A Fan's View: Albion 3 Derby 1
By Site Editor
Updated Sunday, 28th February 2010
MKBaggies gives his verdict on Albion's win
Heavy rain, wind picking up, conditions were always going to be difficult. It needed commitment and organisation! And I made the trip look easy even finding time for a swift couple in The Vine! After recent performances, I guess I would need that!
It was good to see JT back and, with Brunt on the right, we had more width which is where we can hurt teams. Moore up front on his own was never going to work and Watson made his debut in the middle. The two 'full-backs' at the centre of recent debate were both out and replaced by Cech and Tamas. Meite keeping his place alongside Olsson!
You knew that certain players would feature today for one reason or another and, with the Smethwick End struggling to get the crowd going, the backlash from Wednesday was still apparent! An early chance for Brunty fell on his wrong foot, well, it was his foot rather than someone else’s. He is then brought down after beating someone for pace and from his resulting free kick we cause some confusion without creating a real chance.
It took 26 minutes to put a decent move together. A throw by Carson to Olsson, the long through ball to Koren, which he did well to control, but then fired over. Then another flowing Baggies move reached Dorrans on the edge of the box. He squared to shoot but slipped JT in who fired in a cross/shot which eluded Brunt but Moore directed 'goal' bound! It hits Savage on the arm and penalty appeals are waved away! It has taken me this long to mention Lilly but he just sat in front of his back four and made things difficult for us!
Derby were not threatening much despite stopping us from playing as well as we would like but just before the break a mix up at the back let in Pearson who shot narrowly wide. This woke us up and we attacked again. The ball went out to JT who jigged his way into the box and was brought down. Penalty! No, the ref waves play on. Albion get possession back and in almost the same position of the field (but just outside the box) Dorrans is almost fouled and gets a free kick! That evens it up then ref, well done!
After the break
The second half starts badly as we don't get ourselves sorted out and a through ball from Savage causes confusion between Dorrans and Olsson. Carson ends up in no man’s land and Porter slots it home. At this stage I can't see where a goal is coming from and even more so when a free kick from the left gave Brunt a free header which looked easier to score... he didn't!
So, it was just before the hour that RDM made the changes. Morrison for a very quiet (again) Koren and Cox in a straight swap for the ineffective Moore. Brunty must have looked over and expected the worst. The changes had an instant effect as Derby nearly went two up but luckily the shot went over! Tactical genius or lucky? I'm not sure but a ball over the top finds Brunt one-on-one with the full-back. He checks, looks for support then fires a shot into the bottom left hand corner. One all!
It's all Albion now and a free kick from Brunt goes out for a corner which Dorrans takes. A flick on at the front post, Cox tries to squeeze it in through falling bodies and it lands at Brunty’s feet and he guides it in for a 2-1 lead! Seven minutes from time and a clever through ball by Dorrans finds Cox one-on-one with the keeper and he makes no mistake.
We see the game out nicely and I even remember Brunt tracking back and winning headers. He was a different player after the substitutions, as were most of the team.
For an hour we looked average but finished strongly against a Derby side that had improved of late; and after pantomime villain Savage drifted out of the game. Thought Cech looked solid at left back and Tamas did well on the right! If we are playing 4-5-1 we need to involve the midfield more as Dorrans and Koren were not involved as much as they should be!
This is MKBaggies looking forward to QPR next week. I love my trips to the Smoke!