Bragging rights and how to claim them

…and then the kick off and things started well for the Bantams with a fluidity of play that was inherited in possession from Saturday seeing the midfield pair of Lee Bullock and Paul MaLaren compete and then get the better of the centre of the park giving City ball.

The strike pair of Boulding and Conlon offered the midfield few outlets with Boulding too little a target and Conlon dropping off to take the ball into feet too close to the Town middle.

When it worked for City the pair linked with the big man finding the tricky feet of the little one and the nearest either side came to a break through came when Boulding got into the box and fired a rebound into the side netting. It did not work well very often.

That the League One team were restricted was in a large part down to Graeme Lee who for fifty odd minutes was the best player on the field by some distance. Fifty minutes in and Lee had is post concession hands on knees when a cross from the left had been tucked home by Jon Worthington.

Worthington headed home running between Lee and Matthew Clarke after Paul Arnison had been double teamed without Omar Daley’s help at the back. Daley had his other sort of game tonight following Saturday’s excellence and Joe Colbeck returns at the weekend.

City’s reaction to going a goal down was poor. Huddersfield’s realisation that getting tighter to the two midfielders would reduce up to hopeful balls to a struggling Conlon and an ineffective Boulding blunted City and from then on every time the Bantams gave the ball away there was danger.

One doubts Huddersfield will be as clinical and cutting as they were again all season but the magnitude of the scoreline had more to do with them enjoying the sort of game where players like Robbie Williams who have been blasting free kicks wildly for 12 months bend them top corner but when a team gives the ball away as often as City did they are asking to be punished and so it happened.

Composure was lacking and heads went down. The parity of performance, let alone score, of half time was hard to recall.

Peter Thorne came on but he finishes moves made by others and by that time such inventiveness was lost leaving Stuart McCall wondering where it all went wrong and more importantly how to put it all right again.

Football is a game of simple things the most basic of which is the need to keep the ball.

So bragging rights to Huddersfield fans or rather some of them. No, not the missing 7,500 who stayed at home but those who were replied to the customary chant from Bradford to our neighbours of “Have you seen the Premier League?” with the grotesque “Bradford bastards burning down.”

Sing it, don’t stop the guy next to you singing it. Don’t jeer the people who do sing it. If you fall into any of those camps you’ve got no right to claim any brag to anyone.

The storm before the calm

It is raining.

It is raining so hard that the roof at the stadium cannot cope. It is raining so hard that the end of the pitch is in a spray haze fog.

It is raining so hard that one cannot help but get excited about the idea of Omar Daley running at David Unsworth.

Local pride – the right to brag – is at stake tonight but of equal importance perhaps is the right to maintain the belief in the season.

For Town a poor opening day needs augmenting. For City belief – that slightest of all things – is to be maintained.

Certainly the travellers have belief. Seeking cover before the game the make an impressive noise.

In the midst of this noise it is announced that Peter Thorne is benched for Michael Boulding as McCall tests the strength of his squad. The PA man gets a round of applause for wishing all the best to “Our friend Jacko”. “Didn’t they sack him twice?” someone comments. With friends like these.

The PA wishes us all the best in our quest to get out of the fourth tier of football and is booed as the scoreboard flicks through images of Town’s past. Three years running precedes television.

The attendance from City is healthy despite the barb from said announcer which only serves to highlight how few of the 15,000 who saw Saturday’s draw here had the will to return.

Everything is booed that is contrary. Everything not of our colour is bad as the noise raises and the teams emerge.

Omar wears a sweatshirt in kicking in. David Wetherall – tasting defeat badly last time – looks studious. Danny Cadamarteri is jeered.

With that one of the most humourless derby games in English football kicks off.