6 minutes to go. We then ran out of steam and the game limped to the end.
I’m not doing match ratings, but a special mention to Jota who ran harried, tackled and looked to create all through the game.
Over all, it was disappointing to lose a game that we had enjoyed good possession and had a larger number of chances than the hosts. However there were good points. Which brings me to the infamous good, bad and ugly.
Good – The decent football and a good number of chances. Seeing all the teams around us had also lost!
Bad – Not putting the chances away. We SHOULD have got a point from the game.
Ugly – The referee’s performance. The bloke behind me said, I think he’s got a caravan at Weston! He did not give us anything. As I said above, we watched while our players were literally rugby tackled – and we got nothing. He was literally useless. HOWEVER, it wasn’t his fault we didn’t score again.
So that’s it – not as wordy, or probably accurate as Baz – but it was my take. Come back Bazza, show me how it’s done!