Date:Sunday November 2 2008
If anybody told me how this game would pan out before it started, I probably would have told him where to go. Rovers made a few changes to the starting line up, Jason Roberts pairing up with Benni McCarthy up front, Vince Grella slotting back into the midfield, forcing. With both teams desperate for a win, Paul Ince resorted to playing 2 up front, with Warnock Andrews Grella and Emerton in the midfield.
West Brom on the other hand, winless in there last 3 games, started of much brighter. After a neat passing display, Paul Robinson (West Brom Midfielder) whipped in a delightful cross, however it was just out of reach of Bednars trailing foot. A few more nervy moments followed for the Rovers defence, as the West Brom players, urged on by their home crowd, pushed on, trying to find the opener.
Against the run of play, Jason Roberts found himself being pulled by Robert Donk in the penalty area. The Penalty was awarded by Referee Mike Jones, to the dismay of the West Brom players and coaching staff. Benni McCarthy stepped up, and unleashed a ferocious drive into the bottom left corner, 1-0 Rovers. Minutes later, Benni McCarthy found himself on the Referees notebook again, this time for a clumsy challenge on Jonathon Greening.
As the play unrolled, West Brom definately were creating most of the chances, with Ishmael Miller running, chasing and decieving our defence. There best chance fell to James Morrison, who blasted a volley at goal, saved by our Paul Robinson. However it was Mike Jones, the referee who would have the most influential decision on the game.
After a clearing kick, Benni McCarthy appeared to handball, with Mike Jones seeing this as being delibrate, showing Benni his second yellow card. Replays showed Benni was pushed into the ball, a foul should of gone towards Benni. Rovers players were furious, walking of with Mike Jones at the break, telling him what they really felt. 1-0 Rovers Half time.
Tugay came on for Danny Simpson at the break, forcing a reshuffle of the backline. With an extra man, West Brom continued to outplay Rovers, knocking the ball around the park, looking for the breakthrough. However, it was Ryan Nelsen who almost assisted West Brom, with a rushed clearence smacking the bar. Brom did not have to wait much longer for the equaliser. A delightful passing phase in the midfield put Roman Bednar through, who passed the ball into the back of the net. Replays showed that Roman might have just been offside, a tricky one to call. 1-1.
West Brom pushed on and minutes later, they were in the lead. A thundering strike by Miller from 20 yards out left Paul Robinson stranded, 2-1 West Brom.
Ince decided to ring the changes, with Morten Gamst Pedersen coming on, followed 10 minutes later with Zurab making his season debut. Rovers started to create a few chances, Jason Roberts millimeteres away from scoring, prevented by a scramble goal line clearence. Gamst Pedersen struck a free kick just over the goal.
However, it was the former division 2 player, MK Dons Captain, Ince's Friend, player not worth enough of Premier League football, or any other name he has been called so far, Keith Andrews, who delighted the travelling Rovers fans, and myself at 4am , with a stunning equaliser. After taking the ball 35 yards out, Andrews took a couple of strides, and shot, the ball trickling past the keeper and into the bottom corner of the net. Andrews goal was the first of his season, and a vital one for Rovers. 2-2 Fulltime.
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Date:Sunday November 2 2008
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