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Terry's Bonus Baggies Blog

REFFING AND BLINDING

07-11-2007

Last night's astonishing refereeing performance at the Hawthorns which robbed the Baggies of a richly deserved victory against Sheffield Wednesday brings an instant blast from Terry Wills. Just watch the highlights on local telly tonight and see how right he is.

In my many years of Throstles/Baggies watching I've naturally witnessed sub standard officials masquerading under the title of referees on numerous occasions.

They've come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Thin, fat. obese. tall, short, hairy, bald as a coot, fit as a fiddle, athletic, out of breath, and indeed, a one armed Man in Black who'd have found it something of a handicap to join in a Modern day Mexican Wave.

But ALL of these were put into the shade by last night's performance of incompetence emanating from Mr N.S.Miller who somehow managed to find his way from the Officials dressing room without the aid of a white stick and holding the reins of his Labrador Guide Dog,

Yes Mr Magoo IS alive and well. So much so that he's deemed suitably capable of being in the employment of the Referee's Association. And if that isn't a case of an individual 'robbing' his employer without resorting to physical violence then I don't know what is.

(For those of a tender age who may be unaware of Mr Magoo? He was cartoon character around the time of 'Tom and Jerry', 'Bugs Bunny' and 'Sylvester the Cat', and he was so short-sighted he couldn't distinguish, for example, between an Elephant and a Mouse!)

But there he was at the Hawthorns in charge of Albion's game against 'bogey' team Sheffield Wednesday and as I warned last week this wouldn't be easy despite the stunning victory at Watford that had every pundit and critic purring with pleasure.

Early on Wednesday showed they wouldn't be an easy touch, and as usual from set pieces caused the Baggies team and fans, a degree of apprehension.

'Tiny' Miller was in the wars early on and following a clash of heads was forced to leave the field before returning with head suitably swathed in a bandage to remind we 'golden oldies' of a bloodstained John Wile battling on in the 1978 Semi Final defeat against Ipswich.

Despite the handicap together with Kevin Phillips he was causing The Owls no end of trouble - although both failed to slot home chances you'd normally expect to see nestling in the back of the net. The fact that they didn't meant the feeling was growing this was going to be ONE of those nights when anything that could go wrong WOULD go wrong.

But then an own goal gave Albion lead, or so we thought until the Assistant Referee adjudged the cross to Phillips was offside. I couldn't tell one way or the other but from the reaction of players and supporters in line with Mr Maggo Mark 2 there had to grave doubts as to why the flag had been raised.

Sustained pressure after the break continued as did the supporters frustration. The goal simply wouldn't come.

Shots blocked, chances missed, more injuries (Pele on for Albrechtsen) substitutions (Brunt for Gera, Morrison for Texeira) plus Mr Magoo at the top of his form. Free kicks for the slightest challenge, Yellow cards for innocuous challenges. You name it he gave it.

Yeeessssss! At last 'Super Kev' opened the scoring with a header after spurning several chances only to go to ground a few minutes later after a tackle. The worrying sight of seeing him carried off on a stretcher being uppermost in mind.

Could the ten men hang on? It appeared so until 'miraculously the man with his missing guide dog deemed the added on time to be three minutes but then actually doubled this time due to an injury to Paul Robinson.

Absolute nonsense all compounded when ex Baggie Steve Watson poached, no STOLE an equaliser despite there being an obvious foul in the build up.

A miscarriage of justice? YOU BET. Supporters and players going ballistic and unbelievably the sight of a normal mild Tony Mowbray approaching Mr Magoo on the pitch to vent his anger. Feeling so incensed he heavily criticised the Official on Radio WM stating he was willing to risk a fine for daring to tell the truth as to his officials handling of the game. Well said Tony.

So two points dropped and although not being on top form, doing more than enough to keep pace with Watford.

We're now eight points in arrears of the leader but moved into an automatic promotion spot, although if Kevin Phillips is sidelined for any length of time it doesn't bode well for the rest of the season. Starting against an in form Coventry City away at the Ricoh Stadium next Monday.

I know one thing for certain. If any Baggies fan believes in the occult (?) Mr Miller (aka Mr Magoo) can anticipate severe stabbing pains in all points of his body as long lost 'Devil Dolls' are bought out of cupboards before being subjected to intense pain from piercing pins and knives.

Now WHERE did I put mine!?

'Come on you Baggies'

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