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Terry’s Baggies Blog

ROAD RUNNER

20-08-2009

Two wins on their travels have left Albion among the leading pack in the Championship – but Terry Wills has had his nerves shredded already.

Five added on minutes. Baggies fans on their feet willing, pleading, screaming, imploring, praying a fragile 1-0 lead, courtesy of an ‘own goal’ would be sufficient to enjoy a first League win of the season.

But what’s this? A young girl in row ‘Y’ obviously having no such fears. There she was calmly remaining seated. Obviously not the slightest perturbed, as head down, she carried on reading a paperback novel!

Of one thing I AM certain (!) she must have been the solitary exception among the 3,140 Baggies fans screaming for the final whistle to confirm we’d managed to beat a Notts Forest side who’d given them no end of trouble.

And if any match proved that it’s not the performance but the result that counts then this was the one. We filed away holding a virtually unanimous opinion.

If we’d been Forest supporters we would have felt slightly miffed!
But then THAT feeling, bearing in mind just how often this HAS happened in reverse isn’t uncommon so all that really mattered was Albion had pocketed a valuable three points.

For Roberto Di Matteo, naturally still ‘finding his feet’ in relation to team selection depending on the opposition; judged by the reported 4-4-1-1 formation, or was it 4-4-2 (?) this display will have done little to ease his ‘dilemma’.

Luke Moore as a lone striker was hardly a glittering success; all too often feeding on scraps as he hopefully anticipated the midfielders would give the necessary support.

The first-half was relatively even in terms of possession and chances created although Scott Carson had to be alert on a couple of occasions, once parrying the ball away but thankfully to his and Baggies fans delight, saw Dele Adebola (so often the scourge of Albion defences) hammer the ball high, wide, and not very handsome, way over the bar.

One thing is clear, although Tony Mowbray has departed his ethic of passing football has been adapted by RDM, albeit not quite as ‘tippy tappy’ but nevertheless it’s still the same philosophy.

The drawback is that at times defenders and midfielders, under pressure, tempt fate by attempting to play ‘risky’ passes that could and often do pose problems should they be intercepted.

“Get rid of it”…not particularly impressive to watch BUT at times a very effective tactic.

But an own goal or not it was a valuable three points albeit the nucleuses of the team not playing anything near their best.

So a somewhat ‘flat ‘ display but these days all that matters is gaining three points. And certainly we went home happy and the hope that we’d see a better performance at Peterborough three days later.

Who coined the phrase “Lightning never strikes in the same place twice?

Not that it matters BUT try telling that to the 644 Baggies fans who ‘endured’ a repeat performance on a warm sunny night at London Road where after a bizarre performance we left after ‘enjoying’ a second successive away win in four days.

(The drama began even before a ball had been kicked in anger, news filtering through, courtesy of a call to Radio WM, that Jonathan Greening hadn’t been named in the squad. The club apparently due to make a statement relating to a possible transfer to an unnamed Premiership club, later confirmed as Fulham) With Graham Dorrans preferred to Robert Koren and Shaun Cummings the new loan player partnering Joe Mattock, himself still a new boy, it looked like being a testing time for a defence obviously needing time to gel.

No problems, or so we thought! Five minutes before the break and as Chris Brunt slotted home the third Baggies goal it was to all intents and purposes ‘game over’.

Albion had dominated from the start - two goals from Luke Moore, certainly looking sharper, defined the difference in genuine quality, and despite flurries from Peterborough worryingly underlined that deep crosses aimed in the general direction of Albion’s penalty area would not only have the players looking uncomfortable, but also the travelling faithful chewing on their nails wondering just WHY this should be so.

First half ‘added on time’ and Peterborough’s first goal. ‘Damn and blast’!

Early in the second half and it was 3-2 courtesy of a casual misplaced pass when the Baggies were in possession. More curses and not a little anger from supporters in the vicinity. Surely they weren’t about to commit ‘Hari Kari’?

The Posh strove might and main to snatch an equaliser. A ‘goal’ ruled out for a foul on Scott Carson. Desperate clearances, numerous scrambles, Graham Dorrans sent off for a second yellow card and ‘blatant’ time wasting which prolonged our agony for another 5 minutes added on time.

But hang on we did and time to assimilate the plus points. A first half of fluent passing football. Luke Moore, sharp and dangerous. A satisfactory debut for Shaun Cummings and a sparkling display, coming on as a substitute, for Jerome Thomas.

Saturday it’s Ipswich at home where another victory would consolidate the promising start but no prizes for guessing this Baggies fan is taking nothing for granted!

Unlike the young ‘bookworm’ who even if she had been at Peterborough, perhaps she was, (?) would probably have been unperturbed as the ball pinged in and around our 18 yard box.

But surely even her composure may have been ‘slightly’ worried we might have conceded a late equaliser to spoil the party? If not, let’s just say she has nerves of steel for her tender years, unlike this veteran who has grown up and continues to live with a permanent felling of trepidation as each game approaches!

“ Come on you Baggies”

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