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Terry’s Baggies Blog

PASSPORT NOT REQUIRED

18-02-2010

The latest chapter in the continuing saga of West Bromwich Albion 2009-10. Terry watches the Albion abroad and looks forward to renewing an old acquaintance.

Two fascinating matches and at the end mixed feelings from Baggies fans at the eventual results. A 2-2 draw at Reading earned a replay to determine who’d be entertaining the winners of the Villa and Crystal Palace replay.

A goal down in the fastest time ever recorded in an FA Cup tie due to sloppy defending. Equalising courtesy of Robert Koren.

Taking the game by the scruff of the neck and looking the more likely winners. Hitting a post. Missing chances.

Both teams reduced to 10 men - what on earth was Mulumbu thinking? Two yellow cards in a matter of minutes. (Wonder what the head coach said to him as he left for an early bath?)

Falling behind and looking on the way out only to see (from of all players) Joe Mattock, snatching an equaliser to send both players and supporters into the realms of a seventh heaven.

An all-round competent performance, apart from Youssouf Mulambu, but overriding everything was the injury to Gonzala Jara. Losing his composure on the ball and all round game that's resulted in him missing the rest of the season, has to be a massive setback. We can only hope that Di Matteo is successful in his attempts too bring in lone players while juggling and rotating his squad to the best of his and their abilities.

'Over the border,' destination Cardiff. A first ever visit to yet another Meccano-looking structure so reminiscent of virtually every new ground, whoops, sorry should have said stadium!

A much weakened team due to injuries and suspensions and another setback as Peter Whittingham cracked home an early penalty. (Not many games when penalties aren't awarded in an Albion match!)

Again the Baggies after a poor start began to dominate although the City keeper wasn't exactly overworked due to wayward finishing, although he was fortunate to see a Andy Slory shot bounce away after hitting the inside of a post.

On top and with first-half added on time running out up popped Gianni Zuiverloon to score a well deserved equaliser. Goals and Zuiverloon are seemingly becoming an accepted and expected ingredient of his game - if only!?

Flat out for a winner Di Matteo replaced Koren and Slory with Simon Cox and Chris Wood. Missed heading chances, shots scrambled away, one off the line but a winner simply wouldn't come.

At the other end it was the Albion supporters fearing the worst as Cardiff broke away. Carson was beaten in a one on one confrontation, but sighs of relief as the shot scuppered across the face of the goal and ran away to safety.

Again a local BBC Radio station commentator repeated a familiar message; "The Bluebirds are under the cosh. West Brom are a good team and if Dave Jones was offered a point now he'd surely grab it with both hands."

So an eventual competent performance led by who other than Graham Dorrans, who incidentally was just one of four to find their names scribbled into the referee’s little black book, the others being Messrs Koren, Tamas, and Mattock.

The three points should have been travelling back home with us, but even though Nottingham Forest won their home game against Sheffield United to reduce our lead over them to two points the fact that we do have a game in hand, for what it's worth at this time of the season, took us back to the top of the table until Newcastle beat Coventry City on Wednesday night. (By now you'll know if that prediction proved correct or was, hopefully, way off the marl?)

No let up and little time to relax! A Sunday trip for the televised clash with Bristol City followed an unwanted (!) replay against Reading to determine if that probable clash with our oldest and 'dearest' rivals will see Albion battling away in the attempt to play our third game at the new Wembley Stadium!

"Come on you Baggies"

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