A Fan's View: Newcastle 3 Albion 3
By Site Editor
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2011
Ardbaggie gives his verdict on Albion's end-of-season draw
Well, it’s been an interesting few months to say the least, never mind the season; Roberto Di Matteo out, Roy Hodgson in when we were in free-fall, what a turnaround!
Our last game of the season saw us travel to the mighty Toon. I have always enjoyed the hospitality of Newcastle and Sunday was no exception. We set out at 9 o’clock to drive up the A38, then the M1 with a short stop en-route arriving in Newcastle at about 2 o’clock giving me enough time to track down Balloo and give him his ticket – and a few pints in Yates Bar with a few hundred of the Toon faithful.
With face masks of the legend that is Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown being handed out at the turnstile and one or two hundred in fancy dress, it was going to be a great atmosphere.
Sir Roy Hodgson as I will refer to him deservers all the credit, with a little help from Odemwingie and a few others in the team, not to mention the Midlands’ finest supporters.
With Odemwingie and Tamas out, we could’ve seen a few of the reserves in the starting line up as this game had a party atmosphere about it, not a lot to play for, or so you would think.
Newcastle: Krul; Simpson, Coloccini, S Taylor, Enrique, R Taylor; Guthrie, Barton , Ferguson; Ameobi, LovenKrands. Subs: Smith, Lua Lua, Best, Soderberg, Ranger, Tavenier, Kuqi.
West Bromwich Albion: Carson; Reid, Meite, Olsson, Shorey; Tchoyi, Scharner, Mulumbu, Morrison, Brunt; Fortune. Subs: Miller, Myhill, Thorne, Jara, Thomas, Cox,Ibanez.
Ref: Mark ‘pantomime’ Halsey
It was easy to see who was up for this game with Newcastle on the attack in the first few minutes with Guthrie getting the better of Scharner and laying off to Shane Ferguson who ran at Carson to fire the ball straight at him from 18 yards – phew!
We passed the ball around but Newcastle gave us no time on the ball which was their game plan for all to see. But we should have taken the lead after seven minutes with Tchoyi taking the ball off Enrique in his own penalty area then playing in Fortune who had his placed effort cleared off the line by Taylor.
Back came Newcastle on the attack who won a corner. Jonas Olsson’s header hit an Albion shirt then Chris Brunt’s attempt at a clearance hit Lovenkrands who headed on for Taylor to knock it in from only a few yards out. 1-0.
Back we came with Mulumbu who shot wide from outside the area. We seemed to be giving the ball away too easily and we were getting restless, well I was, and Tchoyi was the worst offender. It was too easy for Newcastle and it was no surprise when they had another shot from Ameobi cleared off the line by Meite.
We were missing Odemwingie as time after time Fortune got caught offside as Newcastle played high up the pitch.
Newcastle got the second goal when Lovenkrands fired a bullet at Carson who was off his line and pushed the ball up and it looped back under the bar and just over the line from the ’keeper who sheepishly protested as it was the linesman who called it.
It was not all Newcastle in the first half but we seemed a bit slow and lacked that killer ball – we’ve heard that before.
Meite off, Ibanez on. Only minutes on the clock and it was a goal for Newcastle. Olsson attempting to clear the ball from Enrique who somehow managed to chip it in to his own net, not having a great game was Olsson.
But we started to play with a bit more belief again Mulumbu went close, then Brunt’s free kick went close for Olsson, Ibanez, and Scharner.
Sub. Scharner off and the talented George Thorne on. We had upped the pace and Tchoyi beat the offside trap to run through on goal from a Reid pass and sweep it passed the on-rushing Krul, Goal!
Olsson again let in Newcastle with Ryan Taylor having a crack at goal only to redeem himself with a well timed block.
Some good build up play saw us in the Newcastle box with Reid linking up with Tchoyi and turning Coloccini and firing a rocket in to the top off the net. Goal………Boing Boing, game on.
We were buzzing and had found our voice’s again with all the alcohol wearing off. “Come on you Baggies.”
Sub. Fortune off, Miller on. Olsson went close from a Brunt corner as we roared on. Ibanez stopped Ameobi a goal with a brilliant timed tackle and we pushed hard for an equaliser. Olsson ran down the left wing with Miller on the ball, but before it ran out of play, he back-heeled it to Olsson who sent over a brilliant cross straight over Krul to meet Tchoyi. Goal!!!!!!!!!!
Just before the final whistle we could have nicked it with Reid heading over from Brunt’s corner.
Not a great performance by any means but a battling one. Last game of the season nothing to play for, three-nil down, some 60 minutes gone and we score three. How many teams would have done that?
I will not pick on any one for criticism, because we have had a great season and I can forgive them for taking their eye off the ball so to speak.
And not to mention Sir Roy Hodgson, and the Albion board for having the belief and changing a popular manager after a run of bad results.
Good luck to Birmingham and Blackpool I hope they come back soon. I’m very sad for Blackpool, I hope they can keep Ian Holloway and the players.
As for us we have a team we can build on, a few new faces and some of the old ones gone under Sir Roy’s guidance we will take our place as Midlands’ No 1.
Till next season, this is Ardbaggie reporting for WBA Mad signing off with a tear in his eye it’s been emotional.