Disappointing reward for Baggies
AFTER successfully and professionally negotiating the FA Cup fourth round at Peterborough United on Saturday, West Bromwich Albion's disappointing reward is another away tie in the round of the last 32.
This time they don`t have far to travel, just down the road to Coventry City, but another game against a Championship outfit is exactly the sort of draw the Baggies didn't want, given the history that exists between the two clubs already this season.
The fifth-round tie is bound to be a passionate affair after each side had a player sent off in the earlier league matches.
With so many Premiership clubs falling by the wayside in the third and fourth rounds, Albion have been denied the opportunity of testing themselves against a top-flight outfit.
Though only six Premiership clubs remain in the competition, the big four - Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool - are still there, so it`s hard to see the trophy being lifted by anyone else.
And the odds on the Baggies repeating their 1931 feat of a cup and promotion double will be as long as those on Shergar returning to win the Derby.
Albion boss Tony Mowbray was understandably delighted by the 3-0 win at London Road, but was quick to bring his players back down to earth ahead of Tuesday`s important Championship game at Preston North End.
Two goals in the first 15 minutes effectively ended any possibility of a Posh repeat of their giant-killing heroics of years gone by.
Albion`s slick passing game was more than the League Two outfit could cope with.
The first goal came after seven minutes, Roman Bednar converting a simple chance at the far post from Craig Beattie's cross-cum-shot. It was the Czech striker's 11th goal in 10 starts.
Eight minutes later, the James Morrison latched on to a Beattie pass and, cutting in from the right, rattled the far post with a shot that keeper Joe Lewis managed to fingertip onto the woodwork.
The unlucky Beattie couldn`t quite wrap his foot around the rebound but Robert Koren was able to get enough on the ball to get it across the line.
Peterborough had few opportunities to shine against an Albion defensive line-up that looked decidedly less shaky than is normally the case, with Martin Albrechtsen and Bostjan Cesar suggesting they have a combined potential worthy of further examination.
A miserable afternoon for the home side was completed 10 minutes into the second half when Jonathan Greening was sent tumbling in the box by Posh defender Chris Morgan. The red card for Morgan seemed harsh and more so when substitute Kevin Phillips, on in place of the flu-suffering Bednar, stepped up to hammer home his 17th goal of the season.
Pictured: Craig Beattie, who had one of his best games in an Albion shirt at Peterborough.