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14/12 WBA 2nd Half
By: David Peasgood
Grimsby Town 1 West Brom 1
14 Dec 1999, Nationwide League Division 1
The 2nd half
It was all town. We camped in their half for the first 20 minutes, lost it for 5, and then came back and dominated the last 20. WBA have drawn a lot of games and I thought they came for a draw. They wasted time at most opportunities. I lost count of corners, yet it was our old failing of having our back to goal too often and not shooting which let us down. Allen had a couple of great chances...the first he was clear on goal inside the box, though with a defender on his shoulder; he tried to sidefoot it to the goalies right and it was saved, when a 'blast' may have been better. The second was an instinctive turn and volley which the goalie was lucky enought to be stood right behind. Groves had a scholes-esque header which missed the top corner by inches and in the 90th minute a Donovan cross missed the heads of Livvo and Groves by inches. I did enjoy seeing Livvo up front for corners etc. His height actually gives us a chance of getting a flick on or a header on target, instead of the usual corner going straight to their goalie. Substitution wise, Caldicott went off for Pouton but Poulton did little. I though Stacy played well and didn't see what good this did. In a double sub, Buckley A. and Allen went off for Black and Smith. Young Buckley hadn't been too bad but was tiring. A couple of times on the left wing he tried to cross when an inside ball to Gally would have been more sensible. Smith and Black ran about a bit but it came to nought.
So. for a supposedly big club wba were a disappointment. They totally capitulated and got the draw they seemed to want. The crowd pi**ed off Buckley and went home cold, we lost 2 points rather than gained one, and on the car radio driving home AB said:
'I was pleased with a draw against WBA. To go out there each week and give big clubs like this a game on our resources is terrific. We really are understrength for this division. The last 12 years, apart from one relegation, have been fantastic and I just wish we could get more crowd here. We took 35,000 to wembley and weve lost 31,000 of them. I wish I knew the answer.'
In closing, my scores on the doors are:
Croudson: competent 7, Gally: solid 7, R. Smith: wobbly at times 5, Lever: maturing like a fine red wine 8, Macca: slow 1st half but good 2nd 7, Donovan: brightest I've seen him for ages 8, Caldicott: got stuck in well 8, Groves: a bit absent 6, Buckley: not too effective 6, Livvo: good target man 8, Allen: excellent 9, subs pouton 6, black 6 smith 6, Ref 4. WBA man of the match Miller (the goalie) 9
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