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Report: WBA 2-3 Spurs

Posted on 22 April 2003  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

Robbie Keane finally knocked the boing-boing out of spirited Baggies with a fine late winner at the Hawthorns.

Booed and labelled a 'Dingle' throughout (apparently a term of endearment for Wolves around these parts) the Irish star responded with two goals, the final, telling strike an arrow into the corner just four minutes from time.

That made it three goals in two games against the Baggies and very much the last laugh.

As a game, it just got better and better, as did our performance. Reverting back to a 3-5-2 with Dean Richards and Matt Etherington returning from injury and Kazuyuki Toda starting for the first time, we gradually got more and more into the game and by the end of the second half, the home side were playing off scraps.

The first half left a lot to be desired in terms of goalmouth action as, having gone behind, our sheer weight of possession eventually told.

The opening 20 minutes were only notable for Russell Hoult's low save to deny Keane's overhead kick.

Albion took the lead after 23 minutes when Jason Koumas managed to dig out a high, hanging cross from the right flank and Daniele Dichio judged it well to nod back across Kasey Keller into the corner from eight yards.

Keller had to be at his best to prevent the home doubling the lead after 34 minutes, reacting well down to his left to keep out Derek McInnes' well-struck half-volley.

We ran the show for the rest of the half but failed to make the best of numerous telling positions until a quality equaliser a minute before the break.

It followed our longest spell of possession and ended with Keane playing a one-two with Sheringham before slotting home first-time from 10 yards.

The second half sparked into life straight away as Roberts finished tamely after a one-two with Dichio and Gus Poyet, on for Toda at half-time, missed the target from 10 yards from Etherington's cutback. Keller was soon required again, out smartly to deflect over from Roberts.

A goal looked on the cards and two arrived in a minute.

Albion took the lead on the hour when substitute Neil Clement smashed a free-kick through the defensive wall and home.

But it was level again 60 seconds later when Keane's attempted volley from a free-kick on the edge of the box was heading wide until it was met by Goran Bunjevcevic, his header came back off the inside of the post and Sheringham stabbed home from close range.

We were started to boss the game now but there was a warning after 70 minutes when a move broke down and suddenly Roberts was away. King kept pace with him for 30 yards into the box before producing a magnificent saving tackle that would have been a certain red card if he'd got it wrong.

Hoult was next to show his worth as Carr played a one-two with Keane and unleashed a shot from the angle - the home keeper stood firm at his near post.

We were now in complete control and the telling punch arrived four minutes from time. Keane latched onto a ball over the top, held off two defenders and cracked a low show across Hoult into the bottom corner.

Cue cartwheels, cue three deserved points.

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10mins: Roberts muscled Richards out, attempted cutback to Dichio didn't find target.

19mins: SAVE. Scrambled effort by Hoult to keep out Keane's overhead kick from 15 yards.

21mins: YELLOW. Gardner for foul on Roberts.

23mins: GOAL. Superb cross dug out by Koumas, Dichio headed back across Keller and home from eight yards. 0-1.

34mins: SAVE. Top-drawer save down to his left from Keller to deny McInnes' half-volley.

36mins: Deep free-kick from Etherington met in space by Bunjevcevic at far post but volleyed attempt blocked.

41mins: YELLOW. Sigurdsson for dissent.

42mins: YELLOW. Roberts for foul on Richards.

44mins: GOAL. Superb response. Kept ball for ages before Keane played one-two with Sheringham and finished first-time on half-volley from 10 yards. 1-1.

Half-time: WBA 1-1 Spurs

Half-time: SUB. Poyet for Toda.

48mins: CHANCE. Roberts cut in from right, one-two with Dichio, weak shot from 16 yards.

50mins: CHANCE. Best move of game. Sheringham reverse pass released Etherington down line, cutback picked out Poyet who missed target from 10 yards.

55mins: SAVE. Loose ball from free-kick fell kindly for Roberts but Keller out smartly to deflect over the bar.

57mins: SUB. Clement for Udeze.

60mins: YELLOW. Richards for dissent.

60mins: GOAL. Clement smashed free-kick through wall and home from 25 yards. 1-2.

61mins: GOAL. Keane's free-kick heading wide until met by Bunjevcevic at far post, ball came back off inside of post where Sheringham stabbed home. 2-2.

67mins: Etherington volleyed into the side netting from 16 yards.

68mins: SUB. Dobie for Dichio.

70mins: TACKLE. King back to cleanly take ball from Roberts feet after the forward broke through on goal. Definite red card if he'd got it wrong.

75mins: SAVE. Carr one-two with Keane, shot from the angle but Hoult stood strong to it.

83mins: SUB. Perry for Richards.

84mins: GOAL. Keane onto ball over the top, held off two defenders and cracked the ball into the bottom corner. 3-2.

Line-ups: WBA: Hoult, Balis, McInnes, Wallwork, Dichio (Dobie, 68), Johnson, Roberts, Gregan, Sigurdsson, Koumas, Udeze (Clement, 57). Subs: Murphy, Chambers, Lyttle.

Spurs: Keller, Carr, Etherington, Richards (Perry, 83), King, Gardner, Toda (Poyet, 45), Davies, Bunjevcevic, Keane, Sheringham. Subs: Sullivan, Iversen, Acimovic.

Attendance: 26,899