Writer: Alex Humpage
Date:Tuesday December 30 2008
West Brom 2 - 1 Manchester City
In a game that already feels like ancient history, West Brom looked on course for an easy win against a dire Man City outfit. Luke Moore had scored his first goal for the Baggies in a year at B71, but with six minutes to go a back heel from Felipe Caciedo, via a wicked deflection of Chris Brunt looked to have split the points.
Abdoulaye Meite had other ideas though, and after skipping past several Citizens on a rampage into their half, he eventually won a set piece that Bednar headed somewhat bizarrely past Joe Hart to give Albion a thoroughly deserved 3 points. This was the first win for the Baggies since early October and a huge morale booster going into a tricky run.
Chelsea 2 - 0 West Brom
A regulation defeat followed at Stamford Bridge, where goals from Didier Drogba and a commanding Frank Lampard gave Chelsea a win over an Albion side not featuring either of the goal heroes from the city match, with Beattie and Brunt preferred to Moore and Bednar as Mowbray gambled on saving the fitness of his players for the crunch clash against Spurs two days later.
West Brom 2 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur
West Brom earned the second consecutive home win in a match ultimately defined by Benoit Assou-Ekotto's first half dismissal for a savage lunge at Gianni Zuiverloon. Although Spurs continued to match the Baggies for most of the match, Mowbray's decision to rest his first choice fron two for the previous match was ultimately vindicated.
With the clock running down and maligned keeper Gomes pulling off a string of saves, Roman Bednar was able to head an 83rd minute goal past the Brazilian, with Michael Dawson comically flying through the air despite no sign of firm contact from the Czech hitman.
As Spurs clamoured for a late goal, Albion punished them in the last minute on the break, the excellent James Morrison eventually threading in substitute Craig Beattie for an easy finish, and a super 2 goal win.
This result temporarily lifted The Albion off the bottom, only to return their two hours later after Blackburn drew with City. However, the six points gained in these matches have really kept the Baggies in with a sniff; we are now only 5 points away from 11th place.
There is a new belief around the club, and Mowbray's continued positivity, not to mention the clear signs on the pitch that he is learning valuable lessons of his trade, mean that the Great Escape 2 could be on.
We've done it before & we'll do it again!
Date:Tuesday December 30 2008
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