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REPORT: WBA 2, SPURS 0

Posted on 9 January 2006  - 12:00

A six-game unbeaten sequence was broken by a 2-0 defeat to West Brom on a frustrating night at the Hawthorns.

A six-game unbeaten sequence was broken by a 2-0 defeat to West Brom on a frustrating night at the Hawthorns.

A goal in each half from Kanu - both punishing defensive mishaps - settled the contest in a match where little went right for the boys and the score was probably a fair reflection of events.

Head Coach Martin Jol rang the changes for the visit to his former club with a different strike force on view in the shape of Jermain Defoe and Grzegorz Rasiak - the latter making his second start after his debut against Liverpool in early September. Anthony Gardner was drafted in at the back due to the injury to Ledley King, while Wayne Routledge made his first start since the opening day of the season in right midfield. Paul Robinson was handed the captaincy for the night.

The principal topic of conversation ahead of the game was not the football, but the weather. It was absolutely freezing in the west midlands - pretty much the same as everywhere else in the country. It seemed a tad ironic when the PA man offered us all a 'warm' welcome to the Hawthorns - then announced a pitchside temperature of minus four!

The game enjoyed a sizzling beginning with Lee Young-Pyo stealing a march on his marker down the left flank and presenting Defoe with a good scoring chance, before a rapid break saw Kanu set Darren Carter in on goal. The midfielder forced Michael Dawson into a last-ditch clearance after a collision with Paul Robinson with the ball cannoning inches wide off Paul Stalteri.
biggest threat at the other end. On 13 minutes it was a defence splitting Edgar Davids pass that gave Defoe another chance on goal, but this time it was fielded comfortably by Tomasz Kuszczak.

The home side took the lead on 23 minutes when Diomansy Kamara got the better of Jermaine Jenas in the middle, Anthony Gardner tackled but Kanu picked the ball up off a Michael Carrick deflection, skipped around Michael Dawson before rounding Robinson and sliding into the net.

West Brom were a team possessed seemingly and were taking inspiration from a sell-out crowd at the
The Baggies continued to press and have the better of the opening exchanges and it was Lee providing our Hawthorns.

The team would once again have to show the character and determination we have seen much of this season

Davids showed the required determination five minutes before the break when he dispossessed Ronnie Wallwork and set off on a charge forward, only to be chopped down by the same player. Jenas's free-kick just clipped the wall and bounced out for a corner.

Defoe then had a penalty shout after a collision with Neil Clement but referee Mr Riley, perhaps correctly, saw fit to let play continue.

Six minutes into the second half home advantage was doubled and Kanu was once again the tormentor. A slip by Gardner let the Nigerian into the danger area from where he rounded Dawson and shot powerfully to Robinson's left and into the net.

The goal signalled the entry of Keane in place of Routledge, with the striker receiving a typical welcome for a former Wolves player from West Brom's biggest crowd of the season - 27,510.

Martin opted for further change with 20 minutes remaining with the introduction of Mido for Rasiak as events on the pitch were simply not going the way of the boys in blue.

In truth, West Brom looked more like adding to the score than us reducing the deficit as the game entered the final 15 minutes. The home side remained organised while still posing a significant threat on the break. Kuszczak was not really being worked in the Albion goal.

It added up to a disappointing night at the home of the Baggies and it will be a welcome return to home comforts when Newcastle visit the Lane on New Year's Eve.