Having just returned from the Riverside after a game that just about sums up our season so far I can’t remember being so angry after a match. ‘Boro were in total control after just over half an hour when the game was literally handed back to Hull with the most ludicrous and unnecessary challenge we’ve seen at the Riverside for years. I would say ‘what was Marvin Johnson thinking?’ but after a brainless challenge like that it’s patently obvious he has nothing to think with so it’s a superfluous question.
Part of the pre-match chat around me was the fact that we’ve had some terrible decisions go against us this year and that includes some of the choices the strikers have made when faced with a number of good chances. But after taking two today in excellent style we looked as if we were finally heading for a really good performance and – even more importantly – a great result. And then that happens.
I have to say that even following the sending off we still looked pretty good up until half time with Hull wary of our two strikers up front and not really changing the direction of the game. Come half time, however, and we return to the field with only one of our strikers and a defensive midfielder in his place. This totally negative decision ensured that Hull became completely aware that we were now going to sit back and defend what we had and the inevitable happened. They gained confidence in every department, attacked at will and scored two goals that never looked remotely likely in the first half. I suppose my only relief at this point is that we didn’t go on to concede a third.
It would be easy to feel sorry for Jonathan Woodgate as he had been able to witness all the hard work done during the International break reaping dividends in the first twenty odd minutes only to see it all thrown away. But it’s also hard to forgive the negativity of the substitution and I therefore feel much more sorry for Ashley Fletcher who took the second goal so very well. But at least we have the chance to put things right against Barnsley on Wednesday night although we have to see the same attacking prowess as today but with considerably more discipline.
At least we are now out of the bottom three again – albeit on goal difference – and a win against Barnsley and repeats of the better parts of our most recent performances thereafter should ensure we don’t go back there again this season. It should really be unthinkable.