Nothing to play for Vs fighting relegation is always likely to be difficult.
The Baggies made a couple of changes with Popov coming in at left back and Lukaku and MAF starting up front. Still no Mulumbu on match two of his three game suspension. Newcastle were going to be turning up with a flea in their ear after getting stuffed by their local rivals last week.
No sign of the ‘horse whisperer’ this week but I got chatting to a long haired beauty before the game – topless with the most amazing breasts I have ever seen. Turns out it was a guy called Brian from Seaham. So jovial these Geordies, when they are not rioting!
When did Newcastle buy McAuley off us? Every pass our great centre back made went straight to them in the opening minutes. We were putting ourselves under pressure. No real surprise when the Toon got in behind us and a curving chip into the box was met by Gouffran ahead of Olsson leaving Foster in no man’s land (just north of France). Not long after, a flowing Newcastle move involving McAuley, Olsson and Popov led to a chance for Cisse who chipped over when it seemed easier to score.
On 40 minutes, man of the match Chris Brunt received the ball in his favoured left wing position and with time to spare he delivered one of his trademark crosses with that sweet left boot. From the resulting goal kick, Newcastle broke again and Ben Foster came to the rescue.
Then, just before half time, the game could have changed when Billy Jones burst into the box and was fouled by Perch. Unbelievably, having given the foul, Mike Jones decided it was outside the box. Perch gets away with it but seemed a bit fishy to me. The free kick was a showpiece of our training as Popov sent his shot out for a throw in on the far side. By this stage I was bored enough to listen to the iPod I brought off a Geordie before the game. It was a Y I pod.
It was a totally different game after the break. Yacob, who was poor, was replaced by Long and suddenly we were going for it. A spilled shot by Elliot fell to Shane who couldn't squeeze it past him. Corner after corner resulted in Lukaku hitting the bar and Olsson failed to get the rebound. McAuley headed just wide and Morrison had a header well saved and it was only a matter of time before we scored. Lukaku forced his way into the box and the ball fell for Jones to slot in. No more than we deserved but despute dominating the rest of the match we couldn't get a winner.
It was a game of two halves. A point was probably fair in the end. I thought Fortune worked his socks off as always. Foster made a couple of good saves and Billy Jones continues to improve and was probably the fans’ man of the match. Clarke's idea to introduce Olsson and McAuley to each other at half time was a master stroke as we looked much more solid. The age oldies were vocal, Baggies fans are struggling to get behind the team as our season fizzles out. A couple more wins please Mr Clarke.
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