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Terry’s Baggies Blog

READING FESTIVAL

31-03-2010

A dogged draw for the Baggies against Reading, followed by Forest's defeat at Newcastle has left the way for a promotion celebration at The Hawthorns. But Terry Wills is keeping the champagne on ice.

Now - how does the song go?

“Almost there, I’m almost there

People down here think I’m crazy, but I don’t care,

Trials and tribulations I’ve had my share.
There ain’t nothing gonna stop me now, cause I’m almost there”

Yep, following the Baggies gritty display at Reading in a game that that for so long appeared to be heading for a defeat, Newcastle’s victory over Nottingham Forest on a miserable night at St James Park has raised expectation to a level where most fans now believe we WILL be gracing stadiums such as Old Trafford, The Emirates, Stamford Bridge, Anfield, etc, next season.

The trip to the Madjeski Stadium had been chosen for free coach travel courtesy of the club, and the vocal support from Albion’s passionate fans, never faltered even though Scott Carson was sadly picking the ball out of the net after just six-minutes as opposed to nine seconds (!) on our recent venture into Berkshire in the FA Cup!

As the half progressed, the speedy Reading outfit caused plenty of problems with their pace and ability to run at a defence that frequently resembled a tortoise striving to outrun a hare.

Mercifully they failed to take their numerous chances due to a combination of poor shooting, late blocks and tackles from a defence that had allowed them far too much time and space on the ball, plus and most importantly, the often criticised Scott Carson arguably having his best game to date.

There had to be an improvement in the second-half and at last the Baggies began to push forward with far more conviction. ‘Tiny’ Miller and Giles Barnes were bought on in a bid to add more ‘bite, Graham Dorrans began to dominate in midfield, and the fullbacks pushed forward with far more conviction.

While this was commendable it meant that the home side’s counter attacks caused even more problems and if Reading had capitalised on their chances the points would have been theirs. But again Scott Carson’s shot stopping ability came to the rescue, meaning a very valuable point was still there for the taking.

As the clocked ticked down, Referee Andy D’urso, described by Radio Berkshire commentators as being one of the poorest officials seen for many a day, managed to upset both sets of supporters when he waved away two strong appeals for penalties.

With just four minutes to go, and after Jonas Olsson had seen his header come back off the bar, up came Gabriel Tamas to crash home the desperately needed equaliser. PHEW!!!

Even that wasn’t the end of the drama. Both teams went looking for a winner and when Dorrans was bought down when charging in on goal he could
have ‘stolen’ the three points with a second and winning goal.

Certainly not one of Albion’s best performances but they never gave up believing that they could get a result and did enough to take a point from a Reading side that had won nine of their last eleven games.

So on to Friday, and the hope that it will be a “good Friday” with a win against Leicester City that will increase our lead over Nottingham Forest to 12 points.

Enough to guarantee that second automatic promotion spot with just six games to go? It should be but then nothing is certain in life other than death and paying taxes, so until it’s mathematically impossible for Forest to catch us, my advice will be to put the ‘bubbly’ on ice. And the sooner that transpires the better!

“Come on you Baggies”

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