Boro is the furthest game away for the mighty Royals this season – but it’s the nearest thing I get to a home game and with the Rz unbeaten in five, I set off with a quickness of step yesterday morning to the game, and one which wasn’t affected by National Rail’s habitual autumn shut-down of the rail line between Edinburgh and Newcastle, and the subsequent diversion via Carlisle, making a one-way five-hour journey of the trip.
The return was a different story, though: a 3-1 defeat meant that the miles back hung heavy. The lads gave themselves a mountain to climb after conceding a goal after 24 seconds (it was our kick-off too, which meant that we’d kicked off twice within 1 minute and 2 seconds of the start of the game 😦 ) and Brian McD was probably right to criticise the ‘flat‘ nature of the performance. Truth to tell, the second and third Boro goals came somewhat against the run of play and we didn’t play that badly. We were punished heavily for mistakes, though, and never turned a significant lion’s share of the possession into meaningful sustained attack which put pressure on the Boro goal. And a game plan on keeping Boro quiet from the off – well, that worked well and, as a reuslt, the Blue Army never really got goingeither.
With three goals leaked and a three-game suspension after a straight red (it’s not clear from this that it was a sending-off) to provide the opportunity to swap things around, we can expect some changes for Barnsley at home, including Khizanishvili for Pearce (who was horribly at fault for that first goal), and probably Church for the suspended Howard. Get Tabb and Griffin back from injuries and I don’t think we’ll be far off. Still, this was indeed a bitter pill to swallow (as my iPod on random shuffle gave me at one point on my return).
More reaction to the game from the HNA? back to the game thread here.