West Ham 2 WBA 2
Could this be a good omen? Ken’s Café is on fine form, producing eggs chips and beans and two slices plus tea in five minutes at 7.15pm. There’s no sign of DC but Matt and Lisa, Matt’s Baggie mate Kirk, Mike and Phill are all hoping for signs of impending victory in the ketchup patterns and tea leaves.
Surely we’ll win under the lights? Behrami is out injured and Obinna dropped to the bench.
There's a group of teenybopper schoolgirls behind us who scream every time any time anyone touches the ball.
"It's not as if Dani is playing," says Matt.
"Or Iain Dowie," adds Fraser
We don’t play well in the first half, although WBA are restricted to one shot at Green. Barrera can’t get into the game and looks lightweight, Boa Morte doesn’t really look like a central midfield player, Cole can’t control the ball and he and Piquionne struggle to get a rapport. Only Parker is, as ever, giving an eight out of ten performance.
In the 38th minute WBA win a corner and Mike Dean awards a soft penalty to Albion after some routine tugging in the box by Boa Morte. Technically correct. But every game would see 20 penalties if all these were given. Still, they won’t beat England’s number 16 from the spot. Oh, Odemwinjie has.
It’s looking bleak until the 42nd minute. Cole’s strength causes a few problems, the ball breaks to Scotty Parker and he fires home an arrow into the top corner. A fantastic goal and we reflect that were it not for Super Scotty we might not have gained a point all season.
Nigel’s in China and we wonder if our texts will get through without being censored. So at half-time Matt sends a detailed text on how Scotty got us out of jail with a finely executed goal after some signs of dissidence in the home crowd. We are waiting for the great leap forwards under the guidance of Chairman Dave. When Nigel’s detained we plan to start a campaign to free the Kew Gardens One.
Early in the second half Dyer weaves into the box and is brought down, and Dean points to the spot again. Freddie Piquionne dispatches and the fans are fired up and we are surely on course for three points.
The key moment comes when Barrera does some good work and plays the ball in to Cole who finds Piquionne free on the right, only instead of scoring he drags the ball wide.
After that we seem unsure what to do, Kovac replaces Boa Morte and we become increasingly disjointed. Gabbidon, Upson and a hobbling Ilunga look as uneasy as Tory HQ workers being besieged by students.
The ball pings around our area and falls to Chris Brunt on the left who sends over a routine cross. Centre back Pablo is completely unmarked and heads game. “Boing boing Baggies!” chant the away fans.
It’s West Brom who win four corners in added time and go for the winner. The only positive is that Dyer has played fairly well and completed his first 90 minutes for the Hammers.
Yes, it’s another point but it feels like a defeat. Three games in a row we’ve capitulated from points-winning situations.
Will Grant survive if we don’t beat Blackpool? Sullivan has set a target of seven points from four games and so far we have two.
As usual Grant comes across all Dr Pangloss after the game. But it’s frankly pretty patronizing to insist that ”we played well” . We didn’t. A fit Noble, Behrami, Collison, Da Costa and Hitzlsperger will improve things, but we need points now and a manager who can coach the team in how to defend.
We’re also looking an old side. Boa Morte, Gabbidon, Green, Cole, Dyer, Ilunga and Upson are all, arguably, past their best.
Upton Park staion is closed due to safety concerns. It's not the only case of points failure tonight.
Walking to the Black Lion we overhear the comment: “We could bring back Curbs. The football would be just as bad but we’d grind out some points.” Staying tenth every week now seems like a golden era.
Blackpool will come without fear and we all know Marlon Harewood will score to put pier pressure on WHU.
We have to win or it might be the game that will send the lights out on our season.
Who in Essex
4 days ago