Often Partisan

Sunny Delight: Blues Win in Shrewsbury

Blues ran out 2-1 winners in a tough fought friendly at the Greenhous Meadow in Shrewsbury. Goals from Mitchell Hancox and Nikola Zigic sealed a win for a Blues side that saw trialist Darren Carter come on to rapturous applause in the second half.

As friendlies go, this had all the ingredients of a good game; a travelling army of 1400 Blues fans in the North Stand on a balmy Shropshire night with a fair few fuelled by a couple of pre-match beers in the packed Brooklands Hotel beforehand. There was lots of noise and a fair bit of good-natured banter as Blues strutted their stuff on the pitch.

Blues fell behind after a poor clearance by Jack Deaman fell to a Shrewsbury player, and after it was quickly worked to the left hand side Marvin Morgan thumped home an unstoppable header past David Lucas. However, Blues didn’t let their heads drop and were level by half time through young left back Mitch Hancox who showed what a threat he can be in the opposition box, slotting home Chris Burke’s inviting cross.

Blues were much more on top in the second half and they were almost immediately in front with Nathan Redmond hitting the post and Zigic seeing his follow-up scrambled away by Grandison. Blues were not to be denied however, and a bustling run from Asante (fresh on the pitch for Burke) saw a stinging shot palmed away by the keeper into the path of Nikola Zigic, who made no mistake from six yards.

There were promising performances across the park for Blues; once again Mitch Hancox impressed at left back and it’s my belief he’s growing with every game he’s entrusted to play. Jack Deaman recovered from a shaky early start to grow into the right back slot and Will Packwood (in his third position of pre-season) showed again his promise as he partnered Curtis Davies in the heart of defence.

For me the most impressive players were up front however. Nathan Redmond looked much more the player who starred in the Championship last season, making teasing runs and playing thoughtful balls to build attacks. He was unlucky not to score when his shot clipped the post with the keeper beaten all ends up and he can be rightly proud of his contribution.

Marlon King and Nikola Zigic linked up well, and Zigic was unlucky not to score on two previous occasions before he finally slotted home what proved to be the winner. His height and presence panicked the Shrews back four and along with King’s intelligent play and runs Blues were unlucky not to increase their tally somewhat.

Darren Carter came on for a half hour cameo to a standing ovation and did okay; however it does strike me that there is a lot of sentimentality in people wanting him offered a deal and I’d personally want to see a bit more before I committed to feeling the same way. I was also impressed with Josh Hawker, who came on for his first game in a full first team friendly and looked busy and industrious on the left, linking up well with Hancox and offering a threat down that flank.

All in all it was a good workout for Blues and I hope that some of the fine moves we saw tonight will continue into the season proper.

Blues team:

David Lucas; Jack Deaman, Pablo Ibanez (Curtis Davies H/T), Steven Caldwell (Will Packwood H/T), Mitch Hancox; Chris Burke (Akwasi Asante 69), Hayden Mullins (Marlon King H/T), Wade Elliott (Morgaro Gomis H/T), Darren Ambrose (Darren Carter 62 mins); Nathan Redmond (Josh Hawker 75); Adam Rooney (Nikola Zigic H/T).

Pre Season 2012 sponsored by August Windows & Doors

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9 Responses to “Sunny Delight: Blues Win in Shrewsbury”

  • daddyblue says:

    A lot of kids played tonight and they all seemed to do well. Not so sure about Dearman though Kro4ever

  • James Black says:

    All sounds good Al. Love the fact his looking at the youngsters as for me i want us to be a proper football club, bringing on our own people and it seems to me that Lee is doing that. Nice match report Al grateful for your take on the situation as always and yes i believe ur right about Carter. Just as with many that got over the top about Holloway cuz he kissed our butts dont mean his the best man. A silly trait which most blues fans are prone too. Him saying nice things does not make him a great manager and same with Carter, yes we love him but????

  • Julian Glass says:

    A very enjoyable match. We kept the ball down, used width very well and when we went 4 3 3 looked very dangerous. Far more quality on the ball in the second half than the previous 135 minutes. However we must be mindful of level of the opposition before getting carried away.

    Plus points
    Hancox very impressive
    Packman and Asante honourable mentions
    Burke and Redmond always dangerous
    King and Zigic plenty of synergy in their performance
    Davies and Caldwell faultless

    Minus points
    Mullins, Ambrose and Eliott not much penetration. Weplayed much better when they were not on the pitch
    Darren didn’t produce a ‘sign him up’ performance

  • Ad says:

    Julian, Darren carter was only given 30 mins of playing time and what he did he did well. He made two important challenges in the middle of the park and he found zigic a couple times at the far post with some fantastic balls, making use of our aerial ability.
    When he came on he was also encouraging the younger players to push forward.
    He looked a lot fitter and more comfortable than Mullins.
    It was nice to see the younger lads given a run out, Hancox looked quick, Asante looks very strong on the ball, dearman pushed forward well, packman controlled, hawker worked well with Hancox, and Redmond different class and has improved on his left side as well.
    Entertaining evening on the pitch and off it, blues fans where fantastic, that’s carry the atmosphere back into st Andrews next season.

  • Bluebird says:

    With the exception of the days when Francis, Burns & the Latchfords etc came through the Blues’ Youth System, I cannot recall us ever having a bunch of young talent like we have now!
    Which begs the question: Whatever happened to Terry Westley?
    He was here one day and gone the next –
    No fuss; no explanation and apparently no reason for leaving because I don’t think that he has a formal position with anyone now!
    Was it a false economy or did he and the Mutant Ginja fall out?
    Any thoughts on this Al?

    • Pete says:

      Could not agree more. Under Westley these players, Mutch and Butland have come through the system. So we sacked him….

      • Dan H says:

        Westley got caught up in between our former owners at West Ham tapping up Nathan Redmond before he’d made a start at Blues

        I believe Pannu sacked him

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    I too was at the Brooklands having spent an hour in the sunshine strolling round the city centre and river. Good turnout form Blues fans, a lot of whom had come as it was a new ground for Blues having never played there before. I always though these ‘out of town’ new grounds were supposed to be out of town to alleviate any parking issues but the parking was virtually non existent anywhere near the ground with most parking by the Brooklands and walking up.

    I enjoyed the game but we didn’t have it all our own way in the first half with their left winger and centre forward looking lively. Was a nice touch of their mascot to take that little Blues lad onto the pitch to meet the players and the banter with the Shrewsbury ‘boyfriends’ was a laugh with they themselves joining in. Most of the squad had a run out, Butland was missing with Team GB, Nathan has filled out and now wears pink boots which are a little too like filth colours for me, the young kids acquitted themselves well and Asantes run for the goal was quality. Zigic kept applauding us fans and smiling and laughing like he’s just loving it right now and Carters ovation was emotional for all the obvious reasons. There was no sign of any doom or gloom amongst the faithful who were in great spirits and all in all it was one of the better friendlies I’ve been to. Maybe because of our over attendance at the Hereford friendly last year there were loads of police around especially after the game but as I say it all passed off great.

    Am ODing on football right now with the Olympics at Cov on Thursday, Cheltenham on Saturday then Bury and Plymouth. Might eve go to the Antwerp game now as I’ve heard they’re bring 2000 with em. Yes, all is well on the good ship Birmingham right now and I’m gonna keep that positive vibe by not speculating on what might happen in the weeks to come.

  • Euston 9.18 says:

    Keep the “good vibe” going “PAUL” it suits you.


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