Often Partisan

Blues Reserves in Comfortable Win

Blues u21s ran out comfortable 2-0 winners against Ipswich last night in their Professional Development League game. Goals from Reece Brown and Viv Solomon sealed the win for Blues who could and possibly should have won by more. Gavin Gunning, Michael Morrison and Matt Green all returned after injury absences.

But for the heroics of Sam McDermid in the Ipswich goal this could have been a hammering. Blues were much stronger than their East Anglian rivals and as the game wore on they pressed their superiority. Blues took the lead on 14 minutes when Denny Johnstone’s beautifully lofted ball over the static Ipswich backline found the onrushing Reece Brown who smashed the ball home from 12 yards. They made it 2-0 in the second half when Denny Johnstone found Viv Solomon-Otabor on the edge of the area with an outrageous backheel which slipped the winger in between the two centre-backs and he lashed it home.

McDermid made excellent saves throughout, highlights being tipping over a close-range Truslove header in the first half and then tipping a long-range effort from the same player in the second half. The ironic thing was that while he did well with those both goals were struck fairly centrally.

Viv Solomon was a box of tricks on the left and his pace got him past the Ipswich defence time and time again. While at first Solomon struggled with making the right decision on how to beat the man as the game went on and his confidence grew he started to beat the man inside and out, whipping the ball in and on one occasion almost scoring after a mazy run had taken him 60 yards into the box. It’s the second time in two games I have been impressed by Solomon and I hope he can progress on his professional deal next year.

Denny Johnstone will have done his chances of being given a new deal no harm with his display. But for being an inch closer to substitute Kamal Guthmy’s whipped cross he would have added his name to the scoresheet; McDermid also saved well when Reece Brown returned the favour and played Johnstone in behind the Ipswich defence.

Brown had a bit of a curate’s egg of a performance. He scored and yes, he looks talented, but once again he just didn’t impose himself on the game as I would hope or in fairness expect. As one seasoned observer remarked to me, Brown has it all in talent and skill but he doesn’t actually do much – there is no consistent end product. In this game against such a poor team he should have taken control and put them to the sword but he was so languid he was virtually anonymous in the second half. Now it could be if and when Brown is given first team action he comes to life; played correctly in the number 10 position he could be amazing but I worry that games could completely bypass him. I actually don’t think we’ll know if he can do it from u21 games – the only way we will know is when he is picked – and it may be that his attitude disappoints Rowett that won’t happen.

Morrison looked solid at the back – exactly what you’d expect from the former Charlton man and it was pleasing to see Gunning get an hour beside him. Gunning was vocal throughout and looked solid enough – if he can maintain his fitness from here until the end of the season he may be worth a new deal. Green ran gamely and tried hard but didn’t have the same impact on the game as Johnstone did – I think he needs more games to show what he can do but time may run out for him.

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16 Responses to “Blues Reserves in Comfortable Win”

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Reece Brown has only recently celebrated his 19th birthday and is nowhere near the the finished article. However he scores goals from midfield and has the skill (which none of our other midfielders possess) to unlock tight defences with a touch of magic.
    If Gunning can prove his fitness and show his worth, which I hope he will, there will be no need to acquire another central defender in the summer.
    There must be a question mark against Green being resigned. Johnstone is younger and coming into form and with Donaldson and Thomas’s presence his first team prospects are nil.
    Imo we need an attacking left back as Grounds offers little going forward up the left channel. Also Caddis’ defensive frailties worry me at right back.

  • oldburyblue says:

    I thought Charlee Adams looked closer to being ready for the first team than Reece Brown but even he was very inconsistent during the game. I think Brown’s biggest problem will be his size and he will easily be bullied in the hustle-bustle of the Championship. Morrison looked the business and it was pleasing to see that Gunning was not far behind him, even though he has been out for so long. Morrison is clearly ready for a first team recall and it won’t be long for Gunning to be ready, if needed, also. I will reserve judgement on Green until he has had the opportunity to get some games under his belt. I agree with Daniel though that he may run out of time to get a new contract.

  • Big Al says:

    Sorry to go off message but I went to see Blues ladies on Sunday – they were magnificent in a 3-1 victory against the league champions but there was hardly anyone there to see it. If you have a couple of hours spare on a Sunday please pop down and at least see if find it entertaining. Karen Carney (albeit suspended for this particular match) has more skill than any Blues player I’ve seen since Bryan Hughes.

  • Dan McShane says:

    I was interested to see a triallist called O’Brien who plays for Villa. Anyone know if we are serious aboutt taking him??

    Charlee Adams looks a good prospect

  • Dave Mann says:

    I’ve watched the ladies a few times and there a credit to our club and being one of the best teams in the country makes us all feel proud.., as for the Ipswich game , I would like to see Reece Brown and matt green get a run out against Rotherham on Good Friday , Green could be a bonus if he can stay fit and get a few games under is belt before the end off the season and see if he can form some sort off partnership with Donaldson or are they to similar? .. Ide go 4-4-2 with those two starting against Rotherham .. What’s there to loose ? , give it a go rowett and see what happens!! Kro

    • oldburyblue says:

      I like Green but to expect him to be ready for first team football by next week after so long out is expecting a bit much Dave. Definitely give him a go before the end of the season so that an informed decision can be made though.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Gary talking up Spector. We are keeping our sights low still

  • andy says:

    Blues are in no position to set their sights high at this moment in time and Spector is certainly a player worth keeping.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I would agree with that. He is a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none but if GR is going to be working with a smaller, but hopefully better quality, squad than this year, Spector would be a useful squad player. He hasn’t done that badly filling in for Morrison who I would imagine will be replacing him for the Rotherham game.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think that, when you’re working with a smaller squad, you have to have 2, possibly 3 utility players, to cover for injuries and suspensions. I think that more or less guarantees Spector another contract.

      • Hillfield Blues says:

        Spector definitely worth a new contract. He’s done an admiral job filling in at centre half when we were short there and can do similarly effective job at right back or midfield. Every squad needs a few of these types around. World beaters they’re not,but they’ll get you out of a hole as his stint at centre back has shown.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Spector is definetley worth keeping as that utility player but not a first team regular , the rest of the regular first 11 ide keep along with our regular bench and matt green … Zigic must go and it’s sad for me to say that along with the others that have not pushed the first team , keep the youngsters which we’ve already signed up and then bring in the replacements if we can who are better than what we’ve got and there you go for next season , sorted , simple really! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I suspect, as ShirleyBlue mentioned in another blog, that we could see the equivalent of a whole team leave in the summer. To get down to the kind of squad Rowett wants, there would have to be at least 10 departures. We would all maybe have our own opinions of who those 10 might be… and I would think that at least 7 of those would be unanimous among fans. So, it remains to be seen now who Rowett will move on. I’ll be interested to see the retained list come the end of the season.


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