City slid to our second away defeat of the week as genuine Play-Off contenders Sheffield United completed a double over the Robins.
As per usual, the increasingly desparate Gary Johnson rang the changes in personnel and tactics from Tuesday’s defeat at Watford.
In came Gavin Williams for Jamie McAllister, Paul Hartley for Lee Johnson and Ivan Sproule for Alvaro Saborio whilst there was a debut for Chris Iwelumo in attack.
The big Wolves striker completed his one month loan, as we exclusively revealed to you on Friday, and was the latest striker to partner Patrick Agyemang up front.
Second half goals from Henri Camara and Darius Henderson, who always seems to score against us, were enough to slay a fragile City side lacking belief and bereft of ideas.
Henderson nodded good chances wide early on whilst Iwelumo could only mis-kick when presented with our best chance in the first period.
Gerken had to save alertly with his outstretched left foot as on-loan Arsenal centre-back Kyle Bartley’s deflected shot had sent him the wrong way, whilst Mark Yeates and Camara shot straight down his throat when well placed.
For all United’s early dominance, it came as a genuine surprise that we went in level at the break but that deadlock was swiftly and predictably broken after the interval.
Bartley slipped in Camara who unleashed a rocket of a shot into the top corner, with Gerken well beaten at his near post on 49.
Jamie Ward then went close to doubling the Blades’ advantage but, luckily for us, his goalbound effort skimmed the top of the bar.
A second goal was always on the cards against a frail City defence and it duly arrived on 62 minutes.
Ward was allowed the freedom of the right flank to pick out Darius Henderson to head home his 12th of the season, four of which have come against us!
Once again, City offered little in response but our best chance arrived two minutes later when Louis Carey saw his header, from a pinpoint Hartley corner, thump back off the crossbar.
There was a nasty collision between Gerken and Liam Fontaine after that, which left Fontaine out cold before Camara and sub Stephen Quinn tried in vain for a killer third.
SHEFF UTD (4-4-2): Bunn, Geary, Nosworthy, Bartley, Kallio, Ward, Montgomery, Williamson, Yeates, Camara (Quinn ’81), Henderson (Cresswell ’89).
CITY (4-4-2): Gerken, Orr, Carey, Fontaine, Nyatanga, Sproule, Hartley, Skuse (Clarkson ’93), Williams (Elliott ’67), Agyemang (Haynes ’67), Iwelumo.
REFEREE: Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire)
Run Out Of Ideas
I don’t know what to say that I haven’t said before, quite frankly.
We look bereft of ideas, fragile at the back and lacking any form of passion for the shirt.
The players look like they’re not playing for the manager who looks increasingly desparate, and clueless in equal measure, by the game.
When Will It End?
This really cannot go on. I know we’ve got games coming up thick and fast but the way I see it, we’re sinking faster than a lead balloon at the moment.
I have a lot of faith in Lansdown running the club. He’s an astute man but he’s not a football man. Johnson is undoing all the good work he’s done by the day and the longer it’s allowed to drift, the worse we it will get.
With home games against promotion contenders Leicester and West Brom this week, there really is no light at the end of the tunnel for us right now.
How long can this go on? How long is a piece of string would seem to be the answer!