RESULT: City 0 Charlton 0

City battled to an impressive point at the Valley in appalling weather that threatened to make the game farcical.

In driving rain, occasionally thundery, the two teams managed to make a match of it and both sides had opportunities to win. Ex-Tiger Leon Cort, now with his eighth club, headed a corner wide right on half time to spurn Charlton’s best chance, and then Jay Simpson and Sone Aluko forced a fine double save late on from Addicks keeper Ben Hamer, who had earlier saved from Aluko when the Nigerian was put clean through.

Steve Bruce opted for the same XI that started at Blackburn in midweek but is likely now to ring the changes ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Doncaster Rovers in the second round of the League Cup. City’s next game in the Championship is at home to Bolton Wanderers next Saturday.

This game was the only one in the whole of the four divisions (and you can chuck in the Scottish Premier too, if you like) to finish goalless. Despite this, there will be a detailed and lucid match report later. Oh yes.

RESULT: Blackburn 1-0 City

City fell to a rather unnecessary defeat at Blackburn this evening, falling 1-0 to a single goal by Colin Kazim-Richards.

It was a cheap loss overall on a tepid evening, with anticipated protests from the home fans failng to materialise and the City fans in a bewilderingly torpid mood. Steve Bruce had puzzlingly set his team up to defend, though the first half was largely even. Blackburn may argue that they had the better of the second half in terms of goalmouth action, but a poor game seemed to be heading for a goalless draw until some panicky defending facilitated an easy chance for Kazim-Richards 15 minutes from time.

Sone Aluko missed City’s best chance of the evening ten minutes from the end when a sumptuous ball by Koren found him in space, but his shot was weak and straight at the Blackburn keeper, consigning City  to a messy loss. Full match report to follow soon.

RESULT: City 1 Brighton 0

Substitute Jay Simpson stabbed home a late winner as City overcame a dogged Brighton side to claim three points on the opening day of the season.

The striker, often overlooked by Nick Barmby last season, found the roof of an open net after Joe Dudgeon had delivered a ball in which also saw the City left back fouled by onrushing Brighton keeper Tomasz Kuszczak.

The Tigers weren’t always dominant in an even game in August sunshine, though had come closest to scoring when Sone Aluko clattered the crossbar with a fine cross shot in the first half. Brighton’s Craig Mackail-Smith also hit the same crossbar in the second half with a header.

So, one game, three points and a clean sheet. It wasn’t amazing but it was a decent, adequate start and City will now head for Blackburn on Wednesday night feeling suitably buoyant. Match report later.

RESULT: Hartlepool 1-1 City

City’s latest pre-season fixture ended in a 1-1 draw at Hartlepool this afternoon. It wasn’t a compelling spectacle for the 84 City fans present, the first half finishing goalless and almost shot-free.

The second half was marginally better, with the home side taking the lead through Franks after some unconvincing defending. Cameron Stewart levelled for the Tigers after a Jamie Devitt shot was mishandled. And that was kind of it.

City have one more pre-season fixture to come, at home to Norwich on Tuesday night – it’s now one week until the first competitive fixture of the season at home to Rotherham in the League Cup, and a fortnight until the League begins with the visit of Brighton. It can’t come too quickly.

RESULT: Doncaster 3-1 City

City lost their latest pre-season friendly this evening, going down 3-1 at Doncaster.

Results don’t mean too much in pre-season, though letting a lead become a messy defeat at lower ranked opposition isn’t what you’d choose. Much worse than a defeat that came with City missing Koren, Rosenior, Evans, Fryatt and Chester was Ben Amos being stretchered off in a neck brace after injuring himself in the incident that led to Doncaster’s second goal. It’d looked much better for City earlier, when an early own goal was gifted to us before Tom Cairney belted a penalty against the bar in a fairly comfortable first half.

In the second half Doncaster levelled with a long-range effort by Woods that Amos could perhaps have saved, then as the obligatory rash of substitutions began they took the lead through Morgan-Smith, with Amos injuring himself attempted to keep the ball out. Sonny Bradley then conceded a penalty that Woods scored to make it 796 games without a win at Doncaster of any description. Or something. Maybe we should stop playing there.

Is it August yet?

RESULT: Rochdale 0-1 City

City’s first pre-season friendly against League opposition ended with a narrow 1-0 win over Rochdale at Spotland this afternoon.

The Tigers carded a strong XI that included new loan keeper Ben Amos and manager’s son Alex, while Nick Proschwitz and Paul McKenna had their first starts of the summer.

City scored the game’s only goal in the first half, with Robert Koren finding the target from outside the area – where else? – while Proschwitz spoiled an otherwise encouraging game by missing a sitter. Rochdale made umpteen subs at the break and City made a few of their own in the second half, including ex-Tigers Bryan Hughes and Craig Fagan plus new signing Sone Aluko. As usual, the changes robbed the game of momentum and little else happened.

City have won three out of four friendlies under Steve Bruce, conceding only once, at North Ferriby. It’s a less-than-enticing trip to Doncaster next for City on Tuesday – but on the plus side, it’s now only two weeks until the first competitive game of the new season.

Happy Wembley Day!

Given recent events, our last promotion seems like a lifetime ago, but in fact  it was achieved four years ago today on that unforgettable afternoon at Wembley. So for today, let’s forget the managerial void and current uncertainty and think only good thoughts of the club’s finest hour and a half. To all Tiger Nationals, happy Wembley Day!

RUMOURS: Davies to City, Koren to Leicester

It appears that every passing hour brings another slew of bad news our way. Amber Nectar is reliably informed that Billy Davies is to be City’s new manager, while Robert Koren is likely to rejoin Nigel Pearson by signing for Leicester.

Davies was sacked eleven months ago by Nottingham Forest after complaining about a lack of transfer funds, something he’d probably be advised to avoid if he really is to be the new City boss. It’s not easy to imagine his appointment being a popular one in the aftermath of a local hero’s removal.

Meanwhile, the potential loss of City’s 2011/12 Player of the Season to Championship rivals is simply awful news, however great the fee – at this level, he is simply irreplaceable. Let’s hope the Allams remember they’d promised not to deal with Leicester any more when Pearson left last November.

What a total shambles.

RESULT: West Ham 2 City 1

City have ended the npower Championship season in a thoroughly respectable eighth place after a last-day defeat at West Ham.

The Tigers didn’t look much into the game for the most part, with Carlton Cole scoring twice for the Hammers, who were hoping to still clinch the second automatic promotion place, although Southampton’s early flurry of goals against Coventry soon put paid to that.

City rallied in the last 20 minutes and Corry Evans climbed above an oddly uncommitted Robert Green to head the Tigers back into it, then Richard Garcia aimed a spectacular flying header into the back of the net which was ruled out for offside.

Matt Fryatt miskicked in front of goal in added time, but in truth a point for City would have been very fortunate (and extremely funny) as the home side were considerably dominant.

The Tigers’ eighth spot, ultimately seven points adrift of the play-offs, represents a most satisfactory campaign considering the inexperience and size of the squad, plus the potential for disruption caused by the change of manager back in November. That said, the handful of goalless draws, plus the concession of two-goal leads at home against Burnley and Ipswich, will nag in the minds of staff and supporters alike when considering where the campaign to make the top six ultimately faltered. Match report later.