Writer: Craig Coggle
Date:Monday January 18 2010
You have to applaud the effort and application of Albion as they fought against the odds to get a result at St. James's Park (Sports Outlet or whatever it's called).
Increasingly looking dangerous as the match came into its final chapter, West Brom were denied a winning goal as substitute Ishmael Miller saw his simple tap-in canon off the base of the post. This was a game defining moment and could yet prove to be a season defining moment, especially if Roman Bednar's replacement becomes haunted by what could have been.
Indeed, in a muscular game where every Albion challenge resulted in a free kick, and often a booking, the players did well to just about keep their heads and continue to build wave after wave of attack. Newcastle's tendency to appeal after every physical challenge meant that the referee started to cede advantage to the home side. The crowd didn't help matters but that is their ticket buying right - the referee shouldn't have been fooled.
Jose Enrique should have been in the book for his attempts at trying to get players booked, and Shola Ameobi similarly punished for elbowing and play acting throughout.
Dorrans was inspired, setting up both of the West Brom goals and taking advantage of far more space than Nottingham Forest allowed in the last match. In the lead twice, from an Olsson finely finished goal and a Bednar header, both from Dorrans' crosses from the left wing, Albion were pegged back from goals from Danny Guthrie and Peter Lovenkrands.
Youssouf Mulumbu was all strength in midfield and Gonzalo Jara gave as good as he got in a challenging defensive role against the often brilliant Jonas Gutierrez.
Carsson looked vulnerable again for most of the game and was slow to react to both of the Newcastle goals. A fine save late on from a Ryan Taylor strike went some way to make amends but his jittery display always seemed to unsettle his own defence.
Full marks for an improved performance and not a bad result considering the Forest game.
Question marks still hover over the clumsy, awkwardness of Gabriel Tamas and the wisdom of replacing Roman Bednar with Miller when the opportunity was there to play them both up front and claim all three points.
Carson 5, Olsson 6, Cech 7, Tamas 5, Jara 7,
oren 5, Brunt 5, Thomas 6, Dorrans 8, Mulumbu 8, Bednar 7, Miller 5.
Date:Monday January 18 2010
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