WBA 2-3 Preston North End

Both teams were up for this one. I had warned my players all week that this a game was going to be a tough one and that's how it turned out. My job was made harder with the failure of Jason and Kershaw to turn up on time (what's new LOL) and the absences of Chambers and Jacko because of other commitments. The one plus was having George with us.

I knew he would be vital for us and that's how it worked out. Pre match team talk was about keeping the ball moving and getting it from back to front as quickly as possible, but within five minutes of the start we had been caught in possession twice along the back line so plan "B" was put into operation what was for me to "let rip" at my players LOL and let them know that if they carried on like this we would be out of the game by half-time.

However this seemed to work as the players involved suddenly got their game together and we began to play a bit! West Brom was a class team in possession but "off" the ball their work rate didn't match ours so I always felt we had a bit more to offer up front than they did! It was no surprise then when we eventually took the lead with Andy knocking home a cross after good work on the left by Roger Pennington.

At this stage I felt we were in control of the game but a dodgy free kick decision by the ref gave West Brom the chance of a strike at goal. Like the Bury semi final free kick I could not work out how this went in either. That's the second time we have been done like that and I aint happy. I don't like going in front and then conceding goals from set pieces especially as West Brom like Bury did not deserve their equalise. 1-1 was how the game finished at the interval.

At half time I again told the lads about moving the ball quicker when in possession and about stepping the tempo up as I felt a few West Brom players were "blowing a bit"" towards the end of the half.

Our best spell then came straight after the restart. Andy was getting behind their back line and chances were coming thick and fast as we pinned them in their own half. West Brom were now struggling with the amount of pressure being put on them so it was no surprise when we fired in two quick goals to put the game out of sight. First a pen by Pete after George was upended in the box and then George himself smashing one in of the underside of the bar.

However West Brom to their credit through everything forward in the last few minutes and another bad goal from our point of view this time straight in from the corner made for a nervous last few minutes and only a superb block on the line form Mike Wilson stopped them from grabbing a late equaliser.

Footnote; Thanks to West Brom for the superb facilities including main stand LOL and also the standard of their play. They were like Castle Rock in many ways with their superb one touch football.
But I have a team that can hurt people and a team that trains hard, has fantastic team spirit and is organised and in the end it's that combination that got us through. Thanks to all the squad for their efforts on Saturday and like Hibernian it's another game that will live long in the memory and what a pitch to play on.

Brilliant stuff boys and from the Chairman, "well done lads".


Chris Hall

Stu - Pete - Martin - Mike

Atky - Jonny - Ste - Andy

Des - George

Subs: Jimmy, Pesch, Chats, Jason, Kershaw





Red = man of the match

= goal

Quick Pics




Top Home Email