THERE is life without Sam Baldock! City’s 2-1 victory against a physical Notts Co team at Meadow Lane on Sunday demonstrated exactly why the Robins are among the favourites for promotion this season.
Going a goal down to a dreadful defensive mix-up after 13 mins would have seen the end of their challenge last season but heads never dropped and they got stronger as the game went on. After Wilbraham’s equaliser on the hour, the home side wasted time in the hope of a point. City ripped into them in wave after wave of attractive attacking play and had a superb ‘goal’ struck off for a questionable offside.
Then when a draw looked certain City were awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time. Up steps JET. Cool as you like, at a walking pace which alarmed me, he gave keeper Carroll no hope of saving and the match was deservedly won.
There were outstanding performances all over the pitch with Elliott, Freeman and Little standing out. Agard marked his debut quietly and looked a bit rusty and will take time to settle but he showed some good touches and likes to go directly for goal. He will get his share of the spoils as the season unravels. Fielding is looking more confident in goal and the defence, apart from that mistake, was generally solid.
Baldock’s transfer represented good business for City. If £1.5m is correct, the offer was too good to turn down for a player in the last year of his contract. Agard, at apparently half the price, may well prove a fine replacement. It was excellent to see JET making a great impression on Sunday, finally getting a chance as substitute, and reminding us what a menace he can be.
This Saturday, Scunthorpe come to Ashton Gate. They have conceded 11 goals already and many City fans will see this as a certain three points. Don’t be fooled into thinking that City will brush them aside. I see 11 men behind the ball but if City get an early breakthrough they might roll them over.