AVON Police were continuing their inquiries today after an 11 strong gang dressed in black carried out an audacious robbery in full view of TV cameras.
The shell-shocked victims were left stunned and shaken after the split-second mugging in the Bristol area. Police sources reported that three precious points, priceless and of enormous sentimental value were stolen.
Witnesses reported the attack came out-of-the-blue as the victims were packing up to go home after a hard day’s work but admitted they never saw it coming and couldn’t explain exactly how it happened.
Phew. It looks like brass-necked Boro have got away with it. Who says crime doesn’t pay?
Poor Bristol City will feel agrieved at being left dumped on the floor, battered and bruised and empty-handed in such cruel fashion. But hey, it’s happened to us often enough. If you’re not going to keep a firm grip on your valuables in such a high crime environment as
the Championship no one will have too much sympathy.
That said, you’ve got to feel for Bristol a bit though. After you’ve stopped laughing.
The Robins dominated the first half as their pace and movement going forward in numbers repeatedly opened up a creaky Boro midfield and found a lot of space down the flanks to penetrate the box.
And they brought a string of crucial saves from Jason Steele. In the first half there was a
spectaular full length block from Maynard after he could only fumble away an awkwardly bouncing Woolford strike then after the break he reacted superbly to deny first a low angled Adomah drive then a stabbed close range Pitman effort. When the pressure was on he kept Boro in the game (Whether that will silence the boo boys we will see.)
Bristol also had what looked on TV replays to be a decent shout for a penalty as Julio Arca
appeared to block a Kilkenny cross with his arm in the second half but it must be said that
despite the screams from the crowd very few of the players appealed for it.
Boro in contrast showed little direct threat for the first 90 minutes. In the first half passes went astray, they were caught dawdling on the ball with alarming frequency – Julio Arca was caught three times in five torrid minutes – and too often they opted for hopeful long balls forward down the flanks to be chased by a lone front-runner or high balls into the box that were gobbled up. It was poor fare.
You could almost hear the armchair audience back in Teesside caving in half-heartedly and handing over the remote so womenfolk and children could watch Strictly Come Dancing.
They would have missed the best of the entertainment. Boro improved dramatically after the break. Rhys Williams and Matthew Bates stepped up as Boro tightened up at the back and gradually put the shackles on City’s front-runners.
In midfield Boro were starting to win the battle with hard as nails Nicky Bailey – who shrugged off a hefty whack in the undercarriage from flying studs a master-class in abrasive perpetual motion. Not only was he putting in some excellent tackles and tidying up in and around the box, he also played a string of sublime long passes as Boro started to gain the upper hand and started to press forward more. In fact, had it not been for the stoppage time street crime, this blog would have been almost entirely about him.
So, Boro improved. There were spells of decent pressure and more intent and some crisp passing moves around the Bristol box but despite that pensionable shot-stopper David James still never had a serious save to make from blunt Boro. Same old, same old. In that respect, January can’t come fast enough.
Arca scooped high over, Hoyte sent one dipping over the bar, McDonald and Arca had shots
charged own in the crowd and – after James came out of his box to chest away a cross – Haroun sent a long range effort bouncing wide of the far post but there were two defenders on hand to usher it harmlessly out.
Boro had ridden their luck in the first half and arguably had the edge in the second half without showing the teeth or clinical cutting edge needed to win. On 90 minutes a draw looked a fair, if frustarting (for both sides) result. Everyone was packing up to go. The home fans were only staying to boo the referee off.
So Malaury Martin’s stoppage time sizzler was a stunner.
The added time exocet that screamed home to spark an explosive, disbelieving celebration on the pitch and in the away end – and make the long journey home far more fun – was Boro’s first real effort on target. You’ve got to laugh.
Winning ugly – and on telly again too… bloody repeats! – is not a bad habit for Boro to get
into. Wins still count when you’ve stolen them. I can live with the guilt. There is no column in the table for undeserved points.