Two sides lacking quality and composure produced an exciting 2-2, but error strewn draw at a blowy and freezing cold KC Stadium.
The conditions did nothing to help, but as an advert for top flight English football this match saw the players treating the ball as if it were a hand grenade with the pin pulled out. Truly woeful stuff.
In the wake of Wednesday’s debacle at Upton Park, we on the terraces were not surprised to see Tiger’s Manager Phil Brown decide on personnel changes, but there was widespread shock amongst the faithful when it was announced that Craig Fagan and Richard Garcia were to lead the attack.
But once again it seemed that when Fagan powered home a cross from Bernard Mendy to put the hosts 2-1 up, Brown had pulled a rabbit from the tactical hat. City were in control and it looked as if they would go on to win the game comfortably.
Being a Tigers fan leaves you with a sense that nothing is ever inevitable, and so it came to pass that the Baggies grabbed an equaliser, and based on the second half chances created, it was a fair result.
West Brom’s leveller resulted in a mistake by Ricketts who instead of either blasting the ball into touch, or passing back to Matt Duke chose to dally by the corner flag. He lost the ball, the City defence failed to lock down the penalty area and the result was Zayette hacking down Koren, Chris Blunt dispatching the spot kick with aplomb.
City started this game billed by Brown as “must not lose”, but by the rest of us as “must win” with gusto. Chances were created and Garcia should have done better with a free header from a Kilbane left flank centre, but when Mendy ran through a static Baggies defence to score on 44 it reflected the balance of play, so to end up at 2-2 was a bitter pill to swallow against a team mired in trouble.
From a City point of view it is a blessed relief to finally get of 27 points after six defeats on the spin, but I am concerned that Brown doesn’t appear to know his best starting 11, and there has been a dramatic collective loss of form and confidence epitomised by the fall from grace of Giovanni.
Nevertheless there is hope. We have banked enough points from earlier in the season to stand a realistic chance of staying up, and the arrival of Jimmy Bullard for an eye watering £5 million, is a clear statement of intent from Chairman Paul Duffen that he expects not only to survive, but to compete in the Premier League.