Sunday, 21 October 2007

Match 6 - WBA

I don't harbour any grudges against West Brom. It's easy to get angry about a team that beat you twice last season, especially the team that ended our unbeaten home run, the team that made it into the play-offs when we didn't. But for some reason I feel smug about the fact that despite them being in the top 2 when they beat us at home and their fans taunting us about the fact they were 'going up', we are still playing each other home and away this season. Welcome back to Layer Road. Actually I felt that West Brom were one of the better teams to come to Layer Road last season and they actually played some football. And I especially like West Brom a little bit more now that we have won our first home game this season at their expense.

I mentioned last week that Bela Balogh hadn't yet made a full appearance for us. That was put right and he played a competent and relatively solid part in this victory. He's got potential. Another lad who's got potential is our Teddy. Sidelined for about a month with an old age injury it was good to see him play again at last. It did highlight another interesting fact - that when you sign a player who has established himself elsewhere you also inherit the chants that go with him. In our case - Ohhhhhh Teddy Teddy, Teddy Teddy Teddy Teddy Sher-ing-ham (and repeat).

Now Yeatesy is our top scorer and he chipped in with two more today, a classic free kick and penalty which he won in classic/dubious fashion. However, I do sometimes wonder if he practices with the team in training or locks himself in the gym on his own and bounces off walls while appealing for a free kick or throw-in. I don't suppose the lino on our side of the pitch is his best mate anyway. Speaking of which I suspect it was a put-up job when mid-way through the second half the announcer asked for the loser of a pair of spectacles to contact a steward. Half the crowd immediately named the unhappy loser - 'Lino !'.

Anyway it was good to get back into my cramped seated position for the first time in ages. At one stage I accidentally whacked the guy in front of me while applauding, and I trod on several toes while working my way to my seat. No danger of 'Mind the Gap' messages here at Layer Road (except in our defence which left a huge gap for Kevin Phillips to open the scoring). 'The Gap' has been there all season with an average of almost two goals leaking through in every game. Mind you we've got a slightly better average at exactly two goals per game. So it doesn't really surprise anyone that our most frequent scoreline this season has been a 2-2 draw.

The half-time entertainment was up to normal standards with a draw in in the junior penalty competition, and a close run thing in 'Over the Wall' (in which I still don't understand the points system). Then the safety announcement came over loud and clear and for once it seemed that everyone was listening - I'll give them 9 out of 10 this week.

And finally, having dispatched the opposition 3-2 and having applauded the lads for the effort which saw us climb five places in the table to 12th, it was time for a decision. Having a seat in the middle of a row means we have a choice of exits. Left or right. To the right they were spending longer than usual congratulating the team on a fine performance so we chose left, and emerged onto Layer Road alongside the people who were sitting on our right and who exited that side. Oh well, another draw.

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