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Terry's Baggies Blog

"HAVING A GOOD TIME"

24-09-2007

Five days, two away games, four points - a decent haul for the Baggies, although as Terry Wills reports, it could have been even more impressive.

"Don't stop me now/'Cos I'm having a good time/Having a good time".

Two away games-four points BUT it should have been six.

It's 'universally' (ok locally recognised!) that for Albion to mount a genuine promotion challenge they have to start picking up points away from the Hawthorns so with two visits in five days to Bristol City and Scunthorpe respectively, came the perfect opportunity to test the resolve. Not only of the team but of the frustrated fans who recognise the truth of the situation.

So first up Bristol's Ashton Gate with the travelling faithful deposited on backless seats in the away end (how can this be justified?) meaning that after leaping up in hope of getting closer view of a Baggies goal, the despondent sequel meant sitting down, and through sheer force of habit, expecting to slump into your seat, but instead falling back into the poor sod behind. Unless of course they had also joined the 'falling domino' club!

No surprise that 'Mogga' had again shuffled the pack-out went James Morrison and Chris Brunt plus surprisingly 'Filip'Teixeire the mastermind behind the somewhat flattering 4-0 win over Ipswich Town..

In came Zoltan Gera, Robert Koren and the Richard Chaplow.

What a game, a tremendous end to end encounter that was a credit to both teams.

And in entertainment value equalling anything seen in the upper spheres of the 'Greed League.

This was a match that should have been won. but Albion's quality football was negated by the stark fact that without an end product it counts for nowt.

UNTIL Tony Mowbray unleashed his secret weapon, Ishmael (Tiny) Miller, on an unsuspecting Bristol side!.

Their defenders simply couldn't contain his pace and power, brushing them aside with ease. It was he who accelerated through the defence, crossed the ball to Robert Koren and then wheeled away in to celebrate Koren 's first goal of the season.

Surely we were now on the way to that precious long awaited away win?

"Wrong-wrong- wrong" Two minutes remaining on the clock - then City win a corner, and from the resulting scramble in went the equaliser.

Curses all round. Two points dropped but in fairness to City, their display meant they were always in with a chance of getting something out of the game.

But an encouraging performance from all the team especially from Zoltan Gera and a revitalised Richard Chaplow who for once decided to pass the ball to a blue and white striped shirt rather than the opposition.

So on to pastures new. Glanford Park home of newly promoted Scunthorpe United the team boasting a very impressive nine month unbeaten at home run.

The ground itself, a virtual replica of Walsall's Bescot Stadium, looking as if it's been assembled from a Titanic sized 'Take it home-assemble it yourself' kit'.

More changes from the gaffer. The usual suspects being rotated, meaning players that were once considered definite starters now had to accept the Baggies now had genuine strength in depth with competition for places 'up for grabs'.

The contrasts in style were soon obvious. The 'Irons' hurried and scurried in contrast to the Baggies more patient approach , but somehow managed to take the lead from a harsh penalty award, which, from my perspective, gave them an undeserved half time lead.

During the break what came over but the strains of 'Queens' "Don't stop me now, cause I'm having a good time, having a good time".

Well I most certainly WASN'T "Having a good time" feeling frustrated that a very ordinary Scunthorpe team were just 45 minutes away from extending that long unbeaten home run.

It was followed by the second, defining period and although the Baggies final 3-2 win gives the impression it had been a 'close' game, in footballing terms they had been outclassed and should have been well and truly hammered)

49 minutes and it was Leon Barnett notching an equaliser - and eleven minutes on, Chris Brunt adding a second after latching on to a chested down pass from Teixeira who as a reward for another outstanding performance (who said Jason Koumas was irreplaceable!) notched an outstanding third. The game was as good as won.

Miller, and his eventual substitute Craig Beattie, somehow managed to scorn enough chances to thoroughly embarrass Scunthorpe. But never forget, it's Albion we're talking about!

They could have rued these misses as another late defensive error allowed United to snatch a second to leave the nerves jangling on edge for the remaining added on time.

But justice prevailed. Four points from two 'AWAY' games and up to third in the table. Although in truth at this stage of the season it's still far to early to start dreaming of visits to Old Trafford, Anfield, and the Emirates!

What IS apparent is that Tony Mowbray has unearthed a few gems and should they continue in the same mould come May 2008 I could well be heard singing 'Don't stop me now, Cause I'm having a good time, having a good time now"!

'Boing Boing'

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