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Oh Michael We Love You So & With Lee Off To Wembley We Go

Bristol City 2 v 1  Crystal Palace AET

 

By Bristol Boy

 

I suppose it’s obvious to talk about the passion & performance after an evening of high emotion saw City heading for Wembley on 24th May, but when you’re sat in a concrete stand that’s literally shaking, you know it’s a special night and one that I’ll always remember.

 

Without wishing to sound patronising towards our younger fans, my advice to them is simple - enjoy the night and enjoy the memory because there’ll be nights & days when the memories aren’t as good and I’ve experienced the euphoria, elation and then the lows… and I know which I prefer: Tuesday night’s variety!

 

There is no doubt that City deserved their place at Wembley over the two games and for all of Palace’s possession at a pulsating Ashton Gate, Basso wasn’t called into action often after a mix up between the Brazilian & McCombe gifted the talented Ben Watson a lead that flattered Palace after City had started brightly and dominated the opening encounters.

 

Watson, who looks a great prospect despite the penalty miss that heralded extra time, headed home with aplomb and the confidence that had personified our performance on Saturday, seemed to drain out of even our “touch” players like Carle, Noble & Trundle.

 

The team's mood changed and that saw us concede possession and invite the pressure that saw Carle’s lunge concede the penalty that could have brought about our downfall.

 

As the post rattled, Ashton Gate exploded and “We always believe” boomed around the ground as fans old & new, bounced in the belief that seemed to spread to the players as the game almost inevitably entered extra time.

 

Adebola’s challenge saw Orr’s cross drop to Lee Trundle who curled a trademark left foot shot past the outstretched arm of Speroni who had still been the busier of the two keepers, even needing a goal line clearance to deny the hard working Elliott an early opener almost identical to Watson’s goal.

 

Trundle had earlier almost snatched the win at the death when he clipped Sperroni's bar with the Argentinian clutching fresh air.

 

With the applause still ringing around Ashton Gate to salute the Liverpudlian’s departure, McIndoe’s cracking low drive beat the Argentinian and the celebrations commenced, culminating in a good natured pitch invasion… preceded by some knuckle draggers trying to kick things off early!

 

The immense feeling of pride that GJ has in his team and that the fans have in our club came shining through, throughout extra time as we, once again, retained the ball, demonstrated resolve, fitness and new found energy, using Sproule as an outlet against a visibly wilting back four.

 

At the time of writing Hull have trounced Watford and will be worthy opponents, as the two “footballing” teams have won through to what will hopefully be a memorable final, not to mention a winning one.

 

A triumph of style over strength & whoosh football?

 

You judge!

 

 

 

City lined up 4-4-2:
 

Basso

 

 

 

 

Orr

Carey

McCombe

McAllister

 

 

 

 

Noble

Elliott

Carle

McIndoe

 

 

 

 

                Trundle

Adebola           

 

Subs (used)

Fontaine

Johnson

Sproule

 

 

Not used:

Weale

Byfield

 

TEAM RATINGS

 

Passing: 7/10

 

Set Pieces: 7/10

 

Commitment: 9/10

 

Entertainment Value: 8/10

 

Defending: 8/10

 

Attacking: 7/10

 

PLAYER RATINGS:

 

BASSO: 6/10 Major rick, similar scenario to Saturday and that’ll need sorting out before the 24th. Did all the regulation stuff well and, in truth for all of Palace’s possession, he didn’t have too much to do.

 

ORR: 7/10:Barnstorming performance and committed defending.

 

CAREY: 8/10 Great display of defending and leadership although we could have done without the standing on the ball driving out of defence, Louis!

 

MCCOMBE: 7/10 After the mix up for the goal and, in fairness, before that, a strong defensive display.

 

MCALLISTER: 7/10 Drove forward, combining well with the energetic McIndoe and did his bit defensively.  

 

CARLE: 7/10 Dropped down a point for the penalty that could have seen us miss out on a Wembley final in an otherwise committed & quality display.

 

ELLIOTT: 7/10 Hard working, effective display and defended bravely, however the passing needs to improve, although one cracker sent Trundle away.

 

NOBLE: 7/10 Hardworkingg display and kept the ball well in spells without ever quite hitting the standards of Saturday’s performance.

 

MCINDOE: 8/10 Superb strike sealed our win and a high octane performance from start to finish.

 

TRUNDLE: 8/10 Magnificent opener and played his part in the second before leaving the pitch to rapturous applause. Once again the fitness & commitment matched the obvious technical quality

 

ADEBOLA: 6/10 Not his best game but he’ll be back after a twelve day rest. Ran his socks off without hitting the standards of Saturday’s game.

 

SUBS:

 

 

FONTAINE: 6/10 Cameo.

 

JOHNSON: 6/10 Cameo.

 

SPROULE: 7/10 Lively introduction and could have had a hat trick if only his finishing matched his pace. Used his trickery & speed against tiring defenders and helped City retain possession as they grew stronger in extra time

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Want to bounce around the ground at Wembley?

 

Maybe you shoud read this:

Don't let Ticketmaster kill the 12th man!

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