Fans turn on Bruce Blues draw blank
Blues fans huddled in the concourse at the Riverside watching the Baggies go down to Chelsea were in jubilant mood as the result gave Blues the chance to leap out of the bottom three. There joy was shortlived as the team for today was read out. Brude had decided to go with 5 in midfield and one up front. This particular formation had proved the Blues' downfall so many times this season and was to do so again.
Blues Bench included three players who between them had over 25 goals this season. Forssell, Campbell and Jarosik along with the now fit Tebily were to gather splinters while Heskey was left to plough a loan furrow.
Dunn was left playing just off HEskey againa role that was his least succesful.
Blues had plenty of possesion in the first half but created nothing of any note save the opportunity for Kilkenny and Butt to slice wild shots into the stand.
Eventually a pinpoint cross from Melchiot found Heskey eight yards out with a week to put the ball away. He chose to head from one knees and the ballwent 5 yards wide. It was amiss of extrordinary incompetence.
Boro eventually threatened Blues goal and Yakubu waqs too strong for Bruce and turned him in the box. He beat Taylor and as the ball was going just inside the post an obliging divot turned the ball aside.
This waqs an extremly lucky let off but on the stroke of half time Viduka in a similar position took the ball round the keeper and slotted home an exquisite finish.
Just after half time A telling cross from Gray picked out Dunn whose header was brilliantly turned away by Swartzer.
The to the Blues fans anger Dunn gave way for Campbell. They now had some ammunition but no one to set up achance.
Jarosik came on for Kilkenny and with twelve minute left Forssell replaced Johnson. Blues bombarded the Boro penaly area but a series of wayward shots were all that Blues had to show for their efforts.
Bruce praised his players afterwards who he said ' could do no more '. May be they could if they didn't have one hand tied behind their backs.
BORO: Schwarzer, Riggott, Southgate, Queudrue, Parnaby (Davies 20), Cattermole, Boateng, Mendieta (Doriva 68), Pogatetz, Yakubu, Viduka (Maccarone 68).
Subs Not Used: Jones, Ehiogu.
Goals: Viduka 45.
BLUES: Maik Taylor, Melchiot, Bruce, Martin Taylor, Gray, Pennant, Butt, Kilkenny (Jarosik 57), Johnson (Forssell 78), Dunn (Campbell 56), Heskey.
Subs Not Used: Vaesen, Tebily.
Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).