Posts Tagged ‘West Brom’

Middlesbrough v West Brom, Saturday 30th July 2022, 3pm

August 19, 2022

I’ve already been to a competitive game this season in the Women’s Euros at Southampton and a couple of pre-season friendlies, but this one felt like the proper opening fixture of the season. Alistair was away for the weekend, so it was just Harry and I that went along.

You never really know what you might see on the river outside the ground and there was a new structure there this week. I suspect that it was something to do with the oil and gas industry but that’s about the best I can do in pinning down its identity.

Pre-match talk was inevitably about the personnel changes, mainly the arrival of the American goalie and Tav’s move to Bournemouth. Zack Steffan’s loan signing looks a good move, both for him and us, but I was disappointed with Tav’s departure, particularly without a replacement having been brought in. I appreciate the pull of the Premier League though and hope he does well.

One of the biggest surprises has been the re-integration of Chuba Akpong after his banishment to Greece and then the U21s. He started this one and did well, combining well with Ryan Giles to set up an early goal for Isaiah Jones. We had a second one disallowed shortly after and at that stage it looked like an easy three points.

It rarely pans out in the way that you expect though and West Brom equalized soon after the restart for the second half. They could have won it too, as despite us having most of the possession the better chances fell to them. I reckon a draw was a fair result though and with another forty-five games and hopefully a few more signings to come, I’m happy enough with the point.

Middlesbrough v West Bromwich Albion, Tuesday 22nd February 2022, 7.45pm

February 27, 2022

With the Boro losing away at Bristol City at the weekend this game felt like a ‘must-win’ if the momentum that we’ve built up since Chris Wilder’s appointment wasn’t going to stall. There were more empty seats than normal, but the combination of a mid-week fixture, poor weather and it being on the telly made that understandable.

The ref, as is so often the case in the Championship, was poor. Not just in that his decisions rarely went our way but more in his determination to keep play flowing by rarely blowing for a foul. The consequences were that the tackles got stronger, and more time was wasted by players surrounding him with a list of retrospective complaints every time the ball eventually went dead. He’d have found the players a lot easier to manage if he’d blown for a few early free-kicks and set the tone.

Boro never really got going in the first-half and West Brom were well worth their one goal lead at the break. I thought that we missed the suspended Matt Crooks, particularly the way that he links up with Isiah Jones.

The game turned around in the second half with the substitutions. Watmore raised the intensity level and Tav moving to left wing-back allowed us an extra forward on the pitch. The resulting two-one win was our seventh successive home victory and took us back on track for the play-offs.