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Terry’s Baggies Blog

YOU WIN SOME, YOU WIN SOME

26-03-2010

Albion fans are getting used to an unusual phenomenon - playing less than impressively but maintaing their impressive winning run. Terry Wills enjoys watching a team showing definitive promotion form.

“For once the West Brom defence was missing”

So said the commentator on the Beeb’s Saturday night Football League highlights programme - the comment coming as St Ledger headed home Preston’s first goal after being granted the freedom of the penalty area’ in front of the Brummie Road to make the score 2-1.

The snag was that this wouldn’t be the last time that our ‘Father Christmas’ team decided to allow Preston back into a game that should have been won far more convincingly than an eventual 3-2 victory that left the Baggies eight points clear of Nottingham Forest.

However at this stage of the season ALL that matters is the result, not the overall quality of the performance. But, in stating the obvious, there was much to admire in the quality of football served up by Roberto Di Matteo’s team that at least looked as capable of scoring goals, as they did conceding them whenever the opposition attacked.

So much for the goals, what about the talking points? First, the display from Graham Dorrans.

Down the years, which are considerable, I’ve been privileged to see the likes of Graham Lovett, and Bryan Robson (to name just two outstanding midfield generals) but it’s hard to recall a better display.

Brilliant ball control, well timed tackles, excellent range of passing skills, he had the lot, confirming that should Albion fail to reach the Greed League the chances of him staying at the Hawthorns next season are minimal.

The game’s other main talking point was the booing of Luke Moore when coming on as a second half substitute. Agreed, to date he’s failed to shine, but his reception from a section of Baggies fans did them, the player, and the club no favours.

While a player is wearing an Albion shirt, and however badly he’s performing, give him the support ANY player deserves.

If subsequently he ‘fails’ to shine, and that’s being diplomatic, when he leaves the field THAT’S the time to show your displeasure.

Booing a player is, in effect, supporting the opposition and surely that’s the last thing Albion supporter wants too do?

Thankfully the majority of the fans (realising that all this would achieve would be to boost Preston) gave their support and this actually resulted in ‘Mr Unpopular’ showing far more determination and willingness to work.

So three more valuable points – on then to Wednesday, hoping for a repeat against a very much in form Coventry City with an outside chance of reaching a top-six play off spot.

Final score - West Bromwich Albion 1, Coventry City 0. The result most pundits had predicted, but on the evidence of how the game went, was as far removed from being a ‘banker’ as could have been envisaged.

First half there wasn’t that much between the teams and while the Sky Blues enjoyed an equal amount of possession they rarely tested a Baggies defence including a returning Steven Reid and Joe Mattock.

It was Reid who opened the scoring in the 22nd minute but if fans were expecting to sit back, relax, and simply enjoy the rest of the match, they were to be sadly disillusioned!

The second 45 minutes, was one that every Baggies fan would prefer to forget. City bombed forward in numbers while Albion did the exact opposite.

I can’t remember how many times this season supporters have moaned at the sheer injustice of the Baggies failing to win matches they’ve dominated, but this time there couldn’t have been many arguing that the Sky Blues didn’t deserve at least one point or, whisper it quietly, all three.

On Saturday, we have our third tilt at Reading who are in the middle of a fantastic winning run.

Judged on current form they have to be considered favourites to put a halt to Albion’s march towards automatic promotion but even if they do, the fact that Nottingham Forest’s next game is away at Newcastle on Monday, which hopefully they’ll lose (!) will still mean the points and goal difference between the teams will remain unchanged.

But as with Albion who knows what we can expect…watch this space!

“Come on you Baggies”

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