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Mullet added 18:50 - Oct 3
Town huddled in their own half before kick-off as a few hundred of either allegiance huddled between the expanses of empty seats in the Jack Walker mausoleum. Changed through injury and illness the struggling Blues squad tested in depth with the inclusion of Parr and Touré, were charged with surpassing the struggling and embargoed Lancastrians. The UN have some stiff competition in Suffolk it seems.

The plan was clear, the operation utterly backstreet and bloody thanks to Town’s lack of guts. After losing men and yards in the opening flurry, Town had a bright spark rather than spell that fizzled out with the weak corner of Maitland-Niles. The first man he couldn’t beat a second time as he ran into a cul-de-sac. His next effort was exactly what Town needed, the header from Murphy – not so much.

With the fear of failure weighing heavy in the equivalent fixture at the end of last season, a supposedly much stronger away side had no excuse or hiding place, and the weakened hosts reversed roles gladly as the few minutes of muster left town gassed. Decent wingers were again all that were needed to unseat and unsettle the Blues. A backline that’s looked stale of late, were positively rancid with a midfield made up entirely of Cole Skuse. Mick’s set up a calculated risk no doubt, but the side were at sixes and sevens.

AMN was this time so green and as a result giving away the ball with three of four touches eclipsing the odd moment of magic or intent. Touré’s runs forward and the support of Chambers only conspired to misplace the islands of Sears and Murphy as the home side flooded forward through gaps across the park.

Poor decision or not, when Touré was adjudged to have breathed on Akpan harder than Chambers or Skuse had managed as he ran the ball out a penalty was a soft option handed to bungling ref. Pointing to the Guinean and then the spot amid protests the home side’s execution was even softer than the decision. Deadly in all divisions bar one, Rhodes set the sides apart by rolling past Gerken frustratingly, given the obvious and central placement of the opener.

A second guilty smirk towards the away end came minutes later as Town continued their free-goals-for-all attitude to defending. A keener eye would have simply picked up the striker and leapt with him. Another sumptuous supply from a set piece and unwatched and under our noses Rhodes nodded a header home from yards out. A bullet in the gullet and the game spinning away like a Douglas pass. The inverse Anderson continues to get 90 minutes defying all logic and reason.

Roseclad runners pressed a Town side spread flat like a bed of manure, flourishing while we dallied with the ball across the back and looked to apply just enough pressure to choke us out of a game, with an hour still to run. Olson put the ball in the net for a third time with a neat run and looping finish but was clearly offside – if our defenders had the luxury of such clarity, it really wasn’t clear.

Touré was finally booked having stopped the game and his man by winning the ball, having ensure the card by aiming and failing to push his man over in a first and bungling attempt. Having moved from the right to the left as AMN floated centrally in a melange of midfield inefficiency and 4 – fcukall -2 tactic. It didn’t really work.

As the half passed, the young Gunner drilled a much needed free-kick into the wall and again Town broke under the pressure of counter-attack as route one produced gaps Blackburn could charge a Routemaster through. Our work with the ball around the goalmouth was flaccid and naïve as we failed time and again to write our own headlines and find the lively Sears or jaded Murphy time and again.

The Irishman forced Steele into his first real save of the game just before the half time whistle it was a strike from distance, reminiscent of last year’s glory but it faded just as quick as any of those as it was pushed from the corner of the net and away. Still it was better than the effort gifted to Douglas minutes earlier, who had the goal open up in front of him when arguably the floor would have suited all parties. Whether he’s won a competition or Mick’s lost a bet, he is quickly becoming the apex of a pyramid of duds built on the backs of Campo, Chapman, Scales et al.

The second half saw both sides unchanged but Town rehabilitating the junkyard 45 just gone. McGoldrick replaced Touré who looked more likely to do something than most, but that something could be a goal or an early exit at any given moment. The sub showed he had magic in his every touch, but his hands and feet looked heavy as anything beyond five yard bursts left the #10 catching breath instead of leaving us breathless as he once has. His header over from fellow sub Pitman’s corner the best he had to offer not quite on goal.

The demoralising opening half had been all about Town’s failure and Blackburn’s lack of reciprocity saw the already faltering formation completely collapse. Sears had had enough of waiting for his team mates to join him all game, so it was a little ironic they were queuing up as he beat man after man down the line and along the by-line, cutting in and shooting into a crowd and wounding no one but his own side as Blackburn broke. Rhodes again happy to bask on the floor in Berra’s shadow as the need to beat him in the air, or for pace became redundant thanks to the Scot’s inability to remain professional and avoid being played by his international colleague.

As the game was sliding out of view before our eyes, Chambers took up the captain’s role and in another decent performance tried to ignite the fight back with a thundering shot from distance. The ghost of Venus hung over the rasping shot as Steele launched it wide.
Gerken was not to be outdone. The underfire glovesman sat down cutely to deny a Rover breakaway and later tipped another unmarked header from Rhodes, deflecting rather than catching the bullet to deny a certain third in the classier brace of many instances Town might have buckled completely.

With the result never in doubt Mick threw on Oar with little time to turn the tide of a game Town had all but drowned in long ago. The little Aussie, crossed early and often and tried to force the initiative with the support of forward running Parr. The Norwegian had his own chance to scramble consolation for the travelling Tractor boys as he ran the ball close and Steele got the telling touch.

It summed up Town’s game when the keeper came for a cross and failed to punch the ball in place of Brett Pitman’s face. The striker lay stricken and dazed as the home side attacked again and the ref remained oblivious to the potential peril. It was a little drama in the doldrums of another day in Blackburn where Town sank without a trace, handing former charge Rhodes and his employers an easy day’s work. The chances of either side exiting the division might shorten should odd performances such as today become a longer trend.
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StowTractorBoy added 19:09 - Oct 3
Excellent round up Mullett but can't agree on your take of McGoldrick. He has more class in his right boot than many and made a difference when he came on. As for Murphy I have no reason to change my criticism of him last week as he gave another hopeless display. I can forgive if you put in effort but Murphy once again did nothing today and he has to be omitted against Huddersfield. Those who said we should have sold him may well have been right but time will tell. There were many poor performances today and my oh my what has gone wrong with Berra as he was is not the man he was and was lucky to escape a red card. Alarm bells are now ringing if promotion is the aim but I trust MM to get it right.
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charlie0986 added 21:50 - Oct 3
Dreadful game...town can't put 2 passes together...midfield pairing of skuse and Douglas just does not work...both poor in possession...backwards and side wards or pumped long to nobody.....can't criticise Murphy as he was fed on scraps today...very very poor
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chorltonskylineblue added 23:12 - Oct 3
I watched the game with a guest fan today. I spent much of the match moaning about the hopeless Douglas. Eventually said guest asked me what number Douglas was so he could check him out - you can tell from this interaction that quite a few players were having a bad day, so it needed narrowing down. I quoted his shirt number, but quickly added that this wasn't necessary. Just look for the fan on the pitch who's won a competition but the manager has forgotten to take him off.

Sorry, I never like to lay into a Town player, but Douglas was so far off the pace it was unreal. As we made our 3rd substitution I was incredulous that Douglas was getting 90 minutes.
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linhdi added 10:37 - Oct 4
A shambolic disgrace of a first-half performance. Second half only marginally better.
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