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Terry’s Baggies Blog

ALMOST THERE

07-04-2010

Albion are close to getting back to the Premier League, and Terry Wills can’t wait to get there.

Last week we were almost there. Now, following the games against Leicester City and Watford, it’s fair to say the Baggies are within touching distance.

Here’s hoping the fickle finger of fate DOES manage to extend itself. If so there could, no, WILL, be more than a few after the match celebrations both on and of the pitch after our first ever visit to the new Doncaster Rovers stadium on Saturday.

Looking back at these games it’s fair to say that after the Baggies had repulsed City’s opening challenge and scored twice, courtesy of two cracking strikes from James Morrison and Robert Koren, the result was never really in doubt. And when Koren late in the second-half calmly took the ball past the keeper before slipping it into an empty net for his second (and Albion’s third) goal the three points well and truly wrapped up. As neatly as the millions of Easter eggs waiting to be bought from supermarket shelves and subsequently devoured (?) as soon as they’re back home!

Despite this there were aspects of the performance that disappointed.

‘Tiny’ Miller, whose first touch on the ball led to several potential goal scoring situations being carelessly tossed away. This leading to Di Matteo replacing him with Roman Bednar whose ability to hold the ball up has to be why he should be the first choice in a 4-5-1 formation.

But enough was enough - a ninth successive home win, ensuring that if a automatic promotion wasn’t eventually achieved, an outbreak of mass suicides would be making headline news on both local and national television, radio networks and at the same time being headline news in every newspaper in the country!

So on to Vicarage Road where a win (as it turned out, due to Nottingham Forest’s failure to beat Cardiff City) would have taken us into the Premier League with four games still in hand.

Team changes and as expected, for me at least, Roman Bednar in place of Ishmael Miller, with the most interesting a first start for Giles Barnes. As this was a televised game those watching would have been unimpressed at a performance that, if it had been the usual ‘fayre,’ would have seen the Baggies in the lower regions of the Championship as opposed to one desperately striving to join our neighbours in the ‘Greed’ League.

It WAS unimpressive. It was disappointing. There WERE far too many players below form but in saying that there were circumstances that allowed a minimum number of excuses. Watford ran, chased every ball, and didn’t allow Albion to settle on the ball and with just five minutes remaining their ten men (Jon Harley had been red carded) took the lead with a goal that seemed likely to send us and the players home bitterly disappointed.

BUT Albion didn’t throw in the towel and with the clock that had shown six minutes added on time moving oh so quickly, came the equaliser. Chris Brunt heading home a very late goal followed, as he ran towards the Baggies fans, being swamped by the rest of his teammates celebrating as if promotion had already been achieved.

It hadn’t but it did mean that the visit to Doncaster could see promotion achieved with four games to spare. It won’t be easy but in keeping with every Albion devotee I want to see promotion sealed as soon as possible, and if that means another below par display that subsequently bring the desired result…WELL THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS.

“Come on you Baggies”

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